When Heidi Klum and Seal filed for divorce in January 2012, after seven years of marriage, fans were shocked. The pair, who had four children together, seemed like the ultimate dream couple, but as details emerged about their split, it became clear that there were a number of cracks in their foundation. 

As Klum told Redbook in November 2015, “Obviously things have changed, but they haven’t changed drastically. [Seal] was never your typical dad who left for work in the morning with his briefcase and would be home by dinner time every night,” she told the magazine, elaborating, “He traveled a lot. The kids knew it was part of his job. I’m a mom and a dad at the same time.” 

That same month, Seal confessed that the couple’s yearly vow renewals, which were always an outlandish, over-the-top affair, had always rubbed him the wrong way.

“It kind of turned into a circus which I wasn’t terribly fond of,” he told Andy Cohen on Sirius XM, adding, “Because I’m, by default, I’m quite a private person.”

How Heidi Klum got ready to move on:

Rather than swearing off love or repeating the same mistakes, Klum used her separation as a learning opportunity and when she was ready to say “I do” again in 2019, things were different.

Having clearly taken note of the weak points and incompatibilities in her past, the supermodel was now with someone more easygoing, who didn’t mind being in the spotlight and was open to making her kids a big part of his life.

Here’s how the supermodel learned from her past to build a solid future with her new beau, German musician Tom Kaulitz.

Looking back to move forward 

View this post on Instagram

❤️😍

A post shared by Heidi Klum (@heidiklum) on

Heidi Klum was first linked to Tom Kaulitz when she was spotted kissing him on the America’s Got Talent set back in March 2018. In addition to being a judge on that show, Klum was also hosting Germany’s Next Top Model, which is how she met her now-husband.

According to reports, they had a mutual friend working on that show who introduced them. They quickly made their love red carpet official at the Cannes amfAR Gala in May and didn’t waste any time laying the groundwork for their future. 

This time around, Klum found herself in a relationship that was completely different in its ease and deep-rooted compatibility.

Speaking about her love in September 2018, Klum gushed, “He is the kindest, sweetest, most caring, loving person. I feel so lucky. I don’t know the last time I was this happy in my life. He is absolutely wonderful,” she continued. “Maybe it is because he is German and we understand each other in a different way.”

A difference in age, not perspective

Kaulitz also wasn’t fazed by Klum’s public profile and her love of outlandish bashes that would land him in the spotlight. When it was time for Klum’s yearly headline-making Halloween party, for example, he didn’t shy away from going all out.

Having chosen Shrek and Fiona as their couple’s costume, Kaulitz was the perfect sport as he was subjected to hours of makeup and prosthetics, which covered up his entire face. Rather than quietly disliking the process, he embraced the transformation, knowing how important it was to Klum. 

Of course, they also have their differences, but they don’t allow those to detract from what’s important.

Their 16-year age gap, for one, has been a regular talking point, but as the German beauty told InStyle, “I don’t really think about it that much. You have to just live a happy life without worrying too much about what people think because worrying is only going to give you more wrinkles.”

Coming together as a family

Less than a year after they started dating, Klum and Kaulitz got engaged on Christmas Eve 2018. The musician made sure to involve the most important people in Heidi’s life — her four kids — in the big day. 

“They went to Mexico before their engagement, around Thanksgiving, and that’s when he started talking to the kids about his plans in secret and it was so hard for them to not tell anyone,” a friend of Klum’s told People. “They were so excited and happy for their mom.”

But that’s not all. When he was ready to pop the question, “Tom went to the kids and asked for Heidi’s hand in marriage and they said ‘yes.’ So Tom and the kids together worked on making a breakfast tray for Heidi that had coffee, flowers, and a ring box,” the friend revealed, adding, “It was important for Tom to have the kids included in the whole thing, so they all brought the tray up to Heidi’s room and surprised her with breakfast in bed and then he proposed.”

It wasn’t just a one-off occasion, either. Kaulitz not only gets along with Klum’s kids, but they often do things together as a family. For example, in May 2019, Klum and Kaulitz took a vacation to their native Germany and brought her children along. They visited Checkpoint Charlie and the Brandenburger Gate in Berlin before going to see Kaulitz’s band, Tokio Hotel, perform in concert.  

Heidi was unafraid to move on

Given their compatibility, the lovebirds had an extremely short engagement and secretly tied the knot at the start of the year after requesting a confidential marriage certificate in February 2019. 

Klum could have easily felt reservations about tying the knot again, fearing failure or holding onto bitterness, but instead she chose to look back, learn, then look forward. In doing so, she was able to start with a clean slate, find another chance at love and experience greater happiness than ever before. Endings are never easy, but they can serve as a stepping stone to a better, brighter future… if you let them.  

More inspiring love stories: