TODAY lifestyle contributor Jill Martin has ended her engagement to fiancé Erik Brooks.
In a statement to TODAY on Sunday, Jill, 44, said: "This pandemic has taken a toll on so many aspects of life — it’s such a difficult time for everyone. Erik is the most magnificent person, but with him living in Boston with his children and me living in New York, the distance just became too difficult for us to maintain the kind of relationship that's important to us both."
She added, "He is an amazing man, and I wish him nothing but the best."
Jill met Brooks on a dating app in the fall of 2017. The couple got engaged last May in the Hamptons in a tent on the beach, decorated with mementos from their relationship, white flowers and candles.
"(Erik) told me we were going to a friends house for a casual kick-off to summer party ... (he even sent me a paperless post with the fake invite)," Jill told TODAY in an email at the time. "I kinda knew something was fishy but couldn’t put my finger on it!"
Seeing the setup made her burst into tears of joy. Jill added that she was "speechless ... It took me a few mins to say yes — he actually said 'Is the answer 'yes'?' as I hadn't responded! I said of course!!! Yes!!"
In an essay for TODAY from February 2019, the "Shop the Stars" host opened up about her relationship with Brooks.
“Erik is kind, honest, funny and puts family first: He has three beautiful children whom I adore,” she wrote. “It took dating someone like him to make me see that I had been dating the wrong men and was looking for the wrong thing. I had this unrealistic expectation of ‘perfection’ when in reality, life is a little messy and we all come with our own set of baggage.”