Paul “Pauly D” DelVecchio makes rare comments about his relationship with Nikki Hall on the Thursday, February 22, episode of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation. The DJ opened up about settling down with Nikki in a preview for the episode shared exclusively with Life & Style.

While out to dinner with Vinny Guadagnino and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, Pauly, 43, reflected on the start of his relationship with Nikki, 31, which began on Double Shot at Love in 2019. “I didn’t know [she was the one at first],” he admitted. “With Nikki, we clicked so fast, so early, and even then I was like, ‘Oh, f–k, I don’t know.’ I still questioned myself.”

It wasn’t until Pauly decided to “revisit” his relationship with Nikki on season 2 of Double Shot at Love in 2020 that he knew their love was the real deal. “It’s like, ‘Alright, I’m done being ratchet,’” he explained. “My mentality changed.” In a confessional, he added, “Something just clicks in your mind when it’s time to just turn down that ratchet life, that single life. You did it all. Mike went through it. I went through it. And now Vinny’s going through it. He’s at that point. It’s like a light switch just clicks.”

The Rhode Island native also said he’s “grateful and thankful” for his girlfriend. “She’s the type of woman who has those caring and nurturing vibes and family values,” he gushed. While Nikki rarely appears on Jersey Shore, she and Pauly have been continuing to build a life together away from the public eye in Las Vegas.

Vinny, 36, was admittedly beginning to think about settling down himself. “I will tell you, though, when you’re dating with the intention of the future, you start to look for different qualities,” he said. “Like, in the past, I’d look for a model or a famous girl because she’s very popular. But now I’m like, ‘What will benefit me in terms of raising a family? Will she be a good mother?’”

The Chippendales star told his friends that the women in their lives – Mike, 41, has been married to Lauren Sorrentino (née Pesce) since 2018 – have the qualities he’s looking for in a partner.

“You want more for your life,” Mike pointed out. “It’s almost like your legacy as a man. Your legacy as a man is family and you’re trying to build that.”

Jersey Shore: Family Vacation airs on MTV Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET.