“I met Craig, actually, three years ago and he was single. I had a boyfriend and I absolutely respected that I was in a relationship,” the 28-year-old Summer House star told Us while promoting season 1 of Winter House. “And then when we got to Vermont, I didn’t know he had a girlfriend. So, I was a little bummed when I first got there. But, of course, he was absolutely respectful to his girlfriend. And I’m so happy now looking back that he had a girlfriend because we built just a very platonic friendship, which is, like, the base of our relationship now. Everything really does happen for a reason.”
Craig, 32, was dating Natalie Hegnauer when he left to film Winter House with Paige — and Kyle Cooke, Amanda Batula, Lindsay Hubbard, Luke Gulbranson, Ciara Miller, Austen Kroll, Andrea Denver, Julia McGuire, Gabrielle Kniery and Jason Cameron — in February.
“And you’ll just have to see how it kind of plays out toward the end of our vacation,” Paige teased to Us. “It sounds so cliché, but Craig just gets me. There’s a lot of things I don’t have to explain to him because we look at things very similarly. It just fits, like, it just is very natural and it’s a lot of fun.”
For now, however, the “Giggy Squad” podcast cohost is remaining in New York City while the Sewing Down South founder lives in Charleston.
“We actually love long-distance. We’re two people that are very independent and have so much going on during the week,” Paige explained. “When we get, like, Monday through Friday to get all of our things done and then I hop on a plane Friday morning, it’s fun. I feel like we’re more present with each other when we are together. We’re not on our phones and we plan and do fun things.”
While eagle-eyed reality TV fans have been speculating about Paige and Craig’s relationship for months, she assured Us that fans shouldn’t read into any cryptic social media activity.
“Everyone was saying like, ‘Oh, they’re acting or they’re doing it as a PR stunt.’ And like, if we were doing that, I’d be posting about him a ton,” she told Us. “This is a very real relationship and it’s very new and, of course, you’re not, like, gonna post the guy you start talking to right away. And also, we haven’t taken a grid-worthy picture yet. Let’s just be honest, I haven’t approved one yet.”
“We did get a little drunk at the wedding and threw a Story up there from the photo booth,” she added. “[But] I’m just waiting till the right scenery to happen to snap [an official] pic.”
As season 1 of Winter House begins to air, fans will see Paige’s romance with Bravo newbie Andrea before the sparks start flying with Craig.
“My first reaction was I have to call my parents immediately and apologize and that’s exactly what I did,” the fashionista told Us about the premiere. “I hate seeing myself kiss anyone. And so the hot tub scene was a little bit crazy for me to watch, but I mean, I was very single at the time, and I had a lot of fun that trip, so I don’t regret it.”
Winter House premieres on Bravo Wednesday, October 20, at 9 p.m. ET.