The Real Reason Jill Martin Ended Her Engagement

Today show lifestyle contributor Jill Martin and fiancé Erik Brooks have called it quits after nearly two years of dating, Page Six reported on May 17, 2020. The former flames first met on a dating app in 2017 and then Brooks, "who works in private equity," proposed in May 2019.

Shortly after the proposal, Martin revealed how Brooks popped the question during a Hamptons getaway. "[Erik] told me we were going to a friend's house for a casual kick-off to summer party ... (he even sent me a paperless post with the fake invite). I kinda knew something was fishy but couldn't put my finger on it!" she told Today in an email at the time.

In addition to setting up a tent with pictures of the couple from throughout their relationship, Brooks also decorated it with candles and flowers. Later on, Martin's friends and family surprised her and celebrated the momentous occasion. "I SAID YES! I am over the moon," the television personality wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post, per People.

However, it wasn't always rainbows and butterflies. On a couple occasions, Martin and Brooks talked about some of the hard moments in their relationship.

The pandemic took 'a toll' on Jill Martin and Erik Brooks' relationship

The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on everyone's lives and celebrities are no exception. In a statement to Today, Jill Martin revealed the real reason things didn't work out with Erik Brooks. "This pandemic has taken a toll on so many aspects of life — it's such a difficult time for everyone."

In the statement, Martin noted that Brooks lives in Boston with his children while she resides in New York, which "became too difficult for us to maintain the kind of relationship that's important to us both." Despite the split, Martin couldn't help but praise her ex, calling him "the most magnificent person." She added, "He is an amazing man, and I wish him nothing but the best."

Just two months before the news of their separation made headlines, Brooks and Martin appeared on Today and Martin got super candid about their relationship, sharing that they "never spent so much concentrated time together" before the pandemic, per Page Six. "Like many couples, we've had a couple of blowups. I would say they were kind of major blowups, it was kind of tough." 

Oh, how times have changed. In February 2019, Martin gushed about why Brooks was the right partner for her. "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," she wrote in an article for Today, sharing that Brooks was "kind, honest, funny and puts family first." 

Erik Brooks' family dynamic was tough for Jill Martin

Jill Martin's former fiancé, Erik Brooks, has three kids of his own, and prior to their split, she noted that there were times when it was hard to be their stepmother. During a Today show chat in July 2019, Martin recalled when she went on a trip with her then fiancé and his children, but Brooks' daughter, Bella — who was 11 years old at the time — was not pleased with her company. 

"I get there and I unpack my things in the closet. I went for lunch; I get back [and] by the door is my suitcase with everything beautifully packed — and she packed my stuff and was like, 'See ya!'" Naturally, Martin was "so upset" over the incident. However, despite the "bumpy path to becoming a stepmother," the Today contributor admitted her relationship with Bella got better over time. "We're the best of friends now." She added, "We really talk through it now." 

This is likely a tough time for all involved, so we wish Martin and Brooks all the best moving forward.