The Vanderpump Rules couple has shared all of their ups and downs with viewers, but now they're telling Bravo Insider all about their most formative year yet.
James Kennedy and Raquel Leviss have come a long way since they first started dating in 2016. The couple’s been sharing their journey with Vanderpump Rules viewers for years, but in a recent interview with Bravo Insider, they revealed that out of everything they’ve been through, the past few months have been the most formative.
After a year spent unlike any other due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, James has witnessed the ways in which a relationship can suffer. “I think that quarantine has challenged a lot of relationships and couples have made a lot of decisions whether to stay with their person,” James said. “I’ve seen a lot of my friends breaking up with their girlfriends and vice versa. So I think me and Raquel, we’ve stayed strong. We’ve learned so much about each other, and we love each other more than ever before.”
“I would say the pandemic is really a make or break situation. It really tests your relationship to see, in the long run, how are things going to pan out?” Raquel added. “Without the parties, without the TV shows, without everything that LA life has to offer… we still love hanging out with each other and being with each other every day.”
So what has the last year looked like for these two? According to Raquel, “Just like, chilling and being a homebody.” James joked that “every day is just f---ing romance with Raquel,” immediately adding that they’re actually quite old-fashioned in the sense that he’s the one who does most of the chasing.
“I think the guy’s job is romancing,” said James, who filled their bedroom with rose petals and candles for a particularly swoon-worthy Valentine’s Day celebration this year. “She doesn’t need to try that hard.”
Finding time to appreciate small moments with one another has been key over the past year, which also consisted of some major life lessons.
“Honestly, I couldn’t imagine drinking during this terrible year that we’ve been through. Can you imagine just like, getting drunk at home all the time? Sobriety just goes hand in hand with everything that’s been going well,” James said, also noting that his relationship with Raquel has continued to strengthen since becoming sober in the summer of 2019. “I think with the pandemic, you’ve really got to adapt and adapt for the better. You’ve gotta jump on things real quick and get your routine down quick and you need to just go with the flow. Because nothing is guaranteed. This life is not guaranteed. If anything, this year has taught us that. I lost my grandma recently to corona, so it’s been the worst year for my family. She was the absolute glue to our family, and just a love and light radiating.”
Despite all of the challenges, James and Raquel remain incredibly positive. “We made the most of it for sure. I guess that’s the most important part of it,” said James. “It’s realizing what you guys have together, which is the most important thing.”
As for what the future holds for these two?
“We want to travel the world,” said James, noting that their first destination will be somewhere tropical. “We want to discover the wonders of the world together.”
They’re also working on some individual goals. James is continuing to develop his music career; in the last year, he’s signed with Spinning Records, collaborated with Jason Derulo, and created his own original tracks. In his downtime, he’s creating all kinds of remixes to share with his fans on TikTok and Instagram. Raquel is back to working at SUR, and plans to take the GRE in coming months to pursue an educational career to eventually work as an occupational therapist with children with special needs.
Another huge life update for James and Raquel is that they’ll soon be returning to Vanderpump Rules. On April 27, it was announced that the couple would be returning for Season 8 alongside Lisa Vanderpump, Tom Schwartz, Tom Sandoval, Katie Maloney-Schwartz, Ariana Maddix, Scheana Shay, and Lala Kent. The series is set to resume production next month.
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