Love is a many-splendored thing, especially when you’re gawking at it from the outside. In this column, we’ll be examining the celebrity couples that give us hope for our own romantic futures while trying to learn what we can from their well-documented bonds.
I wouldn’t call myself a sports fan, per se (my idea of a good game is touch football, specifically in that one Thanksgiving episode of Friends), but even I am not immune to the awe-inspiring power of Serena Williams. I got to thinking about her legacy recently after seeing King Richard, the biographical drama in which Will Smith plays the father of Serena and her sister Venus. While the Williams sisters’ athletic achievements speak for themselves, the film’s careful focus on the bond between them and their family reminded me of just how much I appreciate Serena’s marriage to internet entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian.
It might seem silly to admire a relationship between two celebrities, given that we can never really know what’s going on between them (just ask Taylor Swift), but Ohanian, a cofounder of Reddit, has a long record of publicly doting on his wife of almost five years. “Devoted” doesn’t even begin to cover it; in 2019, he penned a whole Glamour essay about his relationship with Williams, writing, “I know I’ve been successful in my career, but I’m not the one racking up the trophies. It helps that my wife and I both know what it takes to be successful and bring that mutual understanding, drive, and relentlessness to the table. But at the end of the day, sometimes her career really does have to come first.” Maybe my expectations for men are too low, but…I die!
Williams and Ohanian’s daughter, Olympia, was born in 2017, and ever since, the couple has only continued to up the cuteness ante, posting precious family photos on Instagram (including one of Olympia shutting down the red carpet at the King Richard premiere). Ohanian is frequently seen with Olympia at Williams’s tennis matches, and what’s particularly great about their dynamic is how much he genuinely seems to relish watching his wife—a.k.a. the GOAT—dominate on the court. Would daughters everywhere be better off if their dads were this into bringing them along to watch their moms crush it at work? Indubitably.
“Alexis doesn’t dim my light,” Williams told Allure in 2019. “He puts me in the light, even if I don’t want to be. He pushes me to further points I never thought about.” We’re conditioned to think of romance as being all about Instagram-ready sunsets and expensive chocolate, but what if it was just…this? The person who loves you pushing you to be better, even when the pressures of your work aren’t always easy for either of you to navigate? More of this, please!