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When Neil Patrick Harris first laid his eyes on David Burtka, he initially thought he was his friend’s lover. “I ran into my friend Kate one day and she was with this brooding, James Dean–type guy in a leather jacket who gave me the head nod and then turned away. I assumed he was Kate’s boyfriend and said, ‘Nicely done,'” he wrote in a joint essay with Burtka in Out Magazine. But Kate clarified that one, Burtka wasn’t “playing on [her] team.” And two, he was in a relationship at the time. Harris says he kept his distance to respect Burtka’s relationship, while continuously “stammering around” the man who would become his husband. And eventually, a week after Burtka’s relationship ended — he got his chance.
Their first date was at the movies, where they saw “Taking Lives.” And after that, they were pretty much glued to each other. “We started hanging out every single night, and after three months, it was just non-stop,” Burtka recalled. “We talk on the phone at least eight times a day and text at least 25 times a day.”
The couple eventually moved to Los Angeles when Harris landed “How I Met Your Mother,” but they didn’t know it would take them years to return to New York. “I assumed the show would be a short chapter,” he told Architecture Digest. “But the plan was always to come back to New York when the show ended and raise our family.”