The Oscar-Nominee’s Love Story, in His Own words

Estimated read time 6 min read

Oscar-nominee Colman Domingo’s love story with his husband, Raúl Domingo, could serve as the inspiration for a feel-good romantic comedy.

The 54-year-old actor has recounted his meet-cute moment with Raúl in multiple interviews over the past few years. But Colman and his husband, who is a producer and writer, decided to both open up about their nearly 20-year romance when they were featured in GQ’s Modern Lovers issue in February 2021. 

They recalled falling in love unexpectedly in 2005, before dating apps became the norm. The “Rustin” star revealed in the interview that he would’ve probably swiped past Raúl on a dating app instead of getting to know him. 

He explained that meeting during a chance encounter on the street in Berkeley, California, allowed him to look past “the imperfections or the off-roading and things like that” that are sometimes highlighted on dating apps.

“It’s supposed to be like this,” he gushed about their love. “You never know what you’re supposed to get.”

He described their romance as “magical.”

So, what happened the day they crossed paths in the Bay Area? Read on to learn more about how Colman and Raúl Domingo fell in love. 

Colman Domingo and Raúl met in 2005 thanks to a ‘Missed Connections’ Craigslist ad

During an appearance on the “The Graham Norton Show” in February 2024, Colman Domingo said he was proof that “missed connection columns”— personal advertisements posted on the internet in an attempt to reunite people after a brief interaction — sometimes come true. 

“The Color Purple” star, who was a guest on the British late-night talk show along with Sterling K. Brown, Dakota Johnson and Domhnall Gleeson, told host Graham Norton about bumping into Raúl Domingo in Berkeley, California, in 2005. 

Colman Domingo explained that he lived in New York at the time but happened to be in Northern California for the weekend. One Sunday night, he went to Walgreens to purchase a mud mask. As he walked into the store, he noticed a “beautiful” man with long hair and a lip piercing walking out. 

Colman Domingo was on the phone and the handsome stranger was busy arguing with the woman beside him. 

“And he keeps looking at me,” the actor said. So, he hung up the phone to find out what was wrong, but he was too late, he said.

“They walk off down the street, but he keeps looking back. And I wave, but he just keeps going. And then I’m just dumbfounded,” he shared.  

He remembered checking the time and waiting in a Blockbuster video store before going back outside to see if the man had returned. When he didn’t, Colman decided to wait a week and hopefully bump into the man again. 

Raúl Domingo and Colman Domingo
Raúl Domingo and Colman Domingo at the Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 10, 2023, in Beverly Hills.Matt Winkelmeyer / FilmMagic

“I’m that kind of hopeless romantic,” he added. But, he didn’t have to wait that long. Three days later, he tried to buy a used computer and started reading some missed connection ads on Craigslist. He thought about placing an ad before realizing the stranger had beat him to it. 

“I go to page two of them, as I’m reading, and I see, ‘Saw you outside of Walgreens Berkeley.’ He placed an ad for me two hours before,” the actor revealed.

He continued, “I jumped up. I was like, ‘Are you kidding me? That’s me!’ He described me with my faux hawk.” 

“It was 2005,” he reminded the laughing crowd. 

They connected and agreed to meet three days later for their first date. After, Raúl invited Colman back to his place and he agreed, saying that he only wanted to cuddle. 

“We cuddled. I thought he was asleep. (At) 4 o’clock in the morning, I couldn’t sleep. And I said, ‘I think I love you and you’re about to change my life.’ And we’ve been together for almost 19 years.”

The audience erupted into applause as he finished his story. 

Raúl Domingo and Colman Domingo
Raúl and Colman Domingo at the Critics Choice Awards on Jan. 14, 2024, in Santa Monica, California. Kevin Winter / Getty Images

According to GQ, the two spent their first summer together in Juneau, Alaska, because Colman booked an acting role. Raúl also landed a job as an assistant costume designer on the production. 

“I feel like I needed to understand everything that you are,” Raúl said during their joint interview. They relocated again to New York in the winter and Raúl asked the actor to marry him that November. 

They tied the knot in 2014

Colman and Raúl Domingo said “I do” during an intimate ceremony in 2014, GQ reported. They invited 25 guests who thought they were attending a house party. When their friends arrived, the couple announced, “Welcome to our wedding.”

Colman wore a Hawaiian shirt for the ceremony, according to the publication, and the newlyweds spent the night dancing until the early hours of the morning. 

They are style standouts on red carpet events together

Throughout the years, two continued to land jobs in Hollywood. Colman appeared in “Lincoln,” “The Butler,” “Selma” and “If Beale Street Could Talk” before he was cast in the hit HBO series “Euphoria.”

Meanwhile, Raúl helped produce his husband’s web series “Bottomless Brunch at Colman’s.” The producer also worked on other projects like the film “When My Sleeping Dragon Woke” and the 2023 drama “Sing Sing,” starring Colman. 

When Colman won the 2022 Emmy for outstanding guest actor in a drama series for his “Euphoria” character, he thanked Raúl in his speech. 

“A lot of kindness brought me to this stage, people who love me, people who lift me up. Thank you to those people,” he said in September 2022, according to The Hollywood Reporter

He praised the “Euphoria” team before adding, “Thank you to my darling Raúl. This is for you.” 

A few months later, the couple attended the 2023 Golden Globes together and matched in all-black tuxedos. 

Colman uploaded a picture of them from the awards ceremony on Instagram in January 2023 and wrote, in part, “Wanted to shine like a black diamond.”

At the end of the post, he said that the event marked Raúl’s first press line and that the night was “memorable and smooth.” He also gushed that his husband “shined” in his suit. 

“We had a time last night,” he concluded. 

Colman, who has consistently been one of the best-dressed actors during this year’s award season, is set to make another grand entrance when he arrives at the 2024 Oscars on March 10. 

The actor received his first Academy Award nomination for his leading role in “Rustin.” 

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