Vanessa Grimaldi and Nick Viall talk wedding, 'Dancing with the Stars' and her move to America
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/14/2017
Vanessa Grimaldi is taking a huge step out of her comfort zone to make her engagement to The Bachelor star Nick Viall work, but at the end of the day, the couple is ready to weather the storm together.
During Monday night's The Bachelor: After the Final Rose special, Vanessa sat in the hotseat first with host Chris Harrison and explained her romance with Nick is "good" right now, several months after he popped the question.
"It's been good, but I'm not going to sugarcoat things -- some days are tougher than others. I'm sure people here can understand and relate to [our relationship]. It's just that our's is televised," Vanessa said, admitting that there were some surprises along the way.
"Looking back, I wish I had watched an entire season of the show and understood [what happens]. But looking back, I think I treated this relationship as if it was a real relationship in a very unrealistic world. So I had to hold back sometimes and understand realize Nick's position."
Vanessa disclosed how it became vital to look at things through Nick's perspective when times got rough.
"There were moments when I had to understand Nick the Bachelor and Nick, the guy I was dating, and the individual relationship I had going with him. So it was hard sometimes to separate the two," she said.
Vanessa told host Chris, however, that their problems didn't really follow them after the show because they're always honest with each other and have great communication.
"It's been hard, you know, we live in two different countries and are starting a relationship where we don't get the chance to see each other every day and do normal things... I love him, we love each other, but there have been days that have been difficult," Vanessa confessed.
Since Nick could relate more to Raven Gates' emotions as the runner-up rather than Vanessa's feelings as the show's winner, Vanessa needed Nick to be more empathetic at times.
Despite a couple knock-down drag-out fights, Vanessa said the transition from the show to the real world has been fairly easy for them and they are "getting stronger" as a couple every day -- but still, long distance has presented its challenges.
Due to those challenges, once Nick joined Vanessa onstage, the 29-year-old special education teacher from Montreal, Quebec, revealed her plans to move to the United States and begin a charity for people with disabilities in order to bring a piece of herself from home with her to the states.
"We are leaning towards the good old US of A," Nick said.
"Yes, yes," Vanessa agreed.
The couple assured Chris this conversation didn't cause a fight and, according to Nick, they are "just making sure we go through the proper channels" first.
"You know, that actually wasn't an issue," Vanessa said of her choice to relocate for Nick. "That was something that we discussed... I do [have an amazing career] but I'm also putting together a charity for people living with learning disabilities, so I'm kind of taking my life in Montreal with me."
Vanessa acknowledged she and Nick have been a team, and they are both excited about the next chapter in their lives together. Nick also intends to tackle all their struggles together.
As for a wedding, Vanessa revealed, "We're taking baby steps but we're still in the process of really getting to know each other. We are optimistic about what the future holds," but "there is no date" set.
Nick also insisted he's not worried about his upcoming stint on Dancing with the Stars' 24th season putting extra pressure on their new relationship. (He'll be paired with pro Peta Murgatroyd).
"Vanessa and I talked a lot about it. I was very appreciative of her support, and it was something that before I said yes to it, that we had some discussions about it. But she was incredibly supportive about it," Nick explained, adding that there will be ups and downs and compromises throughout their relationship they must work on together no matter what.
"It's not like he's done [Dancing with the Stars] four times, so it's something we're starting together," Vanessa joked, referencing Nick's two appearances on The Bachelorette and one shot at love on Bachelor in Paradise before becoming Season 21's The Bachelor star.