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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of New Jersey

Will Dolores Catania Get Engaged to Paul Connell? She Admits They Have One Big Issue

"That's how I feel," Dolores Catania explained.

By Joe Dziemianowicz

People can't stop asking for status reports on Dolores Catania’s romance.

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Watch The Real Housewives of New Jersey Sundays at 8/7c on Bravo and stream next day on Peacock.

The sensitive subject of whether Dolores and boyfriend Paul “Paulie” Connell will get engaged popped up twice in the Season 14 opener of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, airing Sundays at 8/7c on Bravo.

Dolores candidly admitted they have a big issue about taking the next step in their love story.

“I wouldn't feel comfortable getting engaged without his divorce being final,” Dolores explained.

“That’s how I feel,” she added for emphasis. “Is it ideal that he’s not divorced? No, I don’t love that.”

Will Dolores Catania and Paul Connell get married?

A couple since 2021, Dolores and Paulie confronted the status of their romance during dinner at a restaurant with Teresa Giudice and Luis “Louie” Ruelas.

Dolores Catania and Paul Connell posing together.

While awaiting for orders of eggplant parmesan, a sirloin steak, and fresh mozzarella to arrive, Louie took stock of the two ladies at the table.

“We’re lucky men,” he said to Paul. “So when do you put a damn ring on her finger?”

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Paul considered the query, then brought up the elephant in the room — and his relationship with Dolores: “Umm. I mean, I really have to get divorced first, right?”

Dolores immediately voiced agreement.

“Yeah, I wouldn't feel comfortable getting engaged without his divorce being final,” she said.

“Is it ideal that he’s not divorced?” she added. “No, I don’t love that.”

Paulie revealed that his split “is in the works. It’s getting very close.” Moreover, he added, he wants to propose in the right way.

“She deserves a proper engagement," he insisted.

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

Teresa shared her take with them on the matter: “There’s no rush.”

In a separate chat with producers, Teresa acknowledged that she gets the situation and it’s their own business.

“When I met Louis I was not divorced,” she said. “So they can beat at their own drum.”

Dolores and Paul, an entrepreneur from Ireland, met at an Apple Store in 2021. After dating discreetly for several months, they went public with the romance on Valentines’ Day in 2022, PEOPLE reported.

Dolores and Paul, who each have two kids, have moved in together and merged their families. In 2022, while appearing on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, she said “We do a lot together.”

Because of Paul’s divorce situation, that doesn’t include getting engaged. A press release for RHONJ Season 14 previously teased that Dolores is at a crossroads in her relationship" — so there's likely more to come for the couple later this season.

At a birthday gathering for Jennifer Fessler the topic of marriage came up again when Dolores chatted with Melissa Gorga.  

“You deserve that … eventually,” said Melissa. “I feel like you don’t give a shit … It’s not like you’re rushing to have a baby.”

“I’m not begging,” said Dolores, with a big smile.

In a private chat with producers she said she and Paul get asked about marriage “probably once a day.” She added that she had expected that his divorce would have been finalized already.

“When Paul told me he was still married, you know, I just assumed his divorce was either going on or going to happen sooner than it [has],” she said. “They’ve been separated for over 10 years. It’s time.”

Watch Dolores’s story unfold on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, airing Sundays at 6/5c on Bravo.

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