Yes, the women are at the forefront of the Real Housewives franchise, but another huge part of the series is their romantic relationships. There are those couplings fans root for and those they wish would split up already (*cough* John and Dorinda *cough*). Either way, Real Housewives focuses a lot on the love lives and families of the women, which are two huge components of who they are as individuals. If you've been watching each city since the beginning, then you probably feel like you know all there is to know about each couple, but do you really? Do you know how the biggest Real Housewives couples met? If not, let me educate you.
Some of the following couples met during filming, whereas others have been together longer than Housewives has been airing. Despite when and how they met, there is one thing all the couples have in common: Ever since connecting, these Bravolebrities haven't been able to get rid of one another (save for that one Real Housewives of Atlanta couple who actually got divorced and then remarried) and have formed an immensely strong bond. It's been apparent through each new and old episode, with each dramatic situation, and with each tabloid headline.
As of right now, it sure doesn't look like any of these couples are breaking up, so let's talk about how they came to be.
1. Lisa Vanderpump & Ken Todd
Like many other couples, Lisa and Ken met in a bar. In 1982, LVP showed up at a bar Ken owned called Corks. Rather than going straight into the bar, she decided to joke around and pretend to be the bouncer at the door, or as she told the Evening Standard in August 2002, "I was being a smartarse." As she was working her new "job," Ken came to the door. "I tried to charge him to come in," she said. Immediately, Ken was smitten with Lisa. "She was like a breath of fresh air coming into my life," he said. As for Lisa, she said about their first encounter, "I thought, hello, he looks interesting." Clearly, it was love at first sight, because they got married six weeks later.
2. Tamra & Eddie Judge
Real Housewives of Orange County fans should recall Season 6, aka where they first met Eddie. Remember when he and Tamra spent time in the bathtub? Moving on... Before getting all steamy on camera, Tamra and Eddie knew each other because he was actually a friend of Simon Barney, Tamra's ex-husband, Simon told RadarOnline in February 2010. That same month, Tamra also confirmed her relationship with Eddie to RadarOnline, "I started dating Eddie Judge last week. We started hanging out together more after my separation and one thing led to another. We had been friends for over a year." The two dated for three years before getting married in June 2013.
3. Heather & Terry Dubrow
Here's proof that asking for a set-up can lead to marriage. That's right, Heather and Terry met on double date. The RHOC star opened up about how they met during her November 2015 podcast. When she was 27, Heather asked her friend's boyfriend if he knew any Jewish doctors she could meet and eventually she ended up a on a double date with Terry. "He wasn't really my type, but you know, I was like, 'We'll see,'" she admitted. Even though it wasn't love at first sight for Heather, she went out with him again and that was basically it, especially after she saw him at the airport before going on a weekend getaway. "From the moment I saw him at the airport, it was over. I knew I was gonna marry him. It was like we were a married couple. It's like, we saw each other, smiled, gave each other a kiss, and it was magical, and it was done." They got married in 1999.
4. Kyle Richards & Mauricio Umansky
When Kyle and Mauricio first met in 1994, she was actually engaged to another man. During a December 2014 Watch What Happens Live appearance, Kyle admitted that she was engaged to Michael Tuck, who was a news anchor for San Diego's CBS affiliate. Kyle never ended up marrying Tuck, because apparently she fell for Mauricio. It's unclear where and how they exactly met, but they obviously hit it off immediately. They got married in 1996, while she was four months pregnant with their daughter Alexia.
5. Shannon & David Beador
Shannon and David's relationship has unfortunately been dragged through the tabloids due to his affair, which was also featured in RHOC Season 10. Before any of that happened, they were blissfully happy, just like they seem to be now after all of their marriage troubles. After Shannon moved to Orange County, she met David. The details surrounding how they met are unclear, but they obviously hit it off, because they've been married for 16 years. In August Bravo blog, Shannon mentioned that the proposal was super special, because "My birthday is a significant day for David and I. On March 24, 1999, David proposed to me."
6. LuAnn de Lesseps & Tom D'Agostino Jr.
They haven't been together that long, but Real Housewives of New York City viewers won't argue that LuAnn and Tom's relationship isn't major thanks to all of the drama surrounding it. How did they meet? The Countess has her BFF Dorinda Medley to thank for introducing her to Tom. As Dorinda told Bravo's The Daily Dish in February, "[I'm] thrilled and surprised that it happened so quickly, of course, but I knew from the beginning that they had met each other's match." She added, "I always thought they were practically mirrors of each other — very similar personalities, tastes, and definitely sense of humor."
7. Carole Radziwill & Adam Kenworthy
This is one Real Housewives couple fans actually saw meet. It was Season 7 of RHONY when Carole and Adam met. While hanging out at LuAnn's Hampton house, private chef Adam was hired to cook for the women. Immediately, Carole was attracted and the rest is basically history, save for all of that drama The Countess threw her way for dating someone so young who was also her niece's ex-boyfriend. Despite the latter, Carole and Adam have managed to make it work.
8. Dorinda Medley & John Mahdessian
Whether you like Dorinda and John together or not, they've been a couple since 2011 and aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Did you know that they met through Richard Medley, Dorinda's late husband? In an April 2015 interview with OK!, Dorinda dished,
"Actually, believe it or not, I met him initially through my late husband at a private club in the city. We belonged to a small little club and he was there with John. I mean, we were never close but we’d always see him at this little club and say hi and have a drink and he was always nice. Then, about five, six months later after he died, I ran into him and he said, 'Oh my God, how’s Richard?' I said, 'Well, he passed.' He said, 'Why don’t we grab some lunch?' It really just developed as a friendship and after someone passes, you’re not looking to get together with someone. You’re rebuilding and he’s been such a good friend and such a great companion and you know, three years on it’s turned into a full-blown relationship and we’re very close. You know, I love him. He is such a nice guy."
9. Teresa & Joe Giudice
These two met in New Jersey, because of course they did. Actually, did you know that Joe and Teresa were high school sweethearts? They first met when Teresa was only 14 years old and after 13 years of dating, they tied the knot in October 1999. Clearly, they've shown that love does stand the test of time, because after everything these two Real Housewives of New Jersey stars have been through, they continue to stand by one another.
10. Melissa & Joe Gorga
These two love birds met when Melissa was 21 and on spring break with her friends in Cancun, Mexico. She told Examiner.com all about their first encounter and said, "We were both there and he was there with his friends and he says that I went walking by with my girlfriends and my bikini, and he remembers everything that I was wearing like it was yesterday." She added, "He pointed to me and said, 'That’s going to be my wife.' His best friend that was with him confirmed this story all the time, so that was kind of the first time we met unofficially. Then we were back in New Jersey in the summer at a beach club and he saw me and it just went from there." They've been married since 2004.
11. Jacqueline & Chris Laurita
In 1996, Jacqueline and Chris first met. While modeling at a trade show in Chicago, the Real Housewives of New Jersey star ended up meeting her husband. "My coworker suggested we meet Chris and his brothers out after work the day we met," she told Millennium magazine in April 2014. "Chris's brother knew my co-worker’s sister. So, she told me they were good guys and said that Chris said he wouldn’t go unless I went. I was intrigued. So I went. At dinner, we talked all night and had an instant connection. As though we knew each other forever. We talked and talked, and exchanged numbers." The ended up dating long-distance for five years, which took its toll and they broke up for almost a year. But that didn't last as Jacqueline explained, "I was miserable, tried dating, and realized that I needed him in my life. When we reconnected, Chris flew out and made a surprise proposal to me in front of my daughter Ashley." They tied the knot in 2002.
12. NeNe & Gregg Leakes
Their love story is unlike all the rest. During a January 2014 appearance on Bethenny, Gregg opened up about how he met NeNe — not at a strip club, but while she was working at one. "I picked mine up. She used to work there [at the strip club] and when I went there and I saw her... That’s not where I met her. She invited me to her job and I graciously accepted." In 1998, they got married for the first time, but it didn't last and they ended up getting divorced in 2011 after 13 years of marriage. Now, this is where things get interesting. They got remarried in June 2013. As NeNe told Andy Cohen in 2013 on Watch What Happens Live about why they reconciled, "I've known Gregg since 1996 and I never really wanted to divorce Gregg. I believe that as women you have to stand for something or fall for anything and I think that we teach men how to treat us. And I had to stand, honey... take it for what it's worth."
13. Kandi Burruss & Todd Tucker
This is another relationship Bravo fans saw play out in front of their eyes. During the filming for Season 4 of RHOA, Todd was working on production for the show at the time when the women were on a trip to South Africa. "I was trying to play it cool in Africa as it's against the rules to cross the line with the talent," Todd wrote in a June 2014 Bravo blog. "In Production that's a big NO NO! … I loved her smile, she had a great butt! LOL! She seemed very humble and genuine." He ended up quitting the show so they could be together. Kandi told Glamour in April 2013, "That was a big decision for him to have to make. He resigned, but then they came back and said they didn't want him to quit." The couple married in April 2014.
And now you know the ins and outs of the how biggest Real Housewives couples met.
Image: Charles Sykes/Bravo