Joey Essex dating shop assistant despite saying he wants celebrity girlfriend

TOWIE star and influencer Joey Essex has began dating again, a year on from his split with model Brenda Santos, despite previously deciding he wanted to date someone who is in the limelight.

The 31-year-old is reportedly dating shop assistant Tia Skillmann and a source told The Sun: “Joey and Tia have been going out together for a while now.”

Mr Essex previously spoke about settling down in an interview with The Sun and mentioned that he was on the lookout for "the one", saying: “I normally date girls because I'm bored, but I want to settle down now and I do wonder how I'll find the one.”

Joey’s new relationship may come as a surprise to fans as he has previously mentioned that he would prefer a relationship with someone who understands his fame.

He said: “I need to date someone in the industry because they'll know the situation that if we go out, there might be people watching. I've dated girls before who are not in the limelight and it feels awkward.”

Despite this, the couple are reportedly enjoying their time together and want to take things slowly.

Joey was previously dating Brazilian beauty Brenda Santos but their split came as a result of spending too much time together during lockdown.

Brenda commented on her relationship with the TV star, saying that they "had a real physical connection", enjoyed intimate moments with each other "every day" and spoke about "kids and marriage" despite being "too young" and that their relationship spanned a total of just five short months.

Brenda told The Sun: "It was intense and memorable. He’s a very passionate person, like myself.

"He talked to me about kids and marriage a lot, but I'm too young to think about marriage. I am very active and I always need to be doing something. He feels ready, he's 30, it's a good age for him."

She continued to reflect on their relationship: "We had a great chemistry. From the beginning there was a real, physical connection between us. I felt the energy and we just let go."

Despite their unfortunate split the pair left on good terms and a source told The Sun: "Joey was smitten with Brenda and it was a classic whirlwind romance between them but spending so much time together took its toll and they both admitted they needed space.

"They were both really adult about everything and agreed that it was better to say goodbye."

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