During a recent interview, the Real Housewives of New Jersey cast member opened up about not one but two horrible dates she had with Joe before revealing why she ultimately decided to give the real estate developer another chance.
“[Maybe it was] my first date ever with Joe Gorga? No, I’m sorry. It was my second date with Joe Gorga. ‘Cause [on] the first date he had me at his home and he made me a fake dinner — we can include that too,” 42-year-old Melissa told Us Weekly of her worst date on August 1. “He put all the food in the pots and pans that he ordered from the Italian restaurant down the street and swore he cooked it all.”
According to Melissa, she knew Joe, 41, was lying because their meal featured the same dishes served at their local restaurant, but she appreciated the “effort” he put into their dinner.
“[Then] there was our second date,” she continued, “where he worked so hard that I was sitting there just talking to him and he literally fell asleep.”
Looking back on their visit to a “beautiful” restaurant, Melissa revealed Joe, who she ultimately wed in 2004, took an impromptu nap.
“I was like, ‘Am I boring you? Or are you on drugs?’ Like, did I meet somebody who does drugs? You’re closing your eyes! I am not used to boring people. What is happening here? And he literally just nodded out while I was talking to him on my second date,” she recalled.
Luckily, Joe had a decent excuse.
“He was like, ‘No, I got up at 5:30 this morning. I’m exhausted.’ I was like, ‘Wow. I’ve never seen anyone nod out on me before. That’s a first,’” Melissa noted.
Despite their rocky start, Melissa continued to pursue a relationship with Joe because she believed his story.
“I just liked him a lot and he truly was really tired,” she explained. “He was exhausted. I know his schedule. He works. He still works like a dog to be honest.”
“I know we’re been married for 16 years, but we are still learning each other. There’s different turning points, I would say, in marriages,” she told Us Weekly in July. “Joe is not big on change and he likes things to stay the same. He likes to know that everything’s going to be intact and probably, that’s what makes him a great husband. But for me, I’m all about change right now.”
During their 16-year marriage, Melissa and Joe welcomed three children together, including Antonia, 15, Gino, 14, and Joey, 11.