Why Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds Are Our Favorite Ongoing Love Story

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, now parents of four, are keeping the excitement alive—for them and, even more importantly, for the rest of us.

By Natalie Finn Aug 25, 2023 1:00 PMTags
Watch: Blake Lively Jokes Her Trainer Is Not Dad to Her Kids

Usually when your husband takes to social media and shares one of the most unflattering pictures ever taken of you, you may chide him for his obliviousness. 

Unless your husband handpicked the 10 most "oops"-riddled pictures of you and sweetly posted all of them to remind the world how much he loves you. And you're Blake Lively, so even a blurry, mid-blink pic is still pretty good.

And that is how Ryan Reynolds chose to publicly mark his wife's 32nd birthday in 2019, with a bit of affectionate trolling, which is what they do to show the world that they are just that into each other.

Of course, everyone matures, so Reynolds' slideshow for his beloved's 35th featured much clearer snaps of Lively's face, minus the one where her visage is obscured by a lettuce leaf.

Needless to say, we can't wait to see what he comes up with for her big 3-6 on Aug. 25.

Every Time Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds Have Trolled Each Other

But rest assured she returns the favor, which is why their dynamic is a whole vibe. Last year, Lively shared a video of Reynolds from the coverage of a Wrexham AFC (the Welsh soccer team he bought with Rob McElhenney in 2020) match, writing, "I bought espn+ today. Just to watch my husband experience crippling anxiety live. Worth it." 

And just last month the Gossip Girl star confirmed that the father of her four children is not her trainer.

But that's just what they do, and most doctors would agree that's the leading reason why the masses are invested in their quietly epic love story.

"It's sort of like what my dad used to say," Reynolds mused on Live with Kelly and Ryan in May 2019. "'If you can't say anything nice, say something embarrassing.' So, that's sort of how we roll."

Michael Simon/startraksphoto.com

The Deadpool star added, "I think it's a sign of a healthy relationship, personally. I do." Asked if any of his public cracks about Lively ever got him into trouble, he said he figured their fans by now know that he kids. "It gets me in trouble, you know, at home," Reynolds quipped. "But I can handle that."

Oh, likewise, sir.

"Happy Birthday, baby," Lively wrote on Instagram when Reynolds turned 41 in 2017, captioning a photo of Ryan Gosling with her husband mainly cropped out.

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When Lively was busy tweeting teasers for her 2018 thriller A Simple Favor, Reynolds pleaded for answers to the secrets the movie promised to reveal.

"Oh darling, of all the secrets I'm keeping from you, this should be the LEAST of your concerns... trust me," Lively shot back.

Indeed, couples who don't take themselves too seriously but treat their relationship with reverence tend to be the winners at the game of togetherness.

It also helps when they appear to be on the same page about everything that really matters—which, incidentally, is all the stuff that happens behind closed doors.

Matt Baron/Shutterstock

Back when their marriage was only a couple years old, Lively told E! News in 2014 that they normally made gifts for each other for their anniversary, "because that's something that lasts and isn't something you just found and bought in a store."

And so far Reynolds and Lively have welcomed four human beings into the world without press releases or the sort of fanfare that accompanies some famous-by-proxy little ones. 

Just as was the case when it was eventually reported that daughters James, 8, Inez, 6, and Betty, 3, had been born, their fourth baby arrived...earlier this year...and it's...a baby!

"Puppy Bowl Sunday 2023," Lively wrote on Instagram Feb. 12, without the baby bump she definitely had at Christmas time. "Been busy."

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Other than that... we'll see 'em when we see 'em.

"My husband and I chose a profession and a side effect of that is, your personal life is public," Lively told Marie Claire UK in 2015. "Our child hasn't had the opportunity to choose whether or not she wants her personal life to be public or not. So in order to give her as much normality as possible, we want her to have a childhood like we had."

She and Reynolds resigned themselves early on to the fact that they'd perennially be people of interest—and their online antics make them more interesting than some—but the family-oriented actors drew a thick line in the sand.

In 2016, pregnant with their second child, Lively told Marie Claire, "My family: That's the thing that I feel most protective of and the thing that I feel is the most exposed when I feel exploited. I'd rather not have to deal with it at all, but we knew the lifestyle we were getting into, and while it's hard… it's another thing when it's our child. She didn't have the opportunity to make a decision about what she wants."

Rob Latour/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

However, they did trot out the whole (at the time) gorgeous family—a day to remember for its rarity—when Reynolds received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2016.

"I want to thank my wife Blake, who is sitting right there, who is everything to me," the actor said in his acceptance speech. "You are the best thing that has ever happened to me. You make everything better. You make everything in my life better. You've given me two of the most incredible children I've ever hoped to have."

It did work better with a visual.

Cutest Celeb Kids on Instagram

The Lively-Reynolds brood will have more input on their social media footprints one day, but for now, Mom and Dad rule the roost—which is located primarily on a 2-acre farm in the New York suburbs rather than any show business epicenter. And by all accounts they have a successful power-sharing agreement.

"It's nice to have a partner in everything," Lively once told E! News.

Reynolds, who has been open about how he's been working out lingering father-son issues from his childhood by trying hard to be a different kind of dad, explained to Fatherly in 2019 that he and Lively try not to good-cop, bad-cop their kids.

"We don't work in those archetypes," with one being the main disciplinarian, he shared. "Expressing boundaries is important. I try to observe more than evaluate. You want them to grow up with a healthy sense of self but to understand that the world doesn't revolve around them. Empathy is a big cornerstone for Blake and me. I wish they taught empathy in schools."

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As for their decision to largely shield their kids from prying eyes, Reynolds said, "We live as normal a life as we can live. Our kids aren't a part of Instagram or social media. I talk about them, but I never post photos of them and neither has Blake. It's not something we would want to be a part of. Being in public is a choice that people should be allowed to make when they're of age. I would never want them to resent me for that. I want them to have as normal a childhood as possible."

There's at least one aspect of their kids' upbringing that is 100-percent recognizable.

Instagram / Ryan Reynolds

Their parents may not be showing off their baby pictures, but it's not as if the kids haven't been fodder for plenty of dad jokes, his inclination to troll not reserved for Lively alone.

"Our pediatrician, when she met Inez, she said, 'Oh, this one's shady,'" Reynolds, who has become renowned for his parenting anecdotes and do-not-as-I-say advice, also said on Live With Kelly and Ryan. "Even the other day, when we were traveling back home, we were at the airport and out of our whole family she's the only one that got the secondary security pat down at 2 years old. She just takes it like a hard-earned felon."

As perhaps evidenced by their witty approach to couplehood online, Lively has said that Reynolds is simply her best friend.

"In other relationships, if something came up I would call my girlfriends or my sister, and say, 'Hey, this is what he did—what should I do?'" she told Glamour. Whereas with him, we were friends for two years before we were ever dating. And I treat him like my girlfriend. 'I'm like, 'Hey, this happened. It upset me. This is how I feel. What do I do?' He does the same for me. He treats me like his best buddy."

Before that starts to sound too practical, take a quick walk down this very romantic memory lane:

June 2011: Co-Stars

Blake and Ryan's superhero flick, The Green Lantern, was released in theaters.

May 2012: Wedding Rumors

As their romance heated up, speculation that the two had already swapped vows started to spread. However, it turned out to be untrue.

September 2012: They Do!

Blake and Ryan tied the knot during a private ceremony in South Carolina on Sept. 9, 2012.

May 2014: Met Gala Sweethearts

Blake and Ryan looked absolutely stunning—and even showed some rare PDA—at the fashion event.

May 2014: Old Hollywood Glam

The pair looked like an old Hollywood couple at the Cannes Film Festival.

October 2014: Pregnant!

Blake announced her pregnancy on her lifestyle website Preserve, with the company sharing in a blog post: "Preserve at its core is about family. 'Family' is the single word our founder, Blake built this home on."

She gave birth to her and Ryan's first child, a daughter named James, in December 2014.


February 2016: Family Affair

Blake proudly supported her hubby at a special fan screening of Deadpool in New York City.

February 2016: A Match Made In Heaven

These two own the red carpet, as they did at the 2016 amfAR gala.

July 2016: Oh Baby!

Blake showed off her growing baby bump during a Cat & Jack event for Target. 

She and Ryan welcomed their second child, a daughter named Inez, in September 2016.

December 2016: Walking the Walk

When it was time for Ryan to receive his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Blake made sure their two kids were in attendance. 

December 2016: Magical Dates

In celebration of daughter James' birthday, the Hollywood couple headed to the Disneyland Resort for a special family day. 

April 2017: Time 100 Gala

The two sure make a handsome couple!

May 2017: Met Gala, Again

Blake and Ryan coordinated in blue accents at the opening of Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-Between exhibition. 

May 2019: Growing Family

Blake confirmed she was expecting her third child with Ryan when she showed off her baby bump at the premiere of Detective Pikachu.

The couple welcomed daughter Betty in October 2019.

May 2022: Hosts With the Most

Blake and Ryan served as co-chairs at the 2022 Met Gala, which was themed America: An Anthology of Fashion.

May 2022: Welcome to Wrexham

The actress was on hand to cheer on Ryan's soccer team Wrexham AFC in Wales.

September 2022: Big Brood

Blake shared that she was expecting again during an appearance at the Forbes Power Women's Summit: "I just like to create. Whether that's baking or storytelling or businesses or humans, I just really like creating."

She welcomed her and Ryan's fourth child in early 2023.

February 2023: Growing Family

In February 2023, Blake revealed she welcomed the couple's fourth child. "We wouldn't do this four times if we didn't love it," Ryan later shared during a CNBC interview. "Everybody's doing great. Everybody's actually doing fantastic."



(Originally published Sept. 9, 2019, at 11:18 a.m. PT)