Ms Ocasio-Cortez, 32, who confirmed that she and Roberts were engaged in May, spoke candidly about the bond the couple shares and how she reacted to her boyfriend’s desire to get engaged during a recent interview for GQ’s October issue.
The New York Democrat, who first met Roberts when they were both 19 and attending Boston University as undergraduate students, said she never considered marriage “inevitable” and found that her relationship with Roberts added additional questions to her mindset. She told the outlet she had lingering concerns about their “intercultural, interracial relationship” and whether it would be “the right fit for her”.
When she ran for office in 2018, Ms Ocasio-Cortez said she was also aware of the possibility that her longtime partner might struggle with the pace with which their lives were changing. A lot of men “believe that they want to be with an independent successful woman” only to realise they don’t, she explained.
“The moment you start being yourself, they kind of freak out,” she said. “I think it causes a conflict within them that they didn’t even anticipate. It’s not even a deception. It’s just, they uncover insecurities that they didn’t know were there.”
However, Ms Ocasio-Cortez found that Mr Roberts has been “so supportive.”
“In fact, the opposite happened,” she said. “He has been so supportive and willing and deeply engaging. He’s not a witness to this. He dives into the fray for himself in that he uses what we go through as opportunities for personal growth. And it’s incredible.”
She also noted that it has been an “eye-opening experience” for Roberts to see her progression from waitressing and bartending to US Representative.
“For him to experience us dating when I was still working as a waitress and a bartender through now and seeing how the world responds [to me], I think has been a very eye-opening experience for him as well,” she said.
In April, Roberts proposed while the couple was on vacation in Puerto Rico. Ms Ocasio-Cortez noted that the proposal came after her longtime partner admitted that he wanted to get engaged during a conversation about their New Year’s resolutions the year before.
The 32 year old told GQ that Roberts said to her: “It’s my resolution that perhaps we can be engaged by the end of the year.”
“And I said: ‘Oh, really? Well, you’re going to have to woo me. You’re going to have to convince me, after all this time, why I should,’” Ms Ocasio-Cortez recalled of the response she’d given at the time.
In May, she confirmed to Insider that she and Roberts were engaged, with the congresswoman stating: “Yep! It’s true.”
At the time, she also noted that she wouldn’t be sharing additional details, as the couple was “taking some space to savour”.
“We got engaged last month in my family’s hometown in Puerto Rico,” she tweeted. “No future details yet, we’re taking some space to savour this time before diving into planning.”
Elsewhere during the interview with GQ, Ms Ocasio-Cortez also spoke candidly about what it means to her to have “good men” in her life like Roberts and her late father.
“I feel like I won the men lottery in my life,” she said, before listing her father, her cousins who she grew up with in the South Bronx, and her chief of staff Gerardo Bonilla Chavez. “It is the presence of good men that has shown me what kind of men are possible in this world.”
Although the private couple is rarely photographed together, Roberts was in attendance during Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s swearing-in in 2019 and attended the 2021 Met Gala alongside her when she wore a white “tax the rich” gown by Brother Vellies.