Jameela Jamil is opening up about her seven-year relationship with musician James Blake.
“We’re just very strategic about where we go and when we go and we share our dog,” the actress, 36, told PEOPLE at Elle’s Women in Hollywood Celebration on Monday night in Los Angeles. “We’ve got to make sure that we’re all together with the dog.”
Besides doting on their pup named Barold –– whom Jamil posted about on Father’s Day this year — the couple also make sure to do the same for one another.
“It’s morning and coffee and biscuits time, like cookies in America,” the British actress says. “That is our sacred practice every morning. Even if one of us has to wake up at 4 in the morning — with work, it’s normally me — he’ll get up, even if he went to bed at 1 am, to make sure we have that time.”
She adds, “We’ve been together almost eight years. And so the rituals and the consideration helps keep the love alive, and he’s my best friend.”
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The couple first sparked dating rumors after Jamil posted a cuddly photo of them together during her birthday celebration in February 2015.
Over the years, the 34-year-old and his girlfriend have celebrated red-carpet moments, produced music together, and grown together as a couple.
In an interview with dazed magazine in 2019, Blake opened up about how the Good Place actress has inspired him to be more outspoken about his feelings.
“It feels good now to just be able to tell people how I feel,” he told the publication. “I think it’s because I met my girlfriend, and there was no room for pretense. She speaks her mind. It was like, ‘Tell me how you feel. Tell me what you’re thinking.’ ”
“In my everyday life, I wasn’t being encouraged to sit behind metaphor or sit behind long silences or be in a mood without explaining what it’s about,” the Grammy winner added.
The body-empowerment activist has also had no problem speaking up about how Blake has affected her outlook on life.
During a 2019 appearance on Emma Gannon’s Ctrl Alt Delete podcast, Jamil said Blake has taught her “to stick up for myself.”
“He’s been a great force. I understand the brain of white male privilege now. I’ve been with him for four years … I decided to try and live my life as he does,” she said. “If he doesn’t need his nails done before a mag interview, then neither do I. He spends five minutes getting ready, then so do I.”
And being “best friends” helps too.
“Highly recommend loving your best friend,” the She Hulk actress captioned a Valentine’s Day tribute to her musician beau this year.