The Jersey Shore significant others are offering a rare glimpse into what it's like to date someone in the public eye.
In PEOPLE's exclusive sneak peek at Thursday's episode of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino's wife Lauren, Angelina Pivarnick's husband Chris Larangeira, Deena Cortese's husband Christopher Buckner, Jenni "JWoww" Farley's fiancé Zack Clayton Carpinello and Pauly D" DelVecchio's girlfriend Nikki Hall get together for dinner without the roomies.
"It's definitely nice to have this time with the significant others one-on-one," says Lauren. "I've never had this experience with any of them, even with some of them that I've known for years."
Once they're seated, the discussion inevitably turns to the one thing they all have in common. "I don't know about you guys, but I feel like being a significant other of somebody in the public eye, it takes a while to find your groove in it," Lauren says. "You need to find what works for you. For me, we've established our home — it's like our safe space. Like, we went to my mom's 60th birthday this past summer. I have one picture with Mike from the entire night because everybody was grabbing him for pictures."
Everyone else agrees that time at home — without fans or cameras — is sacred. "I love that we are the way we are when we're home," says Nikki. "A lot of people think Pauly and I just started dating."
"Yeah, because you guys are private," Lauren remarks. "I like that."
"I just focus on the partnership first, and then everything else," adds Zack. "Like all the outside s---, it doesn't bother me."
As for Chris, whose rocky relationship with Angelina has been a topic of discussion this season? He can't help but wonder what their life would have been like without the show.
"For me, I think it's a little bit different ... because I first became friends with Angelina before she was even on Jersey Shore," he says. "I knew her before the show even existed. We weren't close friends, but we were friends."
"We started dating years later, while she was an EMT. We actually got engaged before she even came back to Family Vacation," he continues. "We were planning on just [having] a regular family, without all this."
And he's well aware of some of the pitfalls of fame, including fans constantly recognizing his wife and asking for pictures.
"Without that, it would be just me and Angelina and our family," he says. "We probably would have had a kid already."
"Do you almost wish that it was like it was before?" Zack asks.
"You know what, sometimes I do think that," Chris admits. "I'm almost like, without the fame, without the money, maybe it would be a little easier."
Jersey Shore: Family Vacation airs Thursdays (8 p.m. ET) on MTV.