It’s been four years since Gina Neely walked away from her marriage to her former Food Network co-host and husband Pat Neely and now she’s looking for her forever.
On the new Bravo series, To Rome For Love, the 53-year-old has high hopes that she’ll eventually find the man of her dreams.
“I want to find love again, love being in love,” Neely told PEOPLE. “I want to get married again. I love being married. I’m not against marriage and I’m not against love.”
The Neelys were married for 20 years before Gina walked out with only her purse and a duffle bag in 2012. She says she hasn’t spoken a word to Pat since.
After finalizing her divorce, Neely admitted that she was often worried that men were interested in her for all of the wrong reasons, but this experience–that includes the help of lifestyle event planner Diann Valentine helping her and four other single women look for love with eligible Italian men in Rome–has opened her eyes and her heart too.
“For me, being a public persona, I was always wondering, ‘Was a man was dating me for who I was? Was there an agenda? Did he want to be seen with me? Am I arm candy?'” she shared. “Whereas when I was in Rome, nobody gave a damn. Nobody cared. I could be free and open and just be Gina.”
She added, “Having someone facilitate that for me was a blessing in and of itself because it took the work off of me and put it on someone else. It was kind of Godsend, in the way that it took me out of my box. Sometimes when we feel uncomfortable, that’s when we get the best results.”
For her next chance at love, Neely says she hopes that she finds a man who isn’t intimidated by her strength and personality.
“I need a man that’s comfortable in his skin and not threatened by a woman with a big personality. He’s okay and very open to [talking] about anything he is feeling, no matter how uncomfortable it makes either one of us. He knows how to laugh and enjoy life — something I learned a lot from my time in Rome. They really understand the whole thing about stress levels. The whole city shuts down for happy hour and you mingle and have a good time. I want someone who is going to be open to that quality of life.”
To Rome For Love airs on Bravo Sundays at 9 pm.
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