“To Rome For Love” Airs Sunday Nights On Bravo!
Celebrity chef Gina Neely revealed why she decided to look for her soul mate halfway around the world in her show “To Rome For Love.”
The mom of two hosted a successful cooking show with then-husband Pat, “Down Home With The Neelys,” which ran for several seasons and spawned several cookbooks. But she said despite her material success, she was deeply unhappy in her marriage, and tried to leave Pat five times before finally filing for divorce.
“Was Pat devastated when I left? I think yes,” Neely told BOSSIP. “But I finally had the strength to walk away…I think the show impacted our marriage. It was like a business relationship, not a marriage. I wanted that old school in love feeling. It was quality versus quantity. I gave him all I could, and I’m happy to be able to get on with my life.”
After her split, she said she was still believed in love and wanted to find Mr. Right, but after being out of the dating game for so long, Neely said she wasn’t sure where to start.
“I think this (“To Rome For Love”) was a great way to get out there,” Neely said. “I’m still a girl who still believes in love and wants love. I figured why not do it in a place where it was unfamiliar, be a little uncomfortable and have a new experience.”
Although Neely stayed mum on whether she found new love on “To Rome For Love,” she said she was grateful for the experience, and realized just because she’s middle aged, doesn’t mean that she’s ended up on the shelf.
I think my biggest takeaway from this experience is that this is a new part of my life,” Neely said. “I was with someone for 24 years. This is my time to have the life that I want, that I desire. This is my turn to do it, and I’m gonna do it. I’m 50, and this has been liberating.”
She added: “You have to step out and take a leap of fait. you can’t just stop living because something didn’t work. You have to try something else and keep going.”