Valerie Bertinelli, Robert Downey Jr.’s relationship rules to follow: celebrity matchmaker

Celebrities, like regular people, tend to use rules to make marriages work.

Patti Stanger, the star of the newly released CW show, “Patti Stanger: The Matchmaker,” spoke to Fox News Digital about how a regular person’s relationship and a celebrity’s relationship are more similar than different.

“I have the two-week rule, but in today’s society it can be three because, back in the day, it was a two-week rule,” Stanger said. “You lose connection, so you can’t smell, taste, touch, oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine.

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“If you don’t have that every two, three weeks, you lose connection and men stray. They’re programed to stray. Not saying women can’t either, but it’s programed in the DNA because they don’t have any oxytocin to bond you. So, I agree with that rule. That is a fantastic rule.”

Valerie Bertinelli, who has been married and divorced twice, recently revealed she incorporates the “three-week rule” in her new relationship. The rule requires Bertinelli and her boyfriend to go no longer than three weeks without seeing each other.

However, that doesn’t seem to work for everyone. David Foster and Katharine McPhee, who tied the knot in 2019, navigate a relationship without any “hard and fast rules.”

Below is a breakdown of stars who have spoken out about how they make their relationships work.

Earlier this month, Bertinelli spoke to People about her new relationship with her “mature, kind, thoughtful, patient” beau, who is an East Coast-based writer 10 years younger than her. Bertinelli has opted not to reveal the identity of her new man.

Bertinelli, who lives in Los Angeles, told the outlet that their relationship is “unlike any connection I’ve ever felt” and shared how the pair make their long-distance romance work by visiting each other every three weeks.

“We never go longer than that without seeing each other,” the “One Day at a Time” star said. “After all, it’s about finding the joy in life and sharing it.”

Bertinelli explained that they were both hesitant about embarking on a long-distance relationship, but as their feelings grew, they decided to take a chance.

“We finally said, ‘Why are we doing this? It’s going to be challenging, because it’s long distance, but why not?’” she recalled. “You only live once.” 

The couple met in person for the first time, after messaging back-and-forth through Instagram, on a romantic trip to New York City in March. 

Robert Downey Jr. and his wife, Susan, practice the original rule Stanger swears by with her matchmaking services.

Susan spoke to People in March about how she and Downey Jr. follow the two-week rule in their marriage.

“We do have a two-week rule, which often feels too long, but we don’t go more than two weeks without seeing each other and the family being together,” Susan told the outlet. “Fortunately, we prefer to be a traveling circus when we can be.

“You keep the basic rule of two weeks, and then you don’t try and think too far ahead, because so much of what we do is oddly unpredictable,” she continued. “You just never know. Someone might get sick, or there might be a shutdown or this or that. So, you just have to have some basic things in place, and then you have to be willing to flow with the rest of it.”

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Susan, who married Downey Jr. 18 years ago, explained that her life is far more flexible than her husband’s, so it’s easier for her to manage a healthy work-life balance.

“The good news is I’m not in front of the camera, and so, as a producer, I end up with a little bit more flexibility in terms of location, of where I would need to be,” she shared. “I really admire and have a lot of empathy for couples who both have to be in front of the camera, because you get stuck, and you have to make those choices.”

The couple share two children, son Exton, 12, and daughter Avri, 9. Downey Jr. also has a son, Indio, 30, with ex-wife Deborah Falconer. 

David Foster and his wife of five years, Katharine McPhee, have ditched the idea of implanting rules to make their marriage work.

In an interview with People in March, Foster, 74, explained that being flexible with McPhee, 39, works best for their family.

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“[Marriage] is a moving target, as you probably know,” the music producer told the outlet. “If you’re a parent, then you absolutely know.”

When asked if there are any rules in their marriage, Foster said there aren’t “any hard and fast rules.”

Foster and McPhee tied the knot in 2019. They are parents of a 3-year-old son, Rennie.

Rennie is the sixth child for Foster and the first for McPhee. The record producer, who was previously married four times, is also a father to daughters Alison, Amy, Sara, Erin and Jordan.

Judge Judy has a different approach to maintaining a healthy relationship, and it includes not spending too much time together.

In January, Judge Judy, whose real name is Judy Sheindlin, spoke to E! News about her secret to her 47-year marriage to husband Jerry Sheindlin.

“You don’t spend 24 hours together because that’s deadly,” she revealed. “Jerry just celebrated his 90th birthday, and I still like to look at him when he walks in the room. That’s a key.”

Sheindlin married Jerry in 1977, the second marriage for both. They have five children between them — Gregory, Jamie, Jonathan, Adam and Nicole — and 13 grandchildren, including Sarah Rose, who appeared on “Judy Justice” with her grandmother.


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