Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Engaged to Longtime Partner Riley Roberts

The couple, who met while undergraduates at Boston University, are "taking some space to savor this time before diving into planning" their wedding after a proposal last month

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Riley Roberts
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with her boyfriend Riley Roberts. Photo: James Devaney/GC

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is engaged to her longtime partner Riley Roberts.

"It's true! Thank you all for the well wishes," the New York Congresswoman, 32, said on Twitter in reply to a post about the news.

The couple, who met when they were undergraduates at Boston University, got engaged in Puerto Rico but haven't started making plans for a wedding just yet.

"We got engaged last month in my family's hometown in Puerto Rico," the Democrat and "Squad" member told an Insider reporter via Twitter message. "No future details yet, we're taking some space to savor this time before diving into planning."

Roberts, a web developer, caught the future lawmakers attention during weekly "Coffee and Conversation" debate sessions at BU's Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, according to a biography about her rise in national politics called Take Up Space: The Unprecedented AOC.

"Every guy went through their phase where they had a crush on her," Ocasio-Cortez's friend Eric Baker says in the book by editors of New York Magazine.

Roberts was one of those guys, but he also served as one of Ocasio-Cortez's main "sparring partners" on campus.

"Riley was, for lack of a better term, the s----starter," Baker says. "Riley's just as smart as anyone you've ever met, probably smarter, but he would actively say things just to stir the pot."

Baker explains in the biography that Roberts saw it as his duty to stir up the conversation when the debate "began to have the collegiate, navel-gazing feel of collective concord."

"Riley was just like, 'This is dumb. Why are we all going around in a circle saying the same thing?' He enjoyed intellectual combat," Baker also says, adding of Ocasio-Cortez, "I think she enjoyed his pushback."

Roberts was also in scenes from the Netflix documentary Knock Down the House.

A friend of the couple, Raul Fernandez, was at the Sundance Film Festival premiere of the documentary in 2019, and previously told Vanity Fair that Roberts was "just bawling" while he watched the scenes about her dad's death.

Fernandez recalled, according to the magazine, "I was like, 'He really, deeply loves this woman.' What more can you ask for?"

The couple did break up once after they got together — a temporary interruption in their romance. They now live with their dog, Deco.

The New York magazine editors write in Take Up Space that Roberts has found ways to support his girlfriend strictly behind the scenes, unlike many of the wives and partners of politicians expected to perform in the public spotlight.

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