Living in the fishbowl of reality TV doesn’t seem like it would be very conducive to forging a long-lasting relationship. Even with all the shows in Bachelor Nation – a franchise designed to make us believe in love, or the idea of people vying for another person’s affections only to drop down on one knee after having approximately four conversation – doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to couples that stand the test of time.
While it would take a while to go over all the couples in the series – there are, after all, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Bachelor Pad, Bachelor in Paradise, and The Bachelor: Winter Games – we’ve narrowed it down to just the first two. And let us tell you, the number are pretty staggering! After 22 seasons of The Bachelor, only four couples are still together! On the other hand, for the 13 seasons of The Bachelorette, nearly half of all couples still remain. (Although, in all fairness, half of those are relatively new.)
The Bachelor and its related show may hint at the promise of finding love for real – there are, of course, “Fantasy Suites,” romantic dinner, and the omnipresent Rose Ceremony – but let’s get real: it would take a heck of a lot of time after the cameras are turned off to form something real and long-lasting. Here are nine couples from the shows who have managed to make it work, and 11 who called it quits.
20 Called It Quits: Nick Viall & Vanessa Grimaldi, Season 21
While definitely not the most beloved Bachelor of the series, Nick Viall is certainly the most frequent – he’s appeared on the show four times! Unfortunately, the fourth time was not the charm for Viall, who picked Montreal girl Vanessa Grimaldi at the end of the 21st season, only for them to call it quits just five months later.
Since their split, Viall has set his sights on appearing in real TV (a.k.a. not reality television), appearing in the holiday film A Christmas Cruise, while Grimaldi – after flashing her Neil Lane ring all over Instagram – is now seeing someone not affiliated with Bachelor nation.
19 In It To Win It: Arie Luyendyk Jr. & Lauren Burnham, Season 22
Hoo boy, this pairing was a doozy! After we saw the painful, tearful, cringe-inducing, secondhand-embarrassment-causing breakup between race-car driver Arie Luyendyk Jr. and his initial pick, Becca Kufrin (on live television, to boot!), he got his happily ever after with the runner-up, Lauren Burnham.
Since proposing to his now-fiancée, the two are still apparently going strong and announced in November that they are expecting a baby this June! They’re also in the midst of planning their Hawaii wedding for next month, while the dumped Becca has since gone on to become the most recent Bachelorette.
18 Called It Quits: Ben Higgins & Lauren Bushnell, Season 20
Unlike the above-mentioned blonde Lauren who seems well on her way to getting her happy ending, this blonde Lauren was not so lucky.
Another Bachelor who courted controversy by dropping the L-bomb on both Bushnell and runner-up JoJo Fletcher, Ben Higgins eventually made the decision to go with the former and dropped down on one knee with a ring worth a whopping $100k!
Alas, 'twas not meant to be for the toothy pair, who lasted a little over a year, before Higgins returned to Bachelor Nation to try to find love again (he didn’t), while Bushnell found her next dude the way us regular folk do: on Tinder!
17 In It To Win It: Sean Lowe & Catherine Giudici, Season 17
If these two don’t make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, we suggest scrolling through their social media for a major dose of cuteness!
While a lot of viewers thought that Sean Lowe would choose Lindsay Yenter to be his Mrs., he ended up picking Catherine Giudici – and the two married on live TV, a first for the franchise!
Since tying the knot in 2014, they’ve become parents to two baby boys, Samuel and Isaiah, and still seem pretty head over heels for each other! Just this year, Giudici called Lowe, “the best thing that’s ever happened to [her].”
16 Called It Quits: Chris Soules & Whitney Bischoff, Season 19
While this couple came to be not that long ago, it’s Chris Soules’ more recent activity that has garnered the attention of the press and the public.
Back in season 19 (which feels like a lifetime ago in Bachelor years), Soules popped the question to fertility nurse Whitney Bischoff, but just seven months later, the two issued a joint statement about their breakup but claimed that they remained “supportive friends.” While Bischoff went on to marry a guy she met on Bumble (seems like Bachelor alums kill it where online dating is concerned!), Soules’ journey was less optimistic. In 2017, he was involved in an incident and got in trouble for it.
15 In It To Win It: Jason Mesnick & Molly Malaney, Season 13
Was Arie Luyendyk Jr. following in former Bachelor Jason Mesnick’s footsteps when he dumped one girl in favor of the runner-up? During the 13th season of the show, Mesnick chose Melissa Rycroft as the winner of his final rose, but then he changed his mind. During the after-show, he admitted to dumping Rycroft and picking the runner-up, Molly Malaney, instead!
Under most circumstances, this would be a pretty shaky foundation on which to build a relationship, but these two have managed to surprise us!
The couple has been married since 2010 and has one daughter together in addition to Mesnick’s son from a previous relationship.
14 Called It Quits: Juan Pablo Galavis & Nikki Ferrell, Season 18
Has there ever been a Bachelor as universally despised as Juan Pablo Galavis? We doubt it! The thing is, Galavis really only had eyes for himself! While he chose Nikki Ferrell in the final episode, he didn’t propose and, two months later when the couple had split, Ferrell admitted that Galavis had never even told her he loved her! (To be fair, it is a pretty significant thing to say.)
Fortunately, after these two went their separate ways, they’ve since found love and married other people: Galavis wed a TV host after commenting on her Instagram (yes, really), and Ferrell wed a sales executive.
13 In It To Win It: Becca Kufrin & Garrett Yrigoyen, Season 14
We might want to put a pin in this one but, as of this writing, the newest Bachelorette Becca Kufrin is currently engaged to winner Garret Yrigoyen. While Kufrin was a standout fave in her Bachelor season, Yrigoyen has learned that the Internet never forgets when old Instagram “likes” made it into the public.
The scandal had screenshots of Yrigoyen “liking” awful memes, and Yrigoyen issued a public apology. Since the proposal, the two have posted cutesy photos of themselves all over social media, but time will tell if they’re built to last!
12 Called It Quits: Ben Flajnik & Courtney Robertson, Season 16
How that hair made so many women want to be with him, we’ll never understand, but Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertson were a couple for the books because who would have expected the mean girl to win it all in the end?
The show’s resident villain won Flajnik over thanks to her good looks and a little naughty romp in the ocean, but after nine months together, they were done for good. Flajnik went on to date others (including a rumored fling with momager Kris Jenner) while Robertson released a tell-all memoir about her time on the show.
11 In It To Win It: Rachel Lindsay & Bryan Abasolo, Season 13
Rachel Lindsay was a fan-favorite during Nick Viall’s season, so much so that she earned her own spot in the 13th season of The Bachelorette.
Finally, the gorgeous attorney was in the driver’s seat and ended up choosing Bryan Abasolo who popped the question in the summer of 2017.
Obviously, they’re both busy people, and initially said that a wedding would happen in 2018. While 2018 is drawing to a close (and no word of a wedding yet), the pair are still going strong, and have no real rush, it seems.
10 Called It Quits: Brad Womack & Emily Maynard, Season 15
When Brad Womack was first on The Bachelor, he ended up with two roses and no one he wanted to give them to. In season 15, that changed with contestant Emily Maynard. Womack did propose, but things were shaky from the start, leading to an off-and-on relationship that lasted about three months. According to Maynard (who went on the be the next Bachelorette),
Womack broke up with her by cc-ing her on an email to producers that “things didn’t work out.” Yikes.
Since Womack, Emily has married someone else, with whom she shares three sons in addition to her daughter Ricki.
9 In It To Win It: JoJo Fletcher & Jordan Rodgers, Season 12
Like a few other ladies on this list who came in second place, JoJo Fletcher also went on to become the new Bachelorette, which is where she found Jordan Rodgers. Considering the fact that so little time is spent getting to know the other person while on the show, once filming wrapped up, the couple have spent most of their relationship getting closer to one another and forming a solid relationship before they walk down the aisle. They’re still engaged and have plans to get married but, according to Rodgers, “we want to enjoy every moment of it.”
8 Called It Quits: Jake Pavelka & Vienna Girardi, Season 14
Oh man, these two were definitely not meant to be! After Bachelor Jake Pavelka chose Vienna Girardi in season 14, the couple couldn’t seem to make it work. In fact, they didn’t even seem to like each other!
Their drama played out in the tabloids for the four months they were together and then, following an explosive argument on TV in which Girardi held back tears (before breaking into sobs) and Pavelka yelled at her for interrupting him, the two split up in the middle of the interview, with Girardi calling Pavelka “the fakest person [she had] ever met” and declaring that she was done.
7 In It To Win It: Desiree Hartsock & Chris Siegfried, Season 9
Another Bachelorette couple for the win! Season nine’s Desiree Hartsock dealt with some public scrutiny for choosing Chris Siegfried, as more than a few viewers wondered if she was “settling” in her decision. Clearly, though, the woman knew what she was doing! (Hey, the heart wants what it wants!)
After getting engaged in 2013, the couple tied the knot in January of 2015 and had a son just a year later! They currently reside in Seattle with their boy, Asher, and seem pretty ecstatic by all accounts! Maybe there’s something to be said for the ladies choosing the man, rather than the other way around!
6 Called It Quits: Kaitlyn Bristowe & Shawn Booth, Season 11
A recent couple to end up on the scrap heap of breakups in Bachelor nation, Kaitlyn Bristowe managed to pick Shawn Booth despite the fact that Bachelor alum sneaked his way onto the scene to stir up trouble.
These guys seemed like a reliable success story: they posted cute pictures together, they moved in together in Nashville, and they shared a dog, but, it wasn’t to be, and they called it quits this past November. It won’t be the last we see of fan-favorite Bristowe, though, as she’s apparently working on music while Booth has opened a personal training studio.
5 In It To Win It: Ashley Hebert & J.P. Rosenbaum, Season 7
With a couple of cute kids between the two of them, who would have thought that Bachelorette Ashley Hebert was going to prove her family wrong when she chose J.P. Rosenbaum over runner-up Ben Flajnik (who also popped the question)?
After exchanging “I dos” in December of 2012, they welcomed a son and a daughter (named Fordam and Essex), and Hebert said in an interview that, following the birth of their second, she “feel[s] this sense of completeness.” Coming from a reality show couple that became a family, we’re pretty impressed at the longevity of these two!
4 Called It Quits: Travis Lane Stork & Sarah Stone, Season 8
We’re reaching back to 2006 for these two, but they’re worth mentioning because, as quickly as they were announced, they were over! Bachelor Travis Lane Stork (who you might recognize from the popular daytime TV show The Doctors) chose teacher Sarah Stone, but didn’t pull out that customary Neil Lane engagement ring.
In fact, these two were so not meant to be that they ended up splitting just a few weeks later – before the finale had even aired!
Stork ended up getting married to a paediatrician, but divorced in 2015 while Stone also wed and has stayed in Nashville where she and her husband are raising their three daughters.
3 In It To Win It: Trista Rehn & Ryan Sutter, Season 1
The first success story to hit up The Bachelorette, Trista Rehn may have set a pattern of the female show having a higher success rate than its male counterpart. (For reference, 46% of Bachelorette couples are still together compared to 18% of Bachelor couples.)
After accepting Ryan Sutter’s proposal, the two married for the franchise’s first-ever TV ceremony in December 2003. Since then – in a feat that would put Hollywood couples to shame, let alone reality TV couples – Sutter and Rehn are still together, living in Colorado with their two children, son Maxwell and daughter Blakesley.
2 Called It Quits: Charlie O’Connell & Sarah Brice, Season 7
This couple, made up of Charlie O’Connell (the brother of actor Jerry) and Sarah Brice, is significant because they managed to stay together off-and-on for five years! And they still never got engaged!
As the season 7 Bachelor, O’Connell chose Brice as the winner but never popped the question. Ever. They ended up breaking up for good in 2010. However, by 2018, when Brice had already gotten married to someone else and become mother to three kids, O’Connell finally got over his cold feet and proposed to someone else – Playboy Playmate Anna Sophia Berglund. They’re planning the wedding, but only time will tell if O’Connell makes it down the aisle.
1 Called It Quits: Jesse Palmer & Jessica Bowlin, Season 5
Like your first high school relationship, Bachelor and former college football player Jesse Palmer and his winner, Jessica Bowlin, lasted a mere month – although Palmer never proposed.
Like many of the couples on this list who didn’t last, Bowlin ended up settling down elsewhere, getting married, and raising children (two, a son and a daughter). Palmer, on the other hand, kept with the TV thing, becoming a sports commentator, host of Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship, and the host of the new Bachelor-inspired show, The Proposal, proving that strange things can come full circle.