Valerie Bertinelli Reveals ‘Three-Week Rule’ She Has with New Boyfriend

Valerie Bertinelli’s new relationship is “unlike any connection I’ve ever felt,” she says. “Mature, kind, thoughtful, patient.” 

“I’m glad it’s happening. But it’s like, what the heck is happening? It’s a seesaw of emotions,” the star and cookbook author tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue.

Bertinelli, 63, and the East Coast writer — who’s 10 years her junior — first became friendly a few years ago when he commented on one of her Instagram posts. “I thought he was interesting,” she says. “It was strictly platonic, but there was something about him that I connected with that felt familiar. A comfort level. He felt like a kindred spirit.”

Valerie Bertinelli.

John Russo

From there, she says, “every few months he would DM me.” But things began to heat up in January when they first spoke on the telephone.

“I was very guarded, as was he,” says Bertinelli, who lives in Los Angeles. “His voice had the most beautiful timbre. I was like ‘Oh, I can’t talk to this man right now because that’s really sexy.’ We both had strong feelings, trying not to admit them.”

Valerie Bertinelli.

John Russo

Slowly they began to let their guard down. “We finally said, ‘Why are we doing this? It’s going to be challenging because it’s long distance but why not?” she says. “You only live once.” 

John Russo

They met in New York City in early March and had a romantic visit. “I’m driving up to meet him, and he’s already at the hotel standing outside,” she recalls of their first meeting. “I just jump out of the car, and I run to him, and I hug him. It was the best hug. I immediately felt like I was home. This is where I belong, in this man’s arms. It all feels incredibly right.”

They’ve since established the “three week rule.” 

 “We never go longer than that without seeing each other,” says Bertinelli, who’s new cookbook Indulge is out now. “After all, it’s about finding the joy in life and sharing it.”

For more on Valerie Bertinelli and Indulge, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday.


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