During quarantine, Vanessa Villela had no idea that she would end up finding her soulmate. The Selling Sunset starlet struck up a friendship with Nick Hardy, who was living in England at the time.
“I didn’t see his face when I matched with him, I was like, ‘Oh, he looks good, he travels' … I was like, ‘He seems like a cool guy, it would be awesome to have a friend during the pandemic,’” the 44-year-old exclusively tells OK!. “We started talking, and it was just incredible. We understood each other’s jokes, and he made me laugh a lot. We’re both into meditation — it was like too many similarities, so we started a strong friendship. There was no agenda on his side or my side.”
But over time, the two realized they had a strong connection. "I was already having feelings because we were talking for a month or something already," she gushes. "He was already making me feel very good. Every time he messaged me, I would get butterflies in my stomach. But then I was like, 'What am I thinking? You live in England.'"
At the time, she was walking around with another actress, who advised her not to dwell on the distance. "You just have to be open, be vulnerable and not accept anything you won’t like and then you will find the right person!" she advises.
During season 5 of Selling Sunset, Hardy gave the brunette babe a promise ring, but then he later got down on one knee — and the wedding is set "for the fall," she reveals. "I am going to try on dresses this week!"
The real estate guru loves that she can now "show women that true love exists and you don’t have to settle for anything that is not what you want and deserve."
She adds, "There’s someone out there in the world that will match that energy, match what you want and your values, it’s just beautiful. I feel like I am in the best time of my life in this moment right now!"
The soap opera star, who recently launched a collaboration with popular swimwear line LASCIVIOUS, was noticeably absent from the first few episodes of the Netflix show as she was sick with COVID and dealing with lingering symptoms. Despite the obstacle, she loves that people get to know her better.
"My favorite part is spending time with the girls. When we’re not filming, we are more focused on our real estate or other things that we have, and so we probably don’t spend as much time together," she shares. "Now I am open and vulnerable to the world so fans can see the real me."
As for where Villela stands with Christine Quinn — the two were close last season — the former says they haven't spoken in "three or four weeks" — but that is simply because their schedules have been hectic.
"I love the beautiful side of Christine – she is so funny, and she is just unique," she notes. "Things change in life unfortunately, and at the same time, there were some moments and some times where I think she is making some people upset, and obviously I cannot defend that. I don’t know what was behind her decision to leave the Oppenheim Group. I don’t know what her plans are, but I wish we were more in communication. I wish we could continue that dynamic and friendship that we have, but I don’t have any problems with her. I just wish things were different."
Even though Villela has been in the spotlight her whole life, she is "super happy" with where she's at in her career.
"Sometimes I don’t believe it. I am like, 'Wow, it’s incredible.' When I moved to the United States to do soap operas, and I was working in Miami with a TV network there, I obviously was recognized here by the Latin audience, but I always wanted to do the crossover. I never thought it would come in a real estate reality television show," she states.