Forget handing out roses for a moment. Colton Underwood is reflecting on a relationship way before his Bachelor fame.
The reality TV star stopped by the LadyGang podcast and chatted with Keltie Knight, Jac Vanek and Becca Tobin about his life both pre- and post-Bachelor. According to the new leading man, the hardest part of it all is "the virginity talk." He also said he "always dated to marry." Plus, those shirtless shower scenes that we always see as a preview for the rest of the season? Shooting that took all day.
Prior to meeting 30 single women at Bachelor Mansion and vying for Becca Kufrin's heart a few months before that, Underwood dated Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman from 2016-2017. In a very candid moment during the podcast, he told the LadyGang hosts that Raisman was his "first love." The ladies asked about the former football player's "worst heartbreak" and he confirmed that it "wasn't on the show."
"While it was confusing and hard in the beginning, it also taught me a lot about myself: what I need, what I want, what I can do better in a relationship," he said of his time together with Raisman. "It was a big step for me. It was really tough."
It all began when the 26-year-old recorded a video to congratulate her on her accomplishments at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Underwood played for the Oakland Raiders at the time and was on the same team as former gymnast Shawn Johnson's husband, Andrew East.
"My roommate, my teammates, everybody over here is super proud of you," he said in a video to the 24-year-old. Underwood then asked her an open-ended offer that morphed into some cute Twitter flirting. "If you're ever in San Jose and want to go on a double date," he trailed off.
"@Colt3FIVE thanks for the sweet video.... looking forward to meeting you :)" she responded.
Love at first tweet!
In December 2016, Underwood and Raisman made their red carpet debut at the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Ceremony. They met in Denver and luckily happened to have overlapping schedules. The gymnast told People the entire situation "ended up working perfectly."
They split around June 2017, but the charity founder told the Lincoln Journal Star at the time that they were "in a good place" and "still friends."
Raisman has recently become a very vocal advocate for victims of sexual abuse. She was one of the central women who spoke out against former U.S. Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar and the USA Gymnastics organization as a whole.