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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of New Jersey

Who Is Dolores Catania’s Boyfriend, Paul Connell? Meet the Entrepreneur

Here’s everything we know about the RHONJ cast member’s relationship with boyfriend Paul “Paulie” Connell, who we met on Season 13.

By Jamontae Hickman & Jocelyn Vena

The Real Housewives of New Jersey cast member Dolores Catania is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Paul “Paulie” Connell, but fans may be wondering more about her beau of several years.

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So, who is the Irish man who won the heart of a Jersey gal? Here's everything we know about Paulie, including all the scoop on his career, family life, and how his love story with Dolores began. Needless to say, the details will make you swoon.

How did Dolores Catania meet her boyfriend, Paulie Connell?

While Dolores and Paulie have traveled the world together, fans may not be fully aware of how they met.

In a November 2022 Instagram, Paulie recalled their first encounter: “For you guys that don’t know this, I met this amazing woman in this photograph over a year ago,” he wrote. “We met at an Apple store, no cameras, no fans, no crowds, no makeup. Just two people waiting [in line] to get their phones fixed. When I met this beautiful woman I didn’t know about reality TV celebrity status or any of the above. Oh boy, but I do now. LOL.”

They began dating in 2021. However, they didn't publicly confirm their relationship until Valentine's Day 2022.

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Dolores Catania and Paul Connell smiling next to each other at a restaurant.

On the Season 13 premiere of RHONJ, viewers got their first glimpse at Dolores’ love connection with Paulie and even heard her open up about what's it like having someone special in her life. “I’ve never been in a relationship like this before, and I can’t believe how smitten and gushy I am,” Dolores said in a confessional interview.

Spring forward to today, Dolores and Paulie’s romance is still alive, and their bond appears to be stronger than ever.

Paulie Connell is a proud father of two sons

Paulie is a dad of two sons, Kameron and Brooklyn, and he often takes to social media to provide updates on his mini-me's. 

Back in September 2022, Paulie posted about his sons, writing on Instagram, “September 28th is not the only day you appreciate your [sons] but it’s definitely a day you get to brag a little more if you like. Just so proud of the achievements that my boys are accomplishing and the kindness that they show. If there’s one thing you can teach/give your children, it’s the right to be nice appreciate support, and most of all understanding.”

Paul Connell and Dolores Catania with his two sons at a restaurant.

Most recently, in March 2024, Paulie shared a photo of him, his boys, and Dolores having dinner at a restaurant. "Food times," Paulie wrote over the snap on Instagram. What's more, the RHONJ 'Wife has spent plenty of time with her boyfriend's kids. In fact, Dolores celebrated Christmas with Paulie and his sons. 

Not only is Paulie a father to his two boys, but he's also a dog dad. Just like Dolores, Paulie has a soft spot for animals, thanks to his Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Arrow and Apollo

Paulie Connell is originally from Ireland 

Paulie was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, before moving permanently to the United States, where he settled in New Jersey. Dolores revealed on Season 13, Episode 10, that she and Paulie took a trip to Ireland to celebrate their first Valentine's Day together. 

"My first Valentine's Day with Paul, he brought me to a castle in Ireland, and on the way, we stopped and met his whole family," she explained during an interview. 

In the same episode, the RHONJ 'Wives embarked on a cast trip to The Emerald Isle, where they later met Paulie's mother, Claire, his sister Sharon, and his niece Jennifer. (On April 8, 2024, Dolores and Paulie confirmed via social media that Claire had passed away.)

Where does Paulie Connell live?

Dolores boyfriend’s house is located in Edgewater, New Jersey. Paulie along with Dolores recently gave a tour of his incredible home (clip above), which the RHONJ cast once deemed a "sexy house." 

While Dolores says she “spend[s] a lot of time at Paulie’s house,” she noted in the interview with The Daily Dish, which took place back in 2022, that while she “[doesn’t] officially live [at Paulie’s house],” she does “spend a lot of time there.”

Dolores' living situation ultimately changed as she decided to move in with Paulie in 2023

Dolores Catania and Paul Connell pose with their arms around each other by the oceanfront.

What does Paulie Connell do for a living?

According to Paulie's Instagram profile, he’s an “entrepreneur.” Despite his limited work info on social media, Paulie's LinkedIn profile lists that he's the owner of a "tier one, high-end electrical contracting company," Eco Electrical Services LLC. 

Will Dolores Catania and Paulie get married?

In May 2022, Paulie noted that he and Dolores were “doing a lot of talking” about their next steps, including the prospect of marriage, and Dolores expressed how she felt about it. 

“I don’t know. I feel like I’m the type of person that I don’t think about things,” she said. “I don’t get nervous about things. I don’t manifest things. I just let life unfold and things happen. And I deal with it when it happens, ’cause I like surprises. And also, I don’t like disappointment. So by me expecting things or whatever, I expect of course respect. I expect intentions for a future when I spend time with a man because my time is very important.”

She continued, “And my age is… I’m not young anymore, so if I’m putting some time into somebody, it better be somewhat serious, right? There’s the intentions of a future. We’re in a serious relationship. But tomorrow is not promised to anyone. So I always cross the bridge when I get to it. I always tell my friends, like when they give me a hard time about my last relationship [with David Principe], I would always say, ‘Don’t. I’m so independent, don’t worry about me.’”

The topic of a proposal was brought up again at BravoCon 2023 during a panel when moderator Michael Rapaport asked Dolores and Paul if they were engaged yet. “Vegas is the place to get married!” yelled Rapaport to the live audience’s cheers.

“Obviously, we’re talking about a future; I’d be a silly person if I was not,” Paulie began about a possible proposal to the RHONJ cast member. “Dolores means everything to me. Since I met her, she made me a better person. The future is looking bright.”

Dolores Catania and Paul Connell together

Dolores Catania Compares Paulie Connell and Her Ex-Husband, Frank Catania

While Dolores is basically inseparable from Paulie, that doesn't stop her from maintaining her healthy friendship with her ex husband, Frank Catania. In an interview with The Daily Dish, Dolores weighed in on any Paulie and Frank comparisons.

Split image of Frank Catania, Dolores Catania and Paul Connell

“No, they’re not alike. Frank and [I] grew up in the same era. He’s like Frank was maybe 30 years ago. Paulie is a lot like a boyfriend I had in 1988,” she said, adding “even though he grew up across the world and in another country [Ireland]. There’s such a familiarity to me that I love within him. That’s my attraction. He’s good-looking. He’s funny. He’s introduced me to, like, new music [and] drinking. I drink whiskey now, I’ve been to Ireland twice [at the time of the interview]. He took me to meet his family. And we do a lot of things together. It’s a different thing. It’s an old-school kind of relationship.”

Originally published Apr 5, 2023.

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