Meg Ryan is in a great place in her life, and she’s committed to living in the moment. Last November, the actress got engaged to musician John Mellencamp about a year after rekindling their romance.
The two had first started dating in 2011 but split in 2014 after feeling the pains of a long-distance relationship. They quietly got back together in 2017, and the rest has been bliss.
A wedding isn’t at the forefront of the 57-year-old’s mind, however. This marriage will be Meg’s second and John’s fourth. Instead, the couple is focusing their attention on their blended family and taking a laid-back approach to their engagement. Meg has two kids, 27-year-old up-and-coming actor Jack Quaid and 15-year-old Daisy True Ryan.
John has five kids — 24-year-old Speck, 25-year-old Hud, 34-year-old Justice, 38-year-old Teddi Jo, and 48-year-old Michelle.
Meg talks about her and John’s engagement, as well as her focus on parenting, in her feature in InStyle‘s 25th anniversary issue.
Meg Ryan is reflecting on the last 25 years in the 25th anniversary edition of InStyle. The 57-year-old opened up about love and parenting and her perception of herself over the years in the sit-down.
Meg first graced the cover of the magazine in 1997 when she was already a certified star. Yet she was still getting used to the idea of fame. “Back then I was surprised to be on the cover of anything. I was just starting to learn how to find my angles,” she recalled.
Her second cover was in 2003, after her divorce from Dennis Quaid. “All of my expectations about everything had been blown up,” she explained. “And that’s a good thing. People think they should be this by the time they’re 20 and this by the time they’re 30 and accomplished by the time they’re 40.”
“I was in my early 40s at the time of the cover shoot. And I said in the interview that I thought assignment of age was arbitrary,” she recalled. “I stand by that — especially now when it’s all about pivoting, re-creating, and having multiple careers.”
In 2008, her most recent cover, she was still working on herself in a major way. “I said I had an inability to accept myself as lovable. That was harsh,” she said. “I think it stemmed from starting over after my marriage ended. Divorce is hard. I wasn’t easy on myself around then. I retreated. But that tough time was necessary. I became a better person after all of that. And I grew up a lot.”
These days, Meg’s life has changed quite a bit. In 2011, she began dating John Mellencamp. The relationship was exciting but had its complications. John was determined to continue living in Indiana, while Meg lived with her daughter in New York City.
The distance took its toll, and the two decided to split in August 2014. Despite the fact that John went on to briefly date Christie Brinkley, Meg was always on his mind. In 2017, he talked about her on The Howard Stern Show.
“I loved Meg Ryan,” he told the shock jock. “She hates me to death. I think it’s because I’m a child. I throw fits, I gripe, I complain. I’m moody,” he joked. She couldn’t have hated him that much, because they reconciled that year.
The couple started popping up together all over the East Coast, from New York City to South Carolina. In November 2018, the couple announced their engagement. A source close to John told People: “John and Meg are a great combination. They relate on many levels. John loves her intellect, personality, and sense of humor. Meg is in awe of his talent.”
They’re very private about their relationship, but Meg did touch on their relationship in InStyle. “Yes, I’m going to get married at some point. But for now this engagement thing is a state of grace,” she said happily.
That’s not all Meg’s got going on, of course. Her career has taken her a different direction. “Now I’m focused on producing,” she revealed. “I’m also teeing myself up to direct, and I’m working on a fun e-commerce project with some of my friends.”
Where she really feels that she’s thriving is as a mom. “But most of all, what I’m ambitious for in the 12 hours a day that I’m awake is my kids’ happiness. I just am,” she explains. “I’m either figuring out how to provide for them, figuring out how to say it right, figuring out all those mom things.”
“I want them to be happy. And today I’m happy too,” she added. That happiness shows. Meg’s love of herself and her relationship with John have brought her to a new and exciting stage of her life where she’s comfortable and content.
“What’s great about now is that John and I are so free to have fun,” Meg told the New York Times Magazine. “Maybe that freedom is about being a million years old. But I sometimes think relationships are for aliens. Who does it? Who can do it? I don’t know how any of us ever do.”