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RHONJ’s Dolores Catania Says Boyfriend Paulie Connell Is ‘Very Close’ to Finalizing His Divorce  (Exclusive)

The Real Housewives of New Jersey star Dolores Catania exclusively gave Us an update on her boyfriend Paulie Connell’s ongoing divorce.

“It’s very close,” Catania, 53, exclusively told Us Weekly on Thursday, May 2, while discussing season 14 of RHONJ. “It’s been moving along.”

She continued, “Unless I wanted to really get married, I’m not pushing him to do things to force this. But in all fairness, for us to be at the relationship we are, he should not be married and, yeah, I expect a divorce. [I don’t expect] a ring [or] marriage. If it comes great, but that has to be [after a divorce].”

Us previously broke the news in December 2021 that Dolores, who was married to Frank Catania from 1994 to 1998, had started dating Paulie. She noted on Thursday that “things are going great” but she isn’t rushing to get married again.

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“Isn’t that, like, a societal thing? It’s got to stop.” Dolores told Us. “Why doesn’t everybody just ask, ‘What’s our next trip? What’s your next plan?’ Does it have to be marriage? Does it have to be engagement? Happiness is the goal. Peace in our lives is the goal. We’ve had that.”

While it can be “a little annoying” to frequently be asked about her and Paulie’s next steps, Dolores isn’t fazed by the comments.

RHONJs Dolores Catania Says Boyfriend Paulie Connell Is Very Close to Finalizing His Divorce
Paulie Connell and Dolores Catania Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

“I’m not a young girl. If I was a young girl — and I say young girls should not be in a relationship where there’s nothing ahead of them — But, commitment and even any relationship when you’re young. I’ve had that now,” she added. “I just want peace. I want companionship. I want what I have with Paulie. Whatever comes I will be happy to have, but I’m not pushing for anything.”

Dolores further noted that her RHONJ costars have frequently questioned Paulie’s intentions about getting down on one knee.

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“I know they’re only asking because they want the best for me,” Dolores said. “And they’re probably happy. So they’re asking me [since] they want me to have what they have, and I’m like, ‘But you don’t get it. I’m OK.’ I fight with my mom to go on trips. I’ll take [her] anywhere [and] she goes, ‘But I’m happy the way I am,’ and I had to learn to understand that.”

Dolores and Paulie have also got into an amicable rhythm with Frank, 59, and his fiancée, Brittany Mattessich. (Dolores and Frank share two grown children.)

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“It wasn’t hard. It came easy after all the fighting,” she explained to Us of their post-divorce dynamic. “I tell everybody, ‘You’re not going to remember the things you fought about. So, stop fighting [about it]; they’re not important. It’s just not, let things go and just move on with life.’ I remember all the good memories we’ve had, the trips we’ve taken together [and] the holidays we’ve shared together. Those are my memories of me, Frank and the family after my divorce.”

Dolores’ relationships with both Paulie and Frank will be highlighted on season 14 of RHONJ, which premieres on Bravo Sunday, May 5 at 8 p.m. ET.

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi

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