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How Tom Ford Found 'Love at First Sight'— and Makes His 30-Year Relationship Last

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For more from Tom Ford, watch the full episode of The Jess Cagle Interview, available now on the new People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the PEN app on Apple TV, Roku Players, Amazon Fire TV, Xumo, Chromecast, iOS

Most people romanticize the idea of “love at first sight,” but for Tom Ford, it actually happened.

Sitting down with PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly editorial director Jess Cagle, the fashion designer-turned-director recalls the moment he fell for husband Richard Buckley.

“Our eyes locked and within a month we were living together,” he says during an appearance on The Jess Cagle Interview. “We have been together ever since. This December will be 30 years.”

Even after three decades, Ford, 55, can “vividly” remember the first time he met Buckley, who was a fashion journalist at the time. The two were riding in an elevator together — and it didn’t take long for their connection to become clear. By the end of the ride, Ford says he knew he would spend the rest of his life with Buckley.

“By the time that elevator landed on the ground floor I thought, ‘You’re the one.’ That’s it. Click. Sold,” he says. “It was literally love at first sight.”

Rabbani and Solimene Photography/WireImage

 

Ford and Buckley tied the knot in 2014, and are parents to 4-year-old son Alexander John Buckley Ford.

The director of the new thriller Nocturnal Animals, out Nov. 18, says the key to their lasting love boils down to respect.

“If the person you’re with is someone you respect, who you believe has a great heart and a great soul, as good a heart and soul that you will ever find, don’t ever leave them,” Ford explains, “because you won’t find anyone better.”