Ross Mathews and his fiancé, Dr. Wellinthon Garcia, are on Cloud 9!
The 41-year-old television personality and Dr. Garcia announced their engagement last month, after a year of dating. Now, they’re sharing their love story with the world.
“We hadn’t really let the world know about us. We’ve been kind of private. Then we went Instagram official,” Mathews tells ET in a sit-down with his fiancé. “We have been so happy for over a year now, as we’ve been getting to know each other and falling in love. It was scary letting the world know. But now, everyone’s just been so amazingly kind and happy for us.”
Dr. Garcia, who was born in the Dominican Republic and is an educator, adds that it’s been a “tsunami of love” from people, “just been tremendous, honestly. I just love how everyone’s just so supportive, especially my family, at work, just strangers in the streets are just like, ‘Hey, congratulations!’ It’s been a blessing.”
The two met while in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, during New Years 2019, just months before the nationwide shutdown amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“It was in the morning. I woke up with my bestie in Puerto Vallarta. We went to go get breakfast burritos and brought them to the pool,” Mathews recalls. “And I clocked this one sitting over there. And then when he went to the bathroom I introduced myself, I pounced.”
“You said, ‘Hi, I’m Ross Mathews.’ And I said, ‘Hi, I’m Dr. Garcia,'” quips Dr. Garcia. “I first saw him [and] he looked familiar. So I wasn’t sure [if it was Ross]. And then after he started talking and kind of introduced himself… I kind of then put it together. So then afterwards I was like, ‘Oh, OK, that’s Ross Mathews.”
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After their introduction, Mathews was on tour and Dr. Garcia would visit him at various cities where he was performing.
“And then suddenly, I was in L.A., he was in New York and we couldn’t travel,” Mathews shares, with Dr. Garcia noting that they started Zoom dating. “It was a very pandemic love story…We would just catch up. And it seems it would be impersonal, but it really forced us to have deep conversations and really get to know each other.”
Dr. Garcia adds, “Absolutely, we really got to know each other. We had a series of questions that we would write down just so we could get to know each other… It was beautiful.”
While it may have been tough to be apart, the two cherished their scheduled video chats and called it their “one joyful thing” to look forward to.
As for why they kept their relationship private until announcing their engagement, Mathews explains that it contributed to his experiences with past relationships.
“We didn’t really talk about our relationship as we were building it because I’ve been in a public relationship before. I was with my ex for over about a decade and I know what it’s like to be in a public eye with somebody,” Mathews says. “And I wasn’t sure that I wanted that again…I’m so in love with Wellinthon and when I proposed and he said, ‘Of course!'”
“I didn’t have a game plan for how to tell everybody,” he continues. “I lived my life for 20 years almost on television being completely open, and it felt wrong not to share this joy with the people who’ve been on this journey with me. And to Welly’s credit, he was all in on going public.”
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Mathews surprised Dr. Garcia with their closest friends and family when he popped the question.
“He tricked me,” Dr. Garcia says. “He told me we were having a Zoom party for our friends.”
Mathews adds, “What he didn’t know was that I had like 50 friends from literally around the world. His family, my family on Zoom waiting for him…He’s like, ‘What are my co-workers doing here? What’s my mom and dad doing here? What’s my sister doing here?'”
“It was so bizarre,” chimes Dr. Garcia, adding, “I just didn’t understand at all what was happening. It literally took me couple of seconds to kind of figure it out…It finally hit me when he started quoting a pillow that I actually got for him for Christmas, which said, ‘It all started with a rooftop pool and a burrito.’ That’s our expression and I said, ‘Oh my god! This is the moment!'”
Upon Mathews getting down on one knee, Dr. Garcia stood up and walked out the room, shocked. But returned and immediately said yes.
“What I love about Ross is that he genuinely adores me to my fullest, my quirkiness, just my mannerisms, he enjoys everything about me,” Dr. Garcia gushes. “That for me is just the unconditional love that I wanna give back to him every day. And it’s just a blessing to be waking up next to him. He’s just as hilarious as he is on TV, he’s just as sweet to everyone and anyone, there, I have yet to meet someone who says they don’t like him. And if they do, I would have a problem with it, but he’s my heart and my soul, honestly. So I’m very blessed.”
The two plan on getting married “when everybody can be there,” says Mathews. “We’re not in a rush. I found him, we’re here and we’ll get married when the world is safer. We know where we wanna do it and we know how we’re gonna do it and it’s gonna be special and beautiful.”
One person that will sadly be missed at their wedding day is Mathews’ mother, Gaye Mathews, who died last May after a battle with cancer. Her death also made Mathews want to get in better shape and lose over 50 pounds.
“It’s just so hard without my mom. I think about her and how happy she’d be to see this, us together, and how she’d love you,” Mathews expresses. “And they never got to meet, but I did show her a picture of him before she passed away. And she said, ‘I think I know him.’ And I think she does.”
“I’ve been going to therapy too when my mom passed and sort of thinking how I’m going to do this,” he relays. “I also feel like I won the lottery in life by meeting this one.”
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