The Real Reason Ricky Gervais Has Never Married His Longtime Girlfriend

Ricky Gervais is known far and wide for his mastery at the art of cringe comedy and dark humor. After creating and starring in his first ever television show, BBC's "The Office," from 2001 to 2005, Gervais skyrocketed to fame as one of the world's foremost screenwriters and comedic actors. In fact, "The Office" became the first-ever British comedy show to win a Golden Globe award in 2004, the same year Gervais took home a Globe for his acting in a musical or comedy (as David Brent). 

Throughout his career, Gervais has also been nominated for two dozen Primetime Emmy awards (winning two), most notably as an executive producer of the American version of "The Office," as well as writing and acting for his subsequent show, BBC's "Extras." 

Gervais, known for sometimes portraying characters that are reflections of himself, has been in a relationship with the same woman, Jane Fallon, since 1982, when they were both around 21, according to The U.S. Sun. Now, 40 years later, Gervais and his longtime girlfriend are still together, but have yet to get married, and likely never will. Although this may throw some fans of Gervais (and weddings) a bit off guard, it turns out the real reason behind this couple's unusual choice is indeed rather unorthodox. 

Marriage does not align with Ricky Gervais' personal beliefs

Anyone who is familiar with Ricky Gervais and the messages he conveys in his work should understand why he and his longtime girlfriend Jane Fallon never chose to get married. Gervais, widely known for his atheistic beliefs (even writing and starring in a movie centered around the perceived inanity of religion), has stated that the real reason he and Fallon decided not to get married, despite considering her his "soulmate" (per The Mirror) is because he sees marriage as a bureaucratic and religious ceremony; one which he considers unnecessary when it comes to declaring his and his partner's love for one another. 

"We are married for all intents and purposes," Gervais has said, per The Mirror. "Everything's shared and actually our fake marriage has lasted longer than a real one. But there's no point in us having an actual ceremony before the eyes of God because there is no God."

Gervais is right — according to Rainscourt Family Law Solicitors, the average length of a marriage in England and Wales was around 30 years in 2018. Gervais and Fallon are celebrating their 40th anniversary together sometime in 2022. Meanwhile, divorce rates tend to be lower among atheists than religious people, likely because areligious couples are less likely to get married under pressure, either explicit or implicit, from their families or community. Naturally, Gervais and Fallon never felt such pressure. 

Ricky Gervais and Jane Fallon fell in love in college

Ricky Gervais first met Jane Fallon when the two were studying together at University College London, and started living together two years later, according to the Daily Mail. They also owned a cat named Ollie, who died in 2020. However, the couple decided not to have children, and Gervais has stated that he made this decision for both personal and ethical reasons.

"I don't have kids for many reasons," he said in a January "The Radio Times" podcast appearance, "but one is that there is enough ... No one is going, 'Gervais isn't having kids! We're going to run out soon.'" In addition, Gervais feels as though he couldn't handle the responsibility. "I don't think I'd sleep at night," he told The Daily Telegraph, per The Mirror. "I had to check twice that I hadn't left the doors to the pool open because I was worried the cat would go through them and drown. So with a child, I'd just be [standing] over it, making sure it was still breathing." 

Gervais and Fallon don't need children to signify their love for each other, as Gervais has said he would be "devastated" without his longtime girlfriend, per The Mirror. "I want to [die] first," he added, "which is selfish, but I do." So, despite their unwed status, Gervais is likely correct in his assessment that the two are soulmates, and we will undoubtably continue to see them together for a long time.