While her character on The Office was single and always ready to mingle, Kate Flannery has actually been in a longtime relationship to Chris Haston  — and there’s a key behind their success.

“I think being older is a gift and you know, I’m a late bloomer in love too,” the 55-year-old exclusively tells Closer Weekly. “It took Chris and I to meet until I was 41, actually maybe I was 40 when I met him, but we didn’t start dating until I was 41. So yeah I think both of us have a lot more realistic expectations with each other and a little more patience and a much better sense of humor. There’s less drama. So you know, I think any relationship that makes it past a point where everyone’s a little older tends to do better if you can make it that far. … If you’re single and haven’t found the right person I’m here to tell you later is better. It’s actually really good!”

The TV star – who has been with Chris since 2006 — was recently a contestant on Dancing With the Stars season 28, being the fifth person eliminated — a new venture in Kate’s life that her man was all for. “He’s amazing. I think I took both of us out of our comfort zone because he wasn’t used to … I mean I’ve done scripted TV my whole career so doing reality TV means the time limits are so different, the hours are completely different,” Kate explains. “I was so busy every day. We started out four hours a day dancing, just dancing, and then we did some other stuff and then it went to six hours a day of just dancing, filming other stuff. And then eight hours a day of just dancing and filming other stuff. So he was great!”

Kate Flannery
Michael Buckner/Variety/Shutterstock

“I was not very available since August, since the rehearsals started so he was very patient and he came to every show and sat in the front row, so it was just lovely,” the All Night alum continues. “He’s just the greatest. He’s actually coming to a bunch of cities on tour, yeah. My family’s going to be in Philadelphia so he’ll be going with my dad who just turned 96 who couldn’t fly in. He’s in pretty good health but I just didn’t want to push him out of his comfort zone.” Kate’s new hobby will also go a long way until building an even stronger bond with Chris.

“Chris is now excited to start dancing and I want to keep it up! But also just the gifts of being together but then also being far apart, it’s like you have to have patience with each other and just really cherish the moments when you’re together,” Kate gushes. “It’s not easy and it does take its toll but like I said I think we’re certainly not perfect, but we’re doing pretty well under these crazy circumstances!”

Kate Flannery
January Images/Shutterstock

It does sound like this is one couple crazy in love!

Kate is a special guest star on the Dancing with the Stars Live Tour 2020. For dates and locations, and to check Kate out in person, fans can visit https://dwtstour.com/

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Reporting by Diana Cooper