Joe Manganiello Had to Convince Sofia Vergara to Take A Chance On Him–And It Paid Off

Inspiring Stories

Joe Manganiello and Sofia Vergara are one of Hollywood’s happiest couples, but their undeniable connection might have been a missed connection if not for the fact that Joe wasn’t afraid to make some crazy gestures to prove his worth. Throwing caution to the wind, he refused to give up on the possibility of getting to know Sofia, which is a good thing because she was about to brush him off.

Here’s what we can learn from Joe Manganiello and Sofia Vergara’s relationship: 

Their first meeting wasn’t perfect… at all 

Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello first met at the 2014 White House Correspondents’ Dinner and although the Magic Mike actor was instantly drawn to the actress, the timing just wasn’t right. That’s because the Modern Family star was engaged to Nick Loeb at the time and while Joe joked that he “just kind of followed her around” that night, he was respectful. 

Joe opened up about that fateful encounter on SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Show, gushing, “She was wearing this dress that looked great on her and I just could not take my eyes off of her. ” He decided not to do anything about it, though. Luckily, one of Sofia’s co-stars stepped in. 

Later on that night, Jesse Tyler Ferguson came up to me and said, ‘Hey. My friend Sofia wants to come over and say hi.

Joe Manganiello in The Daily Mail

Despite voicing his concerns about Sofia being engaged, Ferguson assured him the interest was platonic. “‘She just wants to come over and talk. You know, she’s a big fan of yours,’” Ferguson reportedly said before bringing them together. 

While nothing came of the brief encounter, that would all change a few weeks later. When Joe received a message from his friend, People’s former editor-in-chief Jess Cagle, letting him know that Vergara had split from her fiancé, he took his chance at love despite the fact that the timing still wasn’t perfect.

Love makes you do crazy things

“I was on a press tour when I found out Sofia was single,” Joe told Cosmopolitan UK, but that didn’t stop him from reaching out to Jesse Tyler Ferguson to ask for Vergara’s number — once again being totally respectful of his crush.

I said, ‘Man, well, I don’t know what kind of emotional state she’s in, but tell her I want to take her out. 

Joe Manganiello

Ferguson obliged and the True Blood star gave Sofia a call, only to find out that she was in New Orleans, filming Hot Pursuit. He was in Los Angeles at the time, but wasn’t about to let any obstacles stand in his way.

Proving that love really does make you do crazy things, he bought himself a plane ticket. “I said, ‘I’m coming to New Orleans. If you’re not available, I’m just gonna do some sightseeing, but I’m gonna be there and if you’re free I can take you out,’” he revealed.

Her response was not the one he might have hoped for — “She said, ‘You’re crazy’” — but he went for it and the risk sure paid off. Soon enough, the pair was going out on their first date in the Big Easy.

Sometimes you need time to heal, and sometimes you don’t

When Joe Manganiello and Sofia Vergara went on their first date in June 2014, she had just broken off her engagement a month before and wasn’t sure she was ready to date again. She also wasn’t sure if she was ready to date Joe Manganiello specifically.

Getting candid on Ellen in 2015, the actress admitted, “At the beginning, I didn’t want to go out with him because I had just finished a relationship.”

He seemed like a lot of work because he’s so handsome and younger than me and, like, so sexy and whatever […] And I’m like, ‘Ugh. It’s too much!’

Sofia Vergara to Ellen

Next thing she knew, “He flew to New Orleans and forced me on a date.” 

Even so, she wasn’t going to make things easy. In an interview with Haute Living, Joe remembered how she spent the entire evening “giving me every reason why it would never work out. Like, ‘You’re too young, you’re an actor, you’re this, you’re that,’ and she was just doing it to hear herself say it. She was trying to talk herself out of going there.”

Joe knew he had met his match “right away”

While Vergara may have been voicing every concern she could think of, her trepidation soon began to ebb away as she realized that all of her preconceived notions about Joe were wrong.

He’s a great guy, super fun, super normal and we clicked. It’s super easy to hang out with him.

Sofia Vergara to Ellen

Meanwhile, he knew she was The One “right away.” Opening up about their very short six-month courtship to Jimmy Fallon in 2018, he revealed the moment he realized he had met his match. It was his second time flying to New Orleans in between press tour obligations and it was a copy of People’s Hottest Bachelor issue (which he was on the cover of) that helped solidify things. 

Noting that he understood Sofia’s hesitation about jumping from one relationship to another, he remembered telling her, “‘I know you just got out of this long-term relationship and if you need to be single then I understand. Like, I’m not gonna like it, but I’ll get over it […] But before you answer, I wanna show you something,’” he laughed. He then “reached into my bag and put down the magazine and I said, ‘Numero uno.’”  

Without missing a beat, Sofia matched his humor. “She picked up the magazine, she opened it up and I saw that she was flipping by my interview and I said, ‘What are you doing?’” he told Fallon. “And she said, ‘I’m seeing who else is on the list.’” And that’s when he knew.

Humor is an integral key to success 

Joe Manganiello and Sofia Vergara haven’t stopped joking around since. Speaking with Men’s Health, he revealed just how important humor is to their marriage.

My life is great because I really like my wife. I like talking to her. I like goofing around with her. We f***ing laugh all day long every day. My favorite thing in the world is making my wife laugh so much she cries. It’s the best.

Joe Manganiello

Another key to success? Enjoying each other through and through. Opening up to Cigar Aficionado, the actor confessed, “There’s nobody I’d rather spend time with. She was it for me.” He continued, “People say things like, ‘Marriage and relationships are work.’ But it’s not. Life is hard. Having somebody to help you deal with it is the greatest thing that ever happened.”

What’s more, “It’s such an easy relationship — easy in all the right ways,” he added, concluding, “Looking back on the relationships I had before this, I think the universe was giving me some tough practice so I’d get this right.”

“When you know, you know”

Despite only dating for six months, Manganiello proposed on Christmas Eve 2014 (in Spanish, no less!) and in May 2015, they moved in together. Just a few months later, they said “I do” in November 2015. As Manganiello told Haute Living, “When you know, you know, and we knew right away — like, very quickly.” 

That assuredness made all of the initial doubts disappear. “She had just gotten out of a relationship and I knew that she wanted to be single, but we knew right away, and she knew she was screwed,” he told the magazine.

In addition to their instant connection and ability to laugh, the lovebirds also truly appreciate each other just the way they are.

“He loves that I love to work; that I love to be creative; that I’m always planning my ventures; that I’m always excited about work and about business,” Vergara gushed while he confirmed, “I love that she knows how to take care of herself, obviously, because I needed to be with somebody confident.” He added, “We’re opposites in all the best ways and we’re compatible in all the best ways.”

Relationships don’t have any set rules 

When it comes to dating and relationships, there really are no set rules. What works for one couple may not work for another. Even what you think is best for you can change on a dime.

The timing sure wasn’t perfect when Joe Manganiello and Sofia Vergara met, but no matter how many reasons the actress could dream up to not give Manganiello a chance, she decided to listen to her heart instead of her head. Love is all about taking chances and, as Vergara found out first-hand, if it feels right, it’s worth the risk.

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