HGTV star Tarek El Moussa split up with his wife Christina Anstead in a messy and public divorce. After the break-up, the famous real estate moguls continued to film their show Flip or Flop together (a ninth season has recently been confirmed). However, Tarek and Christina have both moved on, and both of their personal lives include a new love and a new solo show. For Tarek, in particular, the road to happiness has been long and uncertain.
Tarek El Moussa suffered from two types of cancer and didn’t know if he would make it through. Since his recovery, the young star has expressed how great he is doing and claimed that he is a “better man” since he started dating Heather Rae Young from Selling Sunset. After being together for less than one year, the couple moved in together, traveled the world, and became part of each other’s families and lives.
This is the story of Tarek El Moussa and Heather Rae Young’s whirlwind romance.
Meet Heather Rae Young
If you’ve been in quarantine and bored at home watching Netflix, chances are you binge-watched Selling Sunset. The reality show follows a group of real estate agents working in the Oppenheim group, and we get to watch all their drama unfold right before our eyes. Heather Rae Young is one of the beautiful agents known for her professional mindset and sassy attitude.
The Oppenheim Group boasts more than $1 billion in sales, so Heather is kind of a big deal. She is more than just a reality star and takes her career very seriously. Since she is in the business of selling homes, it was only a matter of time before she crossed paths with someone else in a related industry – Tarek El Moussa from Flip or Flop.
Yachts Brought Them Together
It doesn’t come as a surprise that both Heather and Tarek love yachts. The reality stars independently make enough money to afford their lavish lifestyles, and yachts are just a part of that. In fact, it might be how the couple got together in the first place. The day they met, Tarek honked his boat horn at Heather to get her attention. At the time, Heather was dating someone else and turned him down.
The pair were finally linked to each other romantically in July 2019, when TMZ published pictures of them kissing and cuddling on a luxury boat at the Portofino Hotel & Marina in Redondo Beach, California. Within two weeks, Heather and Tarek made their relationship Instagram official.
El Moussa even introduced his new girlfriend to his two children… before he had told Christina (his ex-wife) about their relationship. Tarek finally referred to Heather as his girlfriend and publicly took to social media, exclaiming, “It’s official!!!! After more than 3 years on my own, I’m so PROUD to say that this beautiful, sweet and talented young lady is my girlfriend!”
“I’ll be honest and say I never thought would meet someone special in my life, and after the last three years,” he gushed. “The first time I saw her smile she ‘did that thing to my tummy’ and I knew right away I needed to get to know her… so I asked her out!! She said yes.” He went on before ending the post with “So tell me!! Are we a cute couple or what?”
Normal People Things
In August 2019, Tarek and Heather finally gave their first joint interview to PeopleTV’s Reality Check, and the entire thing was a total lovefest! At a certain point, El Moussa needed to stop to say, “I’m talking too much because I’m excited.” They were still in their honeymoon phase but clearly enjoyed every moment of being together.
Heather swooned about her favorite date night activities with her new man, and it’s more than just boating. According to the real estate agent, the couple likes to do “normal people things” like going out to dinner and watching movies. Heather expressed that, “He’s been very romantic. It’s been very amazing. All happiness and smiles.”
Now, That’s How You Celebrate a Birthday!
It didn’t take long for Heather and Tarek’s relationship to become serious. It was clear that the couple was moving fast, but it became evident when it came time to celebrate their first birthdays together. Even though they were only official for a short while, according to Instagram (the most reliable source), at the end of August, they celebrated Tarek’s 38th birthday together by meeting each other’s dads.
Heather took to Instagram and captioned a photo: “Since you came into my life, I haven’t stopped smiling. When I’m with you, the world stops. So excited to share your special day with you.” I’m so happy for her! Everyone deserves someone who makes them that happy.
Heather’s Birthday Surprise
The following month, Heather’s 32nd birthday rolled around, and Tarek did not disappoint. The Flip or Flop star gave his new girlfriend a very expensive gift that would make any girl swoon. Tarek just casually bought Heather her dream car, a white hard top Ferrari. Supposedly, he had asked her what car she wanted on their first date, and he remembered.
Heather, of course, was super excited to show off her new wheels on social media and captioned it with, “This is a gushy post, but I just can’t help it. I waited 32 years to meet this special man. I’m a hopeless romantic to my core and always believed in true love. My advice is to wait and don’t settle for anything less.”
Welcome to the Family
Then, for Thanksgiving, the couple jetted off to Europe for a romantic getaway with stops in Amsterdam and Paris. They even dined at Le Jules Verne, a fancy restaurant located inside the Eiffel Tower. As soon as they got back, Tarek took another step in welcoming Heather into his family by including her in his holiday photo with his kids, Taylor and Brayden.
The Flip or Flop mogul took to social media and wrote Heather a message which included some adorable heart emojis, “Thank you [Heather] for coming into our life and making this photo possible. I just love you and our family so much.”
At this point, we already knew that Taylor approved of her dad’s new girlfriend, but now it was confirmed that Brayden also did. In fact, Heather went out of her way to plan Brayden’s birthday bash and went with the most epic car theme that any five-year-old boy could dream of.
“It’s my big boy’s birthday!!! The party is about to start, so I wanted to show you!!” El Moussa posted. “Bray is obsessed with cars like his daddy, so we went with a car theme. While Tarek took the kids out, Heather decorated the house for the Brayden’s party, and if you follow Tarek’s Instagram stories, there was even a magician there.
Tarek continued to show off moments of the special day through social media. He shared a video on his Instagram of Brayden walking into his surprise party and telling his son, “Let’s see what Heather’s been working on all day.” Heather then picked Brayden up and gave him a huge hug.
It’s clear that Heather is getting along great with Tarek’s children and is a wonderful addition to their family. The stunning blonde commented on the Instagram video, saying, “The best day!!!! Love you, Bray, and Tay so much! You have given more love than I thought was ever possible.”
In January 2020, Tarek revealed some juicy news about their relationship. We mentioned that the couple’s relationship was moving fast, but we didn’t know how fast. El Moussa took to Instagram and proclaimed, “Not sure if I’ve told you this, by @Heatherraeyoung, and I have been living together for a while now!”
Tarek and Heather split their time between each of their homes. Reportedly, they spend most of their time in their main home in Orange County. However, the pair spends at least one night a week at Heather’s place in West Hollywood. Her neighborhood even had an influence on the reality star’s style.
El Moussa admitted in a recent interview, “I’ve been getting a lot of influence from her, bringing more of a West Hollywood or Los Angeles vibe to some of the houses I’m doing, instead of doing the standard Orange County remodel.” Since El Moussa renovates homes and Heather sells them, their similar career paths must have been what brought them together.
Heather and Tarek are both happy with their relationship’s progression, despite some people thinking they are moving too fast. El Moussa explained that it was a big change, but also called himself “one lucky dude.” He wrote, “The best part is I now have someone to go to bed with and wake up to every day.”
Business and Pleasure
El Moussa’s hit reality show Flip or Flop is being renewed for a ninth season, and Tarek launched a solo show called Flipping 101. The project is another milestone in his relationship with Heather since it was the first time the pair filmed together. We mentioned that their mutual interest in homes had connected them, which is clear from their social media activity.
Tarek gushed about it on Instagram: “We were both excited and nervous, but we had a blast. She was so cute on camera. I couldn’t stop smiling.” But the real estate agent is no stranger to cameras. She stars on Selling Sunset, selling multi-million dollar homes for The Oppenheim Group.
Who Said It First?!
So here is the big question when it comes to famous couples: Who said ‘I love you’ first? The reality stars were asked in March while playing The Newly Dating Game at US Weekly. Heather said Tarek said it first, but Tarek claimed it was Heather. “You said it first,” he insisted, but Heather replied, “No, because I said, ‘Tell me you love me.’”
Tarek then said, “I love you.” It didn’t take the two of them long to know they were meant to be together. Apparently, they started dropping the “L” word after going out on just four dates. The stars were at a vintage Hollywood resort in Beverly Hills called the Montage, when they confessed their love for the first time.
The Next Chapter
So, after nine wonderful months of dating, Tarek and Heather moved into a new house together. Just like their whirlwind romance, the big move happened pretty quickly. It took Tarek just one week to sell his Costa Mesa home, and the couple relocated to a new property in Newport Beach. I’m sure Heather being a real estate agent, helped speed up the process, but that’s just speculation.
The beautiful property is located one block away from a stunning Orange Country beach; it is a rental, and they plan to live there for one year. “This is our in-between house until we build or find the perfect house,” Tarek said. “But I mean, this is a super killer house. It’s nicer than the house we were living in – it’s right by the water and kind of looks like a hotel.”
Moving on Together
This big move allows Tarek and Heather to write their own story together. Tarek moved into his former home in January 2017, after filing for divorce with Christina Anstead (previously El Moussa). During the interview, Tarek explained, “It’s especially sad for me because it’s the first place that I felt like I had a home for the kids.”
He continued, “Obviously Heather moved in several months ago, and she just made that place so much more special to me. But I’m letting a piece of the past go. It was a very defining moment in my life after my divorce, and now it’s time to move on to the next chapter.”
Like many other couples out there, Tarek and Heather have fun nicknames they like to call each other. Tarek told People magazine that he likes to call his girlfriend “Honey Bunny.” It seems pretty standard when it comes to lovey-dovey pet-names. The revelation of the nickname came as they gave a public tour of their Newport Beach house.
The master bedroom features its very own minibar and balcony, where the couple enjoys Heather’s signature margaritas while looking at the magnificent views. Over their bed, there is a piece of art that reads, “I Love You Too Honey Bunny.” Tarek confirmed to the magazine, “Honey Bunny is my nickname for Heather.”
The Future Mrs. El Moussa
The couple took a romantic getaway to celebrate their first anniversary. To make the weekend even more magical, Tarek proposed. On July 26th, 2020, Heather announced her engagement on Instagram. She posted a picture where you could see her smiling from ear to ear as her new fiancé put a huge rock on her finger.
The caption read: “The future Mrs. Tarek El Moussa!!!!” Tarek looked dashing while wearing a tuxedo for the very special occasion. He confirmed details of the engagement and the diamond ring to People magazine. The emerald-cut rock is colorless and eight carats in size. El Moussa said, “The diamond is perfect all the way around – just like Heather. I also picked the ring because eight is a lucky number.”
Popping the Question
Tarek confirmed to the magazine that he dropped to one knee in the sand and asked Heather to marry him. Before the big night, Tarek managed to sneak away to Heather’s hometown in Running Springs to get her parents’ blessings. Somehow, he managed to keep his little detour a secret.
According to People, after El Moussa popped the question, and Heather said yes, the newly engaged couple had dinner at a private beach cabana. There was also a neon sign matching the color scheme and flowers that read: “The Future Mrs. El Moussa.” These two seem to be looking forward to sharing their lives together and cannot wait for the wedding!
The El Moussa Split
Tarek appears to be incredibly happy with his Heather. They are both looking to the future to make their relationship work. But like all people, couples have baggage and history, and, for El Moussa, all his personal challenges were revealed in front of the entire world. Since he starred in the reality show Flip or Flop alongside his wife, viewers were shocked when he and Christina Anstead broke up.
Everyone wanted to know the latest gossip on their relationship status and get the details on why they broke up. Now that’s it’s been over three years, and both parties have moved on, we know what really happened. This is the truth behind the El Moussa split.