It starts with the age-old story of boy meets girl, boy has crush on girl but girl isn’t interested in him like that so nothing ever comes of it but they become close friends. Then, they part ways for post-secondary school and lose contact. Years later, they meet up again but it seems like they're each happily partnered with someone else, until fate finally brings them together.
In April 2023, Anderson and Patterson celebrated their eight-year anniversary. The couple launched a YouTube channel together in 2019 posting funny videos. Now they’re known collectively as Kristen & Reafe or Love K&R by their millions of supporters on social media, and are a certified content-creating power couple. Kristen and Reafe are represented by creative influencer marketing agency, EQ, and they’ve partnered with brands like Mary Browns, Old Spice, Uber Eats and the NBA.
A quick look at their individual or joint Instagram accounts could give the impression that they’re two globe-trotting models who are too hot and too cool to be bothered. But watching their videos is what reveals their true core: two big personalities with loving, infectious energy, whose chemistry is palpable.
Their social media pages are full of videos of Kristen and Reafe pranking each other, taking part in viral trends, and finding all manner of ways to have fun together.
They say that making these videos is one of the ways they enjoy spending time together and celebrating their love. The duo says they’re happy to share their joy with the world, a sentiment which came across when we spoke in April.
Why did you decide to become for lack of a better term an internet couple?
Reafe: I used to prank her without the camera. One day a couple of years ago, I saw a couple doing the same thing, but they recorded it. So I said, “Let's record it.” She said “No, absolutely not. I don’t want to put my life out there.” She wanted to be an actress and was going to acting school but wasn't really getting many opportunities. My goal was to become a professional soccer player but it didn't happen. So I thought, my goal didn't work out but maybe we can get her goal to work out. So, one day I said, “We're doing this, no questions asked. We're just gonna do this, have fun and be ourselves.”
Kristen: Initially, I was not for the idea at all because so many people online get so much hate, and there's so much judgment that comes along with it. So I said no but then once we started and people were finding our channel, it just took off from there.
What made you change your mind from a hard no to something that you could not only get on board with but actually like participating in?
K: Honestly, he just kept saying, “Trust me on this” and things like “Don't you love acting and being on camera, this is what you want to do so let's just try to make something different.” I thought that that made sense, so we shot a video called “How we met.”
R: That was the first video on Kristen & Reafe. Our first video ever was of her cutting my hair for the first time.
K: The video was a mess. (both) It was horrible.
How was the cut?
K: Horrible! All around it was really bad but you have to start somewhere and it was hilarious.
What kind of comments and engagement do you get from people who watch your videos?
R: There’s a range of comments, someone will say, “I was having a terrible day and I watched your video and it put a smile on my face” or “It brings joy to my life.”That's what keeps us going, our supporters because they're so uplifting. They’ll send us messages every day telling us how much we’ve changed their lives and they’re changing our lives as well. It’s amazing.
K: When we put videos out, we're not thinking, “Oh, this is gonna change someone's life.” But we get comments saying, “Your family life is so much like mine.” I lost my mother or I lost my son and this brought back so many good memories.
R: People will comment about the food we’re eating reminding them of their family’s cooking or things they used to eat, things like that.
K: There are people trying to get in a relationship or who are in a relationship, and they’ll say, “You guys are the ultimate couple goals. We actually believe love’s not dead. Hookup culture is not the plan for us, we want something real like what you have.” Looking at those comments makes us say “Wow.”
K: But then there's also a downside because there are negative ones too. Some people say our content is 'cringe' or we’ll get death threats.
R: A lot of comments about her body; she’s skinny, she’s anorexic, she’s bougie, stuff like that. It’s crazy.
K: We just try to keep it positive and light on our channel but we still get those comments.
How do you define couple goals?
K: For me, couple goals is just being with someone that you absolutely adore and being on the same page about life and all your goals. Someone who can support you and everything that you want to do and I think that since we've been together, we've literally supported each other through everything. We started off as friends and then we moved on to lovers. I think couple goals is growing together and being there for each other no matter what.
R: I agree. I’d define it as showcasing our love and expressing that to the world. This is real, it's not always perfect, sometimes we have challenges that we face as a couple but overcoming those challenges is couple goals. We're still together and strong and we love each other and showcase that day in, day out.
K: In short, couple goals for us means being loud about our love.
How do you decide how much of your relationship you share?
K: Sometimes we struggle with that because we feel like parts of our lives are boring, like if we're just sitting around the house. But it turns out that's what our audience wants to see. So, in the first part of our life online we were just showing content that was super funny or super shocking. Then we started to show the back end of our lives too and people really liked that. So, it depends on what we’re doing that day, maybe we’ll shoot this or that. And if he has a prank in mind, he's obviously not going to tell me and he'll just do something to me, then it’s like “Well, I guess there's our video.”
R: We show what we want to show and keep off what we want to keep off, essentially. We're not going to put everything out there because we know the Internet can be harsh and people will judge and there are certain things people don't know if they just saw 20 minutes from a video. We don't keep every single detail in because you do want to keep some stuff to yourself. We don't want to ever cross boundaries or jeopardize our relationship by putting too much out. Obviously, if we get into a massive argument we wouldn't show that on camera but we rarely argue.
Do you share more of your relationship now than you did in the early days?
R: I think that was one of the keys because we were doing Love K&R and it was amazing but people weren’t there for us. And one of our main things was we wanted to showcase us and who we are so we had to open the door to that which means we’ve got to do videos that showcase us, our love, what we do in a day, our challenges, how we interact and bond; all of that stuff. People have said we have the craziest chemistry and that's what people want to see. so that's just what we decided to do.
Is there anything you’ve learned about yourselves, your partner or your relationship through the process of making these videos and having a presence on social media as a couple?
K: I used to care about what people said and thought about me but during this whole influencer journey, I realized that I shouldn't take anything personally because everyone's going to have an opinion of you whether you do one thing or not and you can't please everybody. I learned how to stop being a people pleaser and just live my life for me, how I want to live our life together because that's the only way we'll be truly happy at the end of the day.
R: I always knew I was a lover, but I learned that I’m a real lover of her during this journey. We literally built everything that we have together from the ground up; we were both working full-time jobs, we knew that one day we wanted to get a house together, we wanted to do things together. I use soccer to push me to where I am today because I failed at soccer, I told myself that when I attack this goal, I'm not going to fail. She's my right hand, the other half of my heart, she motivates me to do better, to not want to fail. I learned that she is my rock during this journey and I love her. Don't be scared to show that you're a loverboy. Some guys have said, “Oh, you're simp.” I am and I don't care.
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What do you hope people take away from watching your relationship journey?
K: I've always wanted people to know that we’re regular humans. We go through life with all of these emotions, and while we may have our little issues here and there, we still make it work and we love each other to the moon and back. I want people to know that with all of that, you can have a healthy, thriving relationship.
R: Especially because nowadays a lot of relationships don't last but real love is out there, you just have to manifest what you want and go after it. I manifested her into my life since I first laid eyes on her in secondary school. Manifest your love, manifest your goals and anything you want in life.
What advice do you have for a single person or couple who says “I want to be able to build or find something similar to what you two have?”
R: Don’t be too picky, nobody’s perfect and whatever you're looking for in a person, make sure you have that same thing going for you. You guys are supposed to build together so when you're being too specific, you're bypassing all your other potential perfect people because of tunnel vision. It’s obviously great to have a goal and have something in mind but be open to the possibilities.
K: I 100% agree and I feel like a lot of our relationship has been 50/50. We started from the bottom with no money to our name and to see where we are now it’s because we were able to listen and communicate with each other and were open to opinions throughout the entire relationship.
R: And when we say 50-50 it's not like, if you pay $10, I pay $10, it’s about what you bring to the table. What I lack, you’re really good at that, so you pick up my slack and I pick up yours, it’s simple. You work together as a team at the end of the day, so, be open. Don't be selfish and don't be afraid to love.
K: Watch out for the red flags. Once you see one, call it out.
R: Honesty from the get-go.
What’s the best part about being a content-creating couple?
R: Being able to wake up at noon (laughs)
K: Just being together 24/7, this is what we do for a living, so we're not going into an office.
R: Freedom. You're your own boss, so if you're not doing well you can only complain to yourself.
K: If we wanted to go to Jamaica today, we can just go and we've been trying to travel the world because what better time than now?
R: And we can film on the go too.
K: It creates so many different avenues for us. We started to dive into films and we now have two short films out; one for Halloween and one for Christmas. I wrote everything, we shot everything and we paid for it ourselves. So, we're diving into more goals that we've had for so long but weren't able to do because we were working a regular 9-5. It’s incredible, sometimes it feels like we’re living our dreams.
R: I definitely would say it’s the best thing that ever happened to us.