Rebecca Romijn & Jerry O'Connell's Badminton Obsession

The game helps the engaged couple keep their relationship hot, they tell PEOPLE

How do Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell – who first started seeing each other in August 2004 and then became engaged a year later – keep their relationship hot?

“I can’t believe I’m saying this publicly,” Crossing Jordan star O’Connell, 32, tells PEOPLE in its new issue. “We play a lot of badminton.”

How much? “An entire weekend,” says his fianc e. “We’ll play for four hours a day straight.”

The couple’s next love match will be their upcoming wedding, which, O’Connell says, will be “something very small, with just our siblings. Rebecca has a sister and I have a brother.”

The X-Men franchise actress, 33, was previously married to ER star John Stamos for 5 1/2 years. They split up in April 2004, and their divorce was finalized in March 2005.

Besides planning for the wedding, O’Connell says, “Rebecca and I are really into Dancing with the Stars. We’ve been taking ballroom dance lessons as a result of watching the show.”

Not that they plan to step before the TV cameras. “No way,” he says of the prospect of being on the show. “First of all, I can’t get the time off from work, but I would be too nervous.”

How nervous? “They would be like, ‘Here comes Jerry O’Connell,’ and then I would pass out,” he says. “And you can’t get scored if you pass out. But we just love this show. We’re reality TV crazy.”

As for Christmas, “I think Rebecca’s mom is going to cook for the holidays this year, which is interesting because my family usually buys a pre-made turkey at the supermarket or Koo-Koo-Roo,” says O’Connell, adding, “I’m certainly not cooking the turkey because, if I did, there would be salmonella everywhere. It would be bad. We don’t need any food poisoning going down.”

More seriously, he says, “In terms of the holidays, we are just very festive. Rebecca and I really get into it. And we’ve already started on it. We’ve started purchasing lights, we’ve started untangling lights. I think I’m going to do some fake snow on the roof since we’re here in Los Angeles.”

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