Why Katherine Ryan Was So Reluctant To Marry Her Childhood Sweetheart

The comedian said she “tried to resist,” but Bobby Kootstra was too great to walk away from.

Katherine Ryan & Bobby Kootstra
David M. Benett/Getty

Katherine Ryan is set to host a new reality TV dating show where 12 guys fight it out to date one girl and win £50k. The no-nonsense comedian feels like the perfect choice for a hilarious voice of reason on Ready to Mingle. But is Katherine Ryan loved up herself? Well, the story of how she met her current partner is almost too cute to be true.

In June, Katherine Ryan announced that she’d be adding more dates to her Missus tour, where she’ll be telling fans exactly what it’s been like transitioning from a single mother of one to a married mother of two. Ryan entered a civil partnership with Bobby Kootstra in 2019 after they’d started dating a year before, per The Sun. However, the couple have known each other for a very long time.

In 2018 Ryan went back to Canada to film her episode of Who Do You Think You Are?. She reconnected with Kootstra while she was there, and a year later, they tied the knot. One year might seem like a whirlwind romance, but the pair had been childhood sweethearts two decades earlier.

She told OK, “I met Bobby, again when I was in a position of pure comfort with being single... My last show was a celebration of being single. I was really trying to communicate to people that you aren’t defined by your relationship. And I totally stand by that. However, then I got married. I didn’t mean to – it was an accident.”

Although a lot of Ryan’s comedy pivots on her being single, she explained to The Sun that Kootstra was too great to walk away from.

“Magically my high school boyfriend walked into my life and I did everything possible not to marry him. I really was against partnership at that point. I was looking forward to ageing alone with many dogs. And then I just loved him too much,” she said, “It’s funny that fate has a way of finding you and what’s meant for you won’t pass you.”

Marriage wasn’t something Ryan went into lightly, and in interviews, she’s been open about how she initially fought against her relationship with Kootstra. “I tried to resist, I looked for reasons not to go ahead with the partnership because I genuinely loved my independent life,” she told the Daily Mail. “But everything was just so easy between us, and Bobby genuinely fitted in around both me and my daughter; he was an asset to both of us.”

Ryan already had a daughter from a previous relationship, 11-year-old Violet. Violet and her myriad pets have featured heavily in Ryan’s stand-up routines over the years. And in June 2021 Ryan welcomed her first child with Kootstra. She’s shared her new life with baby Frederick on her Instagram.

In a side-by-side picture of herself and Kootstra decades ago and them with their son today, she wrote, “I still can’t believe we have an actual baby @bobby_k__ (and a pool.)”