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Love Rings OUT: Michael Urie & Ryan Spahn

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Photography by Rob Howard

After a long-winded chase and a hilarious set-up, Michael and Ryan are in it to win it. 

Actors Michael Urie and Ryan Spahn cancelled on each other for years before finally going on a first date, a haphazard set-up by a mutual friend that just happened to put them in the same place at the same time. Little did they know their unexpected meeting would begin a relationship that'd continue on--seven plus years--to today. Fate behaves in curious ways, but Urie and Spahn's romance stands testament to it all working out in the end.

Out: So you two have a complicated "how we met" story. You evaded each other for a couple years before going on your first date. Can you tell me how you finally came together?

Michael Urie: Ryan had been playing hard to get for two years. So one day, when we were both living in New York, I was supposed to see Brooke Bloom, a mutual friend.

Ryan Spahn: And we ended up meeting one another on a street corner. Brooke wasn't there, her shoe broke on the street and she was at a cobbler.

MU: Yeah, Brooke basically put us both in the same place at the same time and then showed up late...which I was actually happy about.

RS: Then we met--

MU: And right away we were a couple immediately.

RS: We haven't really separated ever since. It'll be seven years this month.

It's pretty funny that a simple set-up finally brought you two together after such a chase! When did you first say I love you?

RS: I think it was about a month in.

MU: Ryan was staying at his friend Billy's in SoHo. It was this great big loft and we were hanging there late one night.

RS: We were under a ladder--we were kind of leaning on it--and Michael said, I love you. And then immediately he was like, There, I said it first. You don't even have to say it! He got really defensive. I was like, Okay. I love you too. And he said, You don't mean it! You don't mean it! Do you mean it? And I said, Yeah babe, I love you, too. That was it.

MU: I had never fallen for someone in such a committed way before. I had no doubts about how I felt.

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What are the qualities in Michael you have been most taken by?

RS: His sense of humor. His ability to find the joy in life. I tend to get more serious and introspective when I'm thinking about anything. I overthink it and he's the opposite. Not that he isn't analytical, but he's spirited. I also just like the way he looks at me. It's so sweet. I like that he twitches before he falls asleep and that he has full-on conversations, while he's sleeping that I try to engage with...but it doesn't seem to work out.

MU: You try to talk to me?

RS: Yeah, but then you'll wake up and be like, wha?

Michael, what about you? What do you find most endearing about Ryan?

MU: Ryan is the nicest boy in the whole world. He is extremely patient, and I'm not very patient. He has an easy-going temperament, which I really like. He's inspired and ambitious, which helps fuel my inspiration and ambition. Our ambition feeds off of each other really well, in terms of life and goals, but also just in terms of health, fitness, family, each other's adult relationships. He's a great person to learn how to live with. I feel like I better know who I am because of Ryan.

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When did you first go away together?

RS: I think it was Hawaii. We had to have a big conversation about it because I couldn't personally afford to go at that time in my life. And I remember him being so gracious with how we handled the conversation. He was in the position where he had a great job and he wanted to go and he wanted me to go with him. He said, I'll be going with or without you, but I'll be taking someone with me and I'd like that person to be you.

MU: That's what I said?

RS: Yeah, you took control of my ego issues about being taken on a trip like that, especially because we'd only been dating at that point for maybe a year.

When did marriage become something you started talking about?

RS: We're not married. Marriage has never been something on my radar. Maybe because I'm gay and it hadn't been an option for so long, and maybe because my parents didn't stay together that marriage in general wasn't this thing I needed in my life. I've had reservations about it now because I think it's such a political statement to get married at this point. There are concerns I have that I don't want elements of that brought into our relationship because it is such a great relationship. I fear that it might turn our relationship into something where we have to constantly talk about our views on marriage and why we did it and what we think about it and how we feel about it--

MU: But we have to anyway!

Michael, how did you feel when SCOTUS passed marriage equality nationwide back in June?

MU: I was totally thrilled. It was an amazing day for the entire LGBT community, and I think for humanity. I was extremely proud. I felt, for the first time, equal since we'd been a couple. It was the first time I felt our family was legit in the eyes of government and in the eyes of the law. There are still steps to go, but none that will be that big. I think we should just go to the courthouse and get married. If it were up to me we would have done it already. Just to have done it, to have it behind us! I would love to share our union with everybody that I love, but it doesn't necessarily have to be in the form of a wedding. It could be in the form of a party, or a few different kinds of parties, or a dinner. Along the way, I have suggested a flash wedding. Yesterday we were talking about a project that we're developing and there might be a fake wedding, and I thought, what if after the fake wedding we just got married? Then Ryan shot it down...

RS: I shot it down with good reason!

MU: Yeah, it made sense. But it's complicated! Either we make this plan where we get everybody in the same room at the same time, which seems impossible, or we just do it.

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