Kristen Bell told us why being the “polar opposite” of Dax Shepard makes their relationship work

Kristen Bell knows we all think she and Dax Shepard are #relationshipgoals. But that seemingly effortless bliss? It’s taken real work. “We went to a therapist really early, not necessarily because we hated each other, but because we wanted to better handle the opposition we were feeling,” Bell told HelloGiggles. “It was the best thing we ever could have done, so we’re very candid about how much we believe in therapy, because we are polar opposites.”

Bell explained that she and Shepard think it’s “imperative” that they’re open and honest about how they function as a couple precisely because they’re considered #goals—it’s the responsible thing to do. And while therapy has helped the pair learn to communicate through their differences, Bell also said their opposite natures help keep their relationship balanced.

“[We’re opposites in] literally every way you could imagine,” she told HG at an event in Los Angeles celebrating her partnership with American Express Blue Cash Preferred card. “He loves junk food, I’m a health nut. We watch Frontline and 60 Minutes every week together—we always come out rooting for someone else.”

Here’s another example: Bell and Shepard used to love watching a dating show on MTV called Are You the One? (it used math to try to match perfect pairs), but they always disagreed about people on the show. “I would see someone like John, and I would say, ‘John is such a sweetheart,’ and [Shepard] is like, ‘Honey, John is a dog. John is a womanizer, and I can guarantee he’s going to batter someone before the show is over.’ And I was like, ‘How dare you!’ We have opposite instincts about people.”

"He describes us like this," she continued. "When someone passes us on the street, I turn back and I go, 'That might be the person that cures cancer.' And he turns back and goes, 'That guy better not have grabbed my wallet.' There's never been a better description of who we are. And yet, his protective instincts are needed sometimes, and my naïveté is stupid sometimes. And then other times, his suspicion is not warranted and my belief in other people lifts them up. So we really balance each other."

It’s exactly that kind of self-reflection and thoughtfulness that makes them #goals.

Differences and all, Bell and Shepard have been together since 2007 and married since 2013, and they share two young daughters, Delta and Lincoln. Whatever they’re doing in therapy (and life), it’s clearly working.