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“Reacher”'s Alan Ritchson Met His Wife in High School Ballet Class — and It Was 'Super Awkward'

The 41-year-old actor reflected on his meet-cute with his wife of nearly three decades, Catherine, in a profile for 'Men's Health'

<p>John Nacion/Variety via Getty</p> Catherine Ritchson and Alan Ritchson at the New York premiere of "Ordinary Angels" held at the SVA Theatre on February 19, 2024 in New York City.

John Nacion/Variety via Getty

Catherine Ritchson and Alan Ritchson at the New York premiere of "Ordinary Angels" held at the SVA Theatre on February 19, 2024 in New York City.

Alan Ritchson and his wife Catherine are high school sweethearts, but their decades-long love story didn’t start off smoothly.

The Reacher star, 41, recalled how he first met his wife of nearly three decades in a profile for Men’s Health — and revealed the waiting game he played before he actually talked to her.

They were in the same ballet class in high school in Florida, he told the outlet. But it was months before he worked up the courage to talk to her — and only after he had a friend do some digging on her interests. Once he learned she was into ice skating, he approached her.

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“After the millionth time of us sitting next to each other, inches away, tying our shoes — so now it’s super awkward — I was like, ‘So, I heard you ice-skate,’” he recalled of his 17-year-old self. “She was like the sweetest thing in the world.”

<p>Alan Ritchson Instagram</p> Alan Ritchson and Catherine Ritchson with their kids Calem, Edan, and Amory.

Alan Ritchson Instagram

Alan Ritchson and Catherine Ritchson with their kids Calem, Edan, and Amory.

Related: Celebrity Couples Who Are High School Sweethearts

Catherine, who was 16 at the time, has shared a similar story of their first meeting. In September, she said on The Road to Wisdom podcast, “I’ll never forget seeing him for the first time in the studio. I turned to my friend Miriam and I said, ‘Who is that?’ He, at some point, came up to me and we just got chatting.”

The pair dated for a while but Ritchson broke up with her at the end of their first summer together, she said. He’d assumed it was “just a fling.”

“I’ve made him pay for it ever since,” she joked. “He still justifies it. He’s like, ‘You lived 30 minutes away, I couldn’t afford gas.’”

They reconnected while Catherine was in college at the University of Florida. Ritchson came to Miami for a modeling shoot, and a mutual friend put them in contact. The rest is “history after then,” she said on the podcast.

<p>AB+DM for Men's Health</p> Alan Ritchson for Men's Health

AB+DM for Men's Health

Alan Ritchson for Men's Health

Ritchson and Catherine got married in 2006 and have since welcomed three sons together: Calem, born in 2012, Edan, born in 2013, and Amory, born in 2015.

On Valentine’s Day this year, the Ordinary Angels star paid tribute to his wife on Instagram, as he wrote, “My beautiful bride. Happy day of love. You give my life meaning and purpose beyond the temporary and entertaining. You reach past important and stretch my soul towards essential. I’ve felt eternity on your lips and known forever in your embrace. I will forever and always be your servant.”

<p>AB+DM for Men's Health</p> Alan Ritchson for Men's Health

AB+DM for Men's Health

Alan Ritchson for Men's Health

Catherine also shows her love for her husband on her social media. Following the premiere of season 2 of Amazon Prime Video's Reacher — in which Ritchson stars as the character Tom Cruise played in two movies, army veteran Jack Reacher, based on Lee Child's novels of the same name — in December, she wrote of the actor, "This guy worked harder than you can imagine; so proud of him."

The year before, when Reacher premiered — and received rave reviews — she reflected on the years of hard work Ritchson had put into the role, writing, "To say 'I'm so proud of him' won't ever grasp it. I hope you love this series as much as Alan loved making it. Because my goodness did he put his all into making it."

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The first two seasons of Reacher are currently streaming on Prime Video.

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Read the original article on People.