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Posted: Friday, 05 July 2013 7:55AM

Eva Longoria Officially Dating "Ready for Love" Contestant

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images For Laureus(LOS ANGELES) -- Three months ago, former Desperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria was rumored to be dating Miami-based entrepreneur and philanthropist Ernesto Arguello.  And while it wasn’t true then, People magazine is confirming that it's true now.

The couple met last year when Arguello was cast in NBC's Ready for Love, a reality dating show the actress produced.  Arguello picked former Miss USA, Shandi Finnessey, on the show but the romance ended in 2012.

When the show aired this past spring, rumors swirled that Longoria, 38, and Arguello, 34, were dating, but their friendship didn't turn into a romance until recently.

“I think that’s why our relationship is so special,” Longoria tells the magazine, “we truly started out as friends.”

“I guess we have the press to thank for pushing us to see something we didn’t see,” joked the actress, who just got back from Nicaragua, where she met his whole family.

A source close to the couple tells People, "Eva and Ernesto are a perfect match.  They both speak Spanish, have the same religion and the same cultural background.”

They also share a passion for philanthropy.  Longoria recently went with Arguello to his native Honduras to visit a school he built in his community, as well as homes he has built for impoverished families.

“Their friendship and their similar philanthropic interests laid the foundation for their new romance,” the source adds.  “They’re very much in love.”

Longoria was married to NBA star Tony Parker from 2007 to 2011.

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