Though the split between Michael Strahan and his fiancée Nicole Murphy – just one day before his Hall of Fame induction – may have been a surprise to some, those close to the couple says the breakup was a long time coming.
Now, the two could already be moving on. Strahan, 42, and Murphy, 46, both may have begun dating other people, a source says.
“They’ve been having problems for two years and have been off and on throughout,” the source tells PEOPLE. “Him dating someone would come as no surprise to Nicole.”
The couple originally met in 2007, following her 2006 divorce from ex-husband Eddie Murphy and his from second wife Jean Muggli that same year. They got engaged in 2009, but when it came to their wedding, their plans stalled out.
“It had been the longest engagement ever,” says a source close to Murphy, who appears on VH1’s Hollywood Exes.
“She would always get so defensive about it, saying, ‘We’re taking our time, we’re taking our time,’ and all of her girlfriends on the show would always push her,” the source says. “It had obviously become a point of contention [for her].”
When Strahan joined Live! With Kelly and Michael in 2012, they began spending more and more time apart, with him taping on the East Coast, and Murphy remaining on the West Coast to shoot her show and care for her kids.
“Nicole wouldn’t move to New York full-time, so she would spend three weeks in L.A. then one in New York,” the Murphy source says. “They never saw each other.”
With ever more distance between them, friends say, the breakup wasn’t out of the blue.
“This has been brewing,” another source says. “It wasn’t a shock to anybody around them.”