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The Daily Dish Vanderpump Rules

Ariana Madix Opens Up About Her Long-Distance Relationship With Daniel Wai

The Vanderpump Rules cast member spoke candidly about having a boyfriend who lives in NYC.

By Casey Suglia & Jenny Berg

Ariana Madix is opening up about her long-distance relationship with boyfriend Daniel Wai. The Vanderpump Rules cast member has been dating the New Yorker for the past several months, though she's based in Los Angeles. So, how is the long-distance situation going? 

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The Florida native told Access Hollywood in October, "Of course there are moments when I'm like, 'Man, I wish he was over here.' But I think that long distance is something that's been really good because it has allowed me to focus on me, and not be jumping into something after everything that I went through."

"I have so much more time to be able to process and also really be able to get to know somebody purely on a mental and emotional level, as opposed to us being physically together all the time," she added

When asked what initially drew her to Daniel, the Something About Her co-owner said: "He just brought so much positivity and support, and he just gets me in a way that makes me think I just don't want this to end. So I'm going to keep it going." 

Read more about their relationship below.

Who is Daniel Wai, Ariana Madix's boyfriend?

Daniel Wai is a personal trainer and fitness coach living in New York. Even if you don’t live in the Big Apple, you can still access his services as he offers online training through his website and frequently posts free, healthy recipes on his Instagram account. 

According to his website, he majored in computer science and a secondary degree in Business with a minor in math. After college, he began working as a consultant to Fortune 500 companies while pursuing his passion for fitness by earning his National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer credential. He worked as both a consultant and a personal trainer for a year before quitting consultant to work full-time as a trainer, while also earning his NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist certification and later studying for his National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists certification.

His club, DW Fitness, is located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Ariana Madix wears a silver mesh dress with her arm around Daniel Wai while at a Beyonce Renaissance Tour Pre-Party.

How did Ariana Madix meet her new boyfriend Daniel Wai?

Ariana and Daniel were first spotted together at Coachella. When the Vanderpump Rules cast member posted photos of her festival plus-one, fans naturally had questions. 

RELATED: Scheana Shay Weighs In on the Man Ariana Madix Was Spotted with at Coachella

Luckily, Ariana’s good friend Scheana Shay had some important intel to share during a Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen appearance on April 19. Scheana had been at Coachella with the duo and reported that she "loved" Daniel. 

During her own appearance on the May 17 episode of WWHL, Ariana dished on her new relationship.

“I’ll just say that I am very happy and very satisfied,” Ariana coyly told host Andy Cohen.

Ariana Madix and Daniel Wai pose together during Coachella

Daniel Wai celebrated Ariana Madix's birthday twice in 2023

Vanderpump Rules Ariana Madix Birthday 01

Though her birthday wasn't until later in June, Daniel shared an Instagram of himself embracing the soon-to-be birthday girl at the Governors Ball music festival in New York City on June 11. “She thought she was coming here for a dinner, but got surprised,” he wrote at the time.

He went on to share that one of Ariana’s friends, Brad, also surprised her on the plane to New York, while a whole group of her friends greeted her after she arrived. 

Brad posted to his feed as well. “Same best friends, same iconic pose, but make it New York,” he wrote, captioning a photo of himself and Ariana striking a pose on the rooftop of the Sixty LES Hotel. 

Daniel then flew out to Los Angeles to party with  — and cook for — Ariana and her friends on her actual birthday, June 24.

Series of images of Ariana Madix’s birthday celebrations.

They started with a house party catered by Daniel with Katie Maloney, Ariana's friend Jared Lipscomb, VPR alum Kristen Doute, and Ariana's brother, Jeremy Madix, checking in. Then, everyone went out on the town and met up with Scheana ShayBrock Davies, series alum Dayna Kathan and Ariana's friend Brad, among others.

“Happy birthday to the kindest and most generous woman I know,” Daniel wrote to Ariana in an Instagram Story, with a photo of her sitting in front of a sign that read, “Babe you look so cool.”

What do the Vanderpump Rules cast members think of Daniel Wai?

Scheana sang Daniel’s praises during an August 25 episode of her podcast, Scheananigans with Scheana Shay. She noted how sweet Daniel is and how different he has been from Ariana’s past partners, letting Ariana shine in the relationship. “I just think he is such another light of positivity in your life,” she noted. “From the second I saw him on Instagram and then met him in person, I was like, ‘Oh my god. Obsessed.’ He just has the best energy.”

“I feel like you guys just bring out the best in each other and I love to see it,” Scheana added. “I love love, and I’m so happy for the two of you.”

Lala Kent told E! News in May that Ariana’s “energy is just completely different” when she’s talking about Daniel, noting “I’m so happy for her."

​​"To see her with this new guy, where she just seems light and excited about life, it’s inspiring,” she added.

Ariana Madix and her boyfriend Daniel Wai take a photo together in Chicago.

What is the current status of Ariana Madix's relationship with Daniel Wai?

Ariana told Us Weekly in October 2023 that she and Daniel are in an exclusive relationship, even though they are dealing with being long distance.

That said, she said he's been coming to Los Angeles to watch her compete in Dancing with the Stars.

"He sacrifices his sleep and time to help me with anything I need, and then he takes a red-eye back and goes straight to work," she told Us Weekly. "He'll clean up things that are left out and [does] little things you don’t really think about."

"When I come home from the show and everything’s clean and there’s food in the fridge that he made, it’s like, 'Wow, that’s so nice,'" she added.

That said, she has said she hasn't changed her mind about not wanting to ever get married. 

When asked by Access Hollywood in October whether Daniel could be "the one," or whether she's just having fun for now, Ariana shrugged. "I don't know," she told the publication. "I wouldn't say it's either of those things. [It's] something completely different."

She told Scheana during her August appearance on Scheananigans, that she has no idea what the future has in store for them.

“I guess it’s hard to predict, even work-wise, what’s going to come in the next year or so,” Ariana said. “I’d love it if he moved out here, but he’s born and raised in New York, so I can understand how that would be a huge adjustment…I wouldn’t want to take him away from his family."

Ariana Madix and her boyfriend, Daniel Wai, at a restaurant having dinner together.

Will Daniel Wai be on Vanderpump Rules?

The teaser trailer for Vanderpump Rules Season 11, which was dropped at BravoCon 2023 and can be seen below, promised a great deal of distance between Ariana and her ex-boyfriend, Tom Sandoval, potential reconciliations between other cast members, and, of course, lots of drama.

In an October interview with E! News, Ariana further revealed that Daniel will be on this upcoming season of Vanderpump just “once or twice but not very much.”

“He’s not into the whole world of it all,” she said. “It was very foreign to him, but I give him props for being a good sport on my behalf.”

Your First Look at Vanderpump Rules Season 11

Originally published Oct 24, 2023.

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