Now, in an interview with the New York Times, Paulson, 41, is opening up about what the overwhelming reaction was like, her decision not to label her sexuality and her tendency to date older partners (Taylor is 73).
As for the hubbub that erupted over their relationship, the American Horror Story fixture and now American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson star told the newspaper the sudden attention was “surreal.”
“My choices in romantic partners have not been conventional, and therefore the idea that it is ‘other’ makes it compelling,” she acknowledged.
As it turns out, the two have been together for a little more than a year: They originally met a dinner party about a decade ago (Paulson, though dating someone else at the time, thought Taylor was “probably the most exquisitely beautiful woman I’d ever seen”), and then crossed paths a few years later, at which point they followed each other on Twitter, exchanged direct messages and decided to go out for dinner. (And as we’ve seen, the two are rather adorable on social media.)
Before Taylor, Paulson was in a seven-year relationship with actress Cherry Jones, who is 18 years older than she is. She has also dated men and was previously engaged to actor and playwright Tracy Letts, nine years older than her.
The actress has never kept any of her relationships secret, and told the NYT she opts not to label her sexuality for fear of being “skewered” should her dating habits change at some point.
“If my life choices had to be predicated based on what was expected of me from a community on either side, that’s going to make me feel really straitjacketed, and I don’t want to feel that,” she said. “What I can say absolutely is that I am in love, and that person happens to be Holland Taylor.”
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As for the fact that she said she has never had a serious relationship with someone her own age, Paulson explained she has always found herself gravitating towards her elders: “I had a complicated home life, and my teachers, predominantly my theater teachers and my English teachers, were very dedicated to taking care of me in a particular way,” she said. “And in doing so, I think I developed a very easy rapport with people older than myself.”
“There’s a poignancy to being with someone older,” she added. “I think there’s a greater appreciation of time and what you have together and what’s important, and it can make the little things seem very small. It puts a kind of sharp light mixed with a sort of diffused light on something. I can’t say it any other way than there’s a poignancy to it, and a heightened sense of time and the value of time.”