John Legend's Relationship Advice Is All You Could Ever Need
From resolving arguments to dealing with postpartum depression, John has got you covered.
John Legend and Chrissy Teigen are undoubtedly relationship goals personified. They've been together for over a decade, and in that time they've allowed public honest access to both their highs and lows. We see the fun, love, and laughter present in their everyday lives through posts on Snapchat and Instagram – Chrissy mercilessly roasting John, their re-enactment of scenes from famous movies, their date nights – but they've also been incredibly candid about the difficulties they've endured. They shared their struggle to conceive a baby, which led to a physically and emotionally taxing experience of IVF, and most recently Chrissy opened up about having postpartum depression.
Time and time again, John and Chrissy have proved themselves the image of a strong and enduring relationship. So, when BuzzFeed UK was offered the chance to sit down with John following his album and tour announcements, we couldn't miss the opportunity to present him with your relationship questions and receive his unfettered advice on affairs of the heart. And he was just as honest and insightful as you'd imagine.
How do you find the balance between being ambitious and supportive to each other? Is there any jealousy or competitiveness in your successes? – kaityblack1
John Legend: I love it when my wife is successful. I love with when she's doing something she's enjoying. I love it when her books sell out. I love it when her television show is doing well. I'll go with her to work sometimes when she's shooting the television show, I'm at home sharing with her when she's cooking, I'm helping her with whatever I can help with. That's the way you've got to be – you have to be supportive of each other. We both want each other to succeed, and we want to be part of each other's successes as much as we can. Obviously our jobs intersect in a lot of ways that other people's may not. But either way, you should always want your partner to feel fulfilled and happy in what they're doing. And you shouldn't feel jealous if they're getting joy from something other than you, because it can make your relationship better.
JL: Tell your wife that you're sorry and that she's right. That's the best way to resolve an argument, because she probably is right. And even if she isn't, just tell her that.
JL: I'm lucky I'm with a very exciting, dynamic woman. If she wasn't, I don't know how easy it would be. But I am with someone who's funny and clever, and we get to travel a lot and do a lot of exciting things. But I think you have to make some effort too – you can't just expect it to unfold that way. You need to go on dates, you need to do things that make you remember why you fell in love with each other in the first place.
How did you deal with Chrissy's postpartum depression? Because that stuff is hard not only for the one dealing with the depression but also for their partner, friends, and family. – peppelini
JL: It's tough. You see someone's mood decline and then stay in a darker place for a while and it's a challenge for you. You don't know if it's you, if it's something you did wrong, or what you can do to help. You have to understand the science of what happens to a woman's body after she delivers a baby – it's a common thing. And, if you do understand, you can speak to professionals and get through it. But if you don't understand, you're just like, "Why is she mad at me for this?" or "Why is she upset about that?"
There's all kinds of symptoms that you might think are individual and aren't related to something else. But, when it comes down to it, they're all part of the same suite of things that are happening. If you don't deal with it as an overall issue, then you just think you have all of these little fires to put out. Once you understand they're all related to one another it's easier to deal with, because you know it's not all about you. You know it's not your fault, it's not your wife's fault – she didn't do anything wrong to make her feel this way, it's sometimes just how your body works. You just have to help each other, support each other, and you'll get through it.
After many, many years together, my husband and I still don't have a song. What song would you suggest for us? – omahoney89
JL: Well, let me tell you, there's some really good John Legend songs! [laughs] No, every song has to carry emotional significance for you and your significant other. A lot of times it's based on moments in your life where it meant something. Maybe an argument you got into, and a song helped you through it. Maybe you danced to it at a special occasion. It's hard to manufacture that; you have to let it happen naturally. You can't force the song to happen, but sooner or later you'll have one that carries emotional significance. And it might be a John Legend song, let's be honest with ourselves!
Does "busy" ever mean busy or does it always mean "not interested"? – Holly Lynn, Facebook
JL: If "busy" happens for too long then it's "not interested". Because no matter how busy you are – even if you work a lot – you can make time to hang out with someone you really like. If someone is telling you they're busy, and it's happening for weeks on end, then they are probably not interested.
How do you know when you've found "The One"? People talk about that "moment", but the more and more you date different people and share experiences, the harder it is to distinguish that moment. How do you know? – sunbeamshow
JL: There was a moment when I felt like I had definitely fallen in love with Chrissy, as opposed to being really attracted to her and liking being around her. It was a few months in and it just felt different. It felt more special than "I'm really attracted to this girl and I like hanging out." It felt like it switched into something more serious, more thrilling, more passionate, and I felt the difference.
How important is a partner's sense of humour in a relationship? Is a relationship worthwhile if you can't laugh at the same things? – katherinerobinson
JL: Everybody's different but I love that my wife is funny. I'm not particularly funny and she puts up with me! But at least one of you has to be funny, I think. Everybody's got different chemistry and their personalities interact differently, but I'm more straight and Chrissy's a little more funny and dynamic, so we work out very well.
How do you respond to an ex who's trying to get back in touch with a load of peach emojis? – amylo92
JL: I don't communicate with exes – I've been with Chrissy a long time. Any grace period I had with exes is over! [laughs] But if you're with somebody else and you're getting flirty texts from your ex then you need to cut that off, because that's not going to help your current relationship. Unless you still have feelings for the other person – then you might not want to be with the new person. I understand – as Biggie said, "Some say the ex makes the sex spectacular." Sometimes people have an attraction to their exes because they've developed chemistry, been together intimately. There's something about that that's exciting to people, but if you really want the new relationship to work, you can't be flirting with the ex. If you need to block the number, block the number. Try to erase the temptation out of your life and keep it at bay.
While you and Chrissy were trying to conceive Luna what helped you both cope with the struggles and keep your relationship strong? – baileys48d4c06b2
JL: We knew that no matter what, we were going to have kids – even if we couldn't have them naturally ourselves. We didn't get too worried about the science of it all, the method of it all, whether we did it naturally or with fertility treatments. But sooner or later we decided we didn't want to wait around for it to happen naturally, and we were ready to have kids. We met with our doctor and they explained how it worked and we went with it and did it. If that didn't work we would have adopted and we'd have been fine with that too.
How would you get an emotionally distant partner to open up to you? – Francis David McGinley, Facebook
JL: I think I'm the emotionally distant partner – I'm probably the wrong person to answer this question! [laughs] I think it helps that I'm with someone who's very in touch with their emotions. She helps me not take myself too seriously. It's good when you have that match of partners where one has a characteristic that helps bring out something new in the other person.
I'm in a long-distance relationship with my boyfriend and plan on continuing to do so for the next three years of university. What advice do you have for maintaining a good, strong relationship despite not being able to see each other often? – maddiep48c97ea0d
JL: Luckily there’s a lot of good technology for long-distance relationships now – when I was in college we didn't have that technology. Video chat – the way you can see and talk to each other – has changed so much. And there's something kind of hot about being distant from someone for a while. But that can only go so far, and three years seems like a long time to maintain a relationship. You may want to reconsider getting closer to each other to maintain it. And unless you think you're going to be together forever, you might want to take a break from each other. I'm not trying to discourage you, but there's going to be a lot of challenges. It's going to be tough.
My fiancé and I are going to be moving in together. I'm sure we'll find little quirks about each other that are cute, and maybe some that aren't so cute. What's your best advice for a couple to start living together? – kandacerose
JL: It's crazy because when me and Chrissy started living together we weren't very stationary – we were travelling all the time and so we were rarely just at home. But you have to understand that there's some compromises you're going to have to make. Even if it's just picking out a couch, or a duvet cover, or some pillows, every little thing is going to be a conversation. You're lucky if the person has similar tastes to you. Chrissy and I have very similar design tastes. Her design taste actually leans more in the masculine direction, so we meet in the middle. As with anything, you have to respect each other, have to communicate, and you have to be willing to not get everything you want all the time.
JL: I don't think it's weird. First of all, gender roles are changing and evolving and I don't think we need to be bound by old-school chivalry. But I think sometimes you might have a crush on a guy who might be shy. He may be scared to make the first move, and if you give him a little nudge or a hint – or even just come out and say it – it might get things going in the right direction. Sometimes being honest and putting yourself out there is not a bad thing. Obviously every situation is different, and he might not be making a move because he's just not that interested. But if you think you both might be interested in each other, and he might be a little shy, then don't be afraid to say something.
How do you guys manage to balance taking care of a newborn as well as not forgetting to look after each other? My partner and I have just been blessed with a beautiful daughter but there are times I feel that we forget how to be a couple again. – angelicaf42dc3f870
JL: I think it's important to make time for you as a couple and go out on dates still. Obviously it's a luxury to have help and people around that can take over the babysitting duties. My mother-in-law is with us a lot – she lives a mile or two from us, but she's at our house more than she's at her house. We love having her around and she helps with the baby a lot too. So we have the luxury of going out and knowing that we can trust the people we're leaving the baby with. If you have that, then you should take advantage of it, and make sure you go out on some dates. Get dressed up, feel pretty, feel handsome, and feel sexy because you need those moments too.