“I think you see people who wait for years and years and years to get engaged and get married. And I mean, I’ve got friends who’ve waited years, and then they get engaged and split up a year later [or] six months later or they get married, and they split up three, four years later, and they’ve waited years to do it,” the soccer coach said on the Friday, May 26, episode of her “Whine Down” podcast. “I’ve got friends who do it within weeks and have been together for over 20 years. I’m not so sure there’s a set way to do things. If something feels right in your heart and your soul, then I think you should follow it. And we’ve got a relationship [where] we trust each other and it’s built on respect and for each other. There was no rush to do anything at all. It just felt right.”
The twosome met via Instagram in late 2022. Russell said on the podcast that he “didn’t look into” Kramer, 39, “too much” when they first connected.
“I didn’t do a background check,” he quipped. “Once, I looked up who she was, I knew about [her] being an actress and in the music industry and that she looked like an amazing mom and had a couple of amazing kids.”
The One Tree Hill alum shares daughter Jolie, 7, and son Jace, 4, with ex-husband Mike Caussin. The twosome finalized their divorce in 2021 after a tumultuous marriage, including the former NFL player being accused of cheating several times. Kramer was previously married to Michael Gambino in 2004, Johnathon Schaech in 2010 and engaged to Brantley Gilbert in 2013.
“Regardless of what the past has been, everyone has a past,” Russell said. “But it’s how they’ve learned and grown and managed those situations. And I don’t judge Jana on anything from the past. I don’t judge anyone on anything from the past as long as they show up for me and the people that I love and the people that are important to me. It shows that have grown from any sort of decisions or mistakes that might have been made in the past. And for me, that’s attractive, and it’s just one of the many things that is hugely attractive about Jana — how she has had all these upsets in the past but she moves forward. She’s a little warrior and that’s attractive.”
Kramer announced her engagement to Russell — who shares a son, 16, and stepdaughter, 24, with his ex-wife— on Thursday, May 25.
“It was a really beautiful night sitting on the front porch steps and looking out at the view,” she explained of the proposal at her homebuild in Nashville, adding that the twosome likely won’t exchange vows until 2024 or 2025.
The “Why Ya Wanna” singer, who went public with Russell in January, previously told Us Weekly that he was The One.
“I’m, like, such a lover. I love to love,” she said in April. “It’s not something that I’m like, ‘I have to get married.’ But, you know, I definitely found my person. He’s incredible. He’s just very safe. I’m just different around him. I’m more calm. And again, I’ve never felt safe in a relationship and it’s just — it’s really nice to feel that.”