Cindy Crawford Loves a Kids-Free Night: 'It Reminds Me of When We First Got Together'

Cindy Crawford, 51, reveals the secret to her long-lasting marriage

Cindy Crawford’s marriage has never been stronger.

The supermodel, 51, and entrepreneur Rande Gerber have been married for 18 years, and now that their kids are teenagers—Presley, 17, and Kaia, 15—the cute couple is heading straight to Empty Nester Land… and liking it.

“Because we’re older, all of a sudden we’re finding that the kids have gone out on weekends, and we will be home in our home with no one around,” she tells PeopleStyle during an interview for the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.

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“We can go for a walk on the beach,” she says. “It reminds me of when we first got together. I love the simplicity. And we do not worry about the kids because they are fine. They’re doing their own thing.”

Making time for each other like this—even during their non-date night date nights—is what she credits as the secret to her long-lasting marriage.

“We prioritize that,” she says. “All throughout our marriage, we have made time to just be together, whether it’s a walk on the beach or a weekend away. And I think we laugh with each other and we really respect each other’s opinion. Even when we don’t agree. When he doesn’t agree with me, I am fascinated. I want to know why, because I respect him enough to hear him out and he does the same for me.”

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Soon, they’ll have more time for each other, as their kids grow up and, eventually, move out.

Both Presley and Kaia are following in her footsteps by pursuing modeling careers (and they’ve had successful starts!). But what does that mean for college? Crawford, who herself dropped out of college to follow her dream, isn’t so sure.

“This is a big topic in our house right now!” she says. “I would wish for both of my kids to at least have some part of college experience because and this is what both my husband and I are telling my son right now. You can always go back and take classes but you can never be a freshman in college again.”

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But her argument doesn’t hold up with the kids. “They love reminding me, ‘Mom, you dropped out.’ And I can’t argue with that. I would wish for both of them to at least have some part of the college experience, but when they’re working and making their own money it becomes a different conversation.”

In the meantime, she’s just setting an example for their careers through her actions. “If Kaia hears me being critical of myself, that’s what she is going to be,” says Crawford. “So even sometimes when I am, I don’t show it. I want to be a good example for both kids.”

With reporting by Jackie Fields

For more of our new interview with Cindy Crawford, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.

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