During an appearance on Millennial Hollywood with Dakota T. Jones on Thursday, De La Garza, 55, admitted that when her daughter first started dating Valderrama in 2010, she wasn’t sure she wanted them “to be together.”
“I want this time with my daughter, and now I’ve gotta share it with [Valderrama],” she said, as she recounted her feelings about the actor back then.
“At one time I was like, ‘You know, I like you, but I’m not sure I want you to be together,’ you know?” she continued before adding: “[Of] course you can’t not like him…he’s so likable and just a lovely human being.”
But one day De La Garza “had a realization” and decided she “wanted to go and get to know him better because… I thought they were gonna get married.”
“We had all hung out, but I hadn’t really made that effort. And once I made that effort, I really came to really truly love him as a person — and as a person that I really wanted to be in our family,” she explained.
However in June 2016, after nearly six years of dating, the pair announced they were splitting.
“This was an incredibly difficult decision for both of us, but we have realized more than anything that we are better as best friends,” the pair wrote in a joint statement at the time. “We will always be supportive of one another. Thank you to everyone who has offered us kindness and support over the years.”
But even though the couple called it quits nearly two years ago, De La Guaza still believes Valderrama, 38, loves her daughter.
“He was just so gracious and caring, and he still is to this day. I believe he loves her, and she loves him,” the 55-year-old continued.
“I think Demi came to a point where she wanted to make some decisions in her life, and when that happened, it just really broke us all. I mean we were just so upset,” she added.
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But despite feeling “hurt at the time” because “we missed him,” De La Garza said she “had to respect Demi’s choice.”
“It was her life and I had to let her decide things for herself,” she added.
Luckily for De La Garza, she still gets to see her daughter’s ex from time to time.
“I’m thankful that even after everything, we still see him occasionally,” she added. “We don’t see him that often but when we do, it’s just like nothing ever changed. You know, he’s just that kind of person.”
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This is hardly the first time De La Garza has spoken fondly of her daughter’s ex since their breakup. Last month she even admitted she “would be happy” if the pair decided to reconcile.
“I do like them together, I have to be honest,” De La Garza said during an interview with Access Hollywood. “I do like them together. I would be happy if they were together forever. But I don’t know anything about a timeline or even if it’s going to happen.”
“They’re amazing friends,” she added. “And hopefully one day it’ll be more than that and if it’s not, that will be up to her I guess. But I do like them together.”
Although the pair did spark dating rumors after they were spotted grabbing lunch together in February, at the time multiple sources told PEOPLE that while “there’s always potential they could give a romantic relationship another try,” the duo were just “extremely close friends.”