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Article from "Seventeen" Magazine

"I wouldn't let Nick kiss me for a while," says singer Jessica Simpson, 19. She's in a car en route to her seventeen photo shoot with her boyfriend, 98 degrees member Nick Lachey, 26. "I wanted to be different from the girls who throw themselves at him all the time." More than a month after their mutual manager introduced the couple back in December 1998, Simpson finally let Lachey's lips meet hers. But not without plenty of near misses. "He tried to kiss me five different times, but I wouldn't let him. At the end of January '99, we were hanging out at my friend's house and it was pouring outside. We went and sat down in my car, and I put on "Take My Breath Away" from the Top Gun Soundtrack. And I kissed him." Lachey takes Simpson's hand as the two cruise through midtown Manhattan. "We kissed a lot that night," Simpson says.
"Made up for lost time," responds Lachey.
Since the two first hooked up, time has been their toughest rival. Their relentless touring schedules and distant home bases make dating difficult. (Simpson, a Dallas native, now lives in Los Angeles; Lachey's roots remain in his hometown, Cincinnati.) Sheer willpower has kept them together. "I literally make Jessica get out her schedule, and I ask, 'Where are you going to be?'" says Lachey. "There have been times when I've flown to L.A. to see her and left the same night." They also have one strict rule: "We try not to go longer than two weeks without seeing each other," Lachey explains.
Now that their one-year anniversary is a few months behind them, Simpson and Lachey have settled into a steady pattern of holding hands, making plans and reminding each other that, despite all the forces working against them, they can be together. And even though each is a pop star with millions of fans, together they're a pretty normal couple. Three days after wrapping up the video for their duet, "Where You Are," Simpson and Lachey reflected on their unique and sometimes difficult relationship.

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