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Former Miss Universe says relationship with NFL star Christian McCaffrey is ‘rooted in God’

Olivia Culpo
Christian McCaffrey and Olivia Culpo attend the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 27, 2022, in Beverly Hills, California. |

Former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo, who stars in the new TLC reality show "The Culpo Sisters" alongside her two sisters Aurora and Sophia, said her dating relationship with NFL star Christian McCaffrey is "rooted in God."

The 30-year-old model, who has been dating the San Francisco 49ers running back for three years, opened up about their relationship during the series premiere on Nov. 7 and again in a recent interview with Fox News.

She said their relationship is worth the sacrifice even though it's more of a long-distance relationship. 

When faced with obstacles in their relationship, Culpo said she and McCaffery will always try to get to the root of the issues by putting God at the center of their lives. She said they ask themselves: "How can we be stronger in this moment?"

"I would say our relationship is definitely rooted in God, and that's really important to both of us," Culpo said in the episode TLC aired on Nov. 7. 

"And even if we are having hard times, one of the things that we do is we pray about it."

"The foundation of our relationship has always been God," she elaborated in an interview with Fox News. "And I feel like when things are hard or when you're both overwhelmed [and] there's not a ton that you can give to each other, you can always rely on God. So I feel like if the foundation is there, if there's a foundation of that in any relationship, it is incredibly helpful. Sometimes you just need help with any relationship. … That's not only like with friendships. It's with everything. I think it's important to be faith-based, truly."

Although she wasn't involved in many beauty pageants growing up, Culpo won Miss Rhode Island at age 19 in 2012. She went on to win the titles of Miss USA and Miss Universe that same year. 

After winning those titles, Culpo said her "life changed overnight" as her social media platform followers grew into the thousands and eventually the millions. 

She moved to Los Angeles with her boyfriend at the time, Nick Jonas, a singer famous for his involvement in the Grammy Award-winning Jonas Brothers band. 

"I had no brand, no money and I was in love," Culpo described of the time she dated Jonas.

Jonas and Culpo dated for two years until he broke off the relationship. She called her relationship with Jonas a "formative experience." Jonas later married Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra.

Culpo admitted that after the breakup, she struggled to figure out who she wanted to be because she had "no sense of identity." 

"My whole identity was in him, which is a very common story of a young person in love," she said, noting she had imagined herself marrying Jonas before the split. 

Culpo said she struggled to make ends meet financially.

"I just remember night after night looking up at my ceiling in my apartment that I couldn't afford, thinking to myself, 'how am I going to pay my rent?'" she said. "I couldn't even afford my groceries. It was a serious, pivotal moment for me, but it was something that taught me that you can't give up."

Culpo said she moved on to dating an athlete who she later found out cheated on her "multiple times." Being lied to and cheated on, Culpo said, made her swear off dating famous athletes. 

"I've been cheated on and lied to quite a bit in my past. Once the trust is broken, it's over. It's so hard to mend that relationship," Culpo recently told E! News

"I was put through Hell, and those were traumatizing experiences." 

Culpo eventually met the 26-year-old McCaffrey, a former first-round pick who was traded to the San Francisco 49ers in October after several seasons with the Carolina Panthers.

Culpo says dating McCaffrey has changed her.

"My relationship with Christian is different in so many ways," she said.

Although they "barely see each other" because of the long-distance nature of the relationship, she assured they make every moment that they spend together count. 

Culpo said her parents, who have been married for 35 years, are an example to her. She hopes her future marriage will have similar longevity. 

"They have a love that's lasted a very long time," Culpo stated. "And I definitely want to have that someday."

As the middle child of five children, Culpo hopes one day to have children of her own. 

"Being a mom was definitely one of my biggest goals in life," she said. "So, I really hope I can make that a reality sooner rather than later."

Family is of high importance for Culpo. She wrote in a Nov. 7 Instagram post, ahead of her show's premiere, that her "biggest gifts" in life are her family members. 

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