Entertainment Music Country Thomas Rhett on How His Wife's Dad Jump-Started Their Romance: 'It Was a Total Ryan Gosling Moment' Thomas Rhett and his wife Lauren were friends for years growing up, but the country star needed a little push to tell her how he really felt By Maria Pasquini Maria Pasquini Associate Editor, Human Interest - PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on July 9, 2019 09:00 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Thomas Rhett and his wife Lauren have been close since they were teens, but it didn’t always seem like romance was in the cards for them. Although the country star, 29, and his wife met back in sixth grade, and were friends for years, he needed a little push to tell her how he really felt. “It was a sliding-door moment, where it could’ve gone the other way. We were dating other people. In another world, we might have married them,” he shared in an interview with Holly Gleason for HITS Daily Double. “There was always something different about Lauren, and we both felt it, but we never figured it out.” Fortunately for Thomas Rhett, his future father-in-law intervened. “I’d loved that girl since high school, and I told her father how I felt. He said, ‘If you don’t tell her, I’m going to.’ It was a total Ryan Gosling moment,” he explained. “I said to her, ‘I just want to kiss you one time. If you don’t feel anything, we can go back to being friends.'” Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic Summing up his experience, Thomas Rhett shared that he’s learned “it’s best to confront things instead of holding them in,” as “that creates resistance instead of resolution.” Thomas Rhett Akins/Instagram Why Thomas Rhett Says He Would Eventually Regret Having Only Two Children with Wife Lauren While the pair have been happily married since 2012, and share daughters Ada James, 22 months, and Willa Gray, 3½, their relationship isn’t without its challenges. Opening up about his personal song “Dream You Never Had,” which details the sacrifices Lauren has made because of his career, Rhett shared that the track is “probably the hardest song I’ve ever written.” “It’s that personal level where I’m opening her truth up. Because if you’d asked my wife at 18, ‘Do you wanna marry a country singer?’ she’d have said no. And I remember saying to her, ‘Look, I love you and I wanna marry you. But you may hate this life. I’m gonna be gone a lot, and you’re gonna be alone handling things — or you’re gonna be out there with me away from everything in your life,’” he explained. “I wanted to be honest with her, because it’s not what people think,” he added. “She has to give a lot to me, and I have to give a lot to her—not have to but want to.” RELATED VIDEO: Thomas Rhett on Shooting the ‘Look What God Gave Her Video’ with His Kids: It’s ‘A Family Affair’ Over the course of his career, Thomas Rhett has learned to write songs that accurately speak to where he is in his life, instead of just focusing on making songs that “felt like hits” — especially as his star continued to rise and he was afforded opportunities like performing on Saturday Night Live. “[Chris] Stapleton gave me a bit of advice when things started to happen. He said, ‘You always have to remember you’re not trying to be a pop singer. You’re a guest in their world,’ ” Thomas Rhett shared. “With a song like ‘Look What God Gave Her,’ he told me, ‘You didn’t write it for the pop charts; you wrote it for your wife. If you’re lucky, pop fans are gonna hear it and go, ‘Who is that guy?’ Maybe they go check out your music and like it. But that’s all you need,’ ” he added.