"I feel like this is meant to be," says Paris Hilton of her boyfriend of nine months, Carter Reum

By Aili Nahas
September 03, 2020 08:00 AM

For Paris Hilton, there is one upside to the months-long pandemic.

"This is the first time I've actually been forced not to travel and stay home," the entrepreneur and DJ — who, pre-COVID-19, was traveling up to 250 days a year for work — tells PEOPLE. "The silver lining is that I get to be with my pets and my boyfriend. We have gotten so close. The amount of time we've had together is what would normally take five years!"

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That boyfriend would be Carter Reum, a 39-year-old businessman and family friend, whom Hilton, also 39, began dating in November. "I've known him for 15 years. Then [Reum's sister Halle Hammond] invited us to Thanksgiving and we just had this incredible chemistry. We had our first date and haven't spent a night apart since. It's pretty amazing."

Paris Hilton and Carter Reum
| Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty
Paris Hilton

Especially considering that for a time, following the end of her engagement to actor Chris Zylka in 2018, Hilton, whose documentary This Is Paris premieres Sept. 14 on YouTube, wasn't sure if she'd ever find a perfect match. "After my last breakup, I thought I was going to be alone forever," she says. "I was like, I give up. I'll just focus on myself. I don't need anyone. So to have actually fallen in love, I just feel so grateful."

And after a series of toxic past relationships, (in the documentary, Hilton opens up about being abused by five ex-boyfriends), the former reality star says she has finally found the partnership she deserves.

Paris Hilton
| Credit: Ramona Rosales

"I don't think I was ready for it before," she says. "I just always wanted what my mom and dad have. They're best friends, he's so loyal. I was always looking for that, but I was looking in the wrong places."

Continues Hilton: "Carter actually reminds me of my dad! He makes me feel safe and happy. I finally found the right one."