Whether their finale was dramatic or the most dramatic ever, a solid majority of The Bachelor winners who accepted long-stemmed red blooms in the mountains of Switzerland, the beaches of Saint Lucia and the rice fields of Thailand went on to live happily ever after.
Just, you know, not with the besuited gentleman kneeling before them amongst the rolling green hills of South Africa. (Yes, we know Sean Lowe followed through on his vow to tell now-wife Catherine Giudici he loved her every day, but since he's the sole male lead to have actually married his final rose recipient, we're gonna call him the exception to the rule.)
In other words, Cassie Randolph can take comfort in knowing that her amaaaaaaazing journey is truly just getting started no matter how messy her present might feel. There is, perhaps, no better example of this than Nikki Ferrell who endured a year of what-are-you-thinking staredowns from fans as she tried valiantly to make her ill-fated romance with non-committal Bachelor Juan Pablo Galavis a thing.
Sure, he hadn't produced the sparkler she'd been envisioning, the perfect proposal or even mustered up an "I love you," but, "I really cared about him at the time," the pediatric nurse explained to Chris Harrison on Sept. 7 as she relived that 2014 finale on The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons—Ever!, "and I honestly thought that the worst was behind us. I had no idea of what I was in store for."
For instance, she had no way of knowing that their After the Final Rose chat would turn into an intense showdown, retired soccer player Galavis digging in and refusing to give longtime host Harrison the love story he was looking for. "I just thought that everyone was going to be so happy for me and we could, like, finally be free and it would just all be super great and, like, sunshine and rainbows and butterflies and wedding bells or whatever from there," Ferrell noted. Instead she found herself constantly defending a man who refused to say those three little words.
"When you're with someone and you care about someone, you stick up for that person, you have their back and that's what I did for him," she explained. "And I felt like I did that for him, so he should have met me halfway and made things a little easier for me, but that wasn't really the case."
Faced with leaving her life in Kansas City to join a man in Miami who wasn't all-in, she chose herself: "I felt like I was still on the show, like, waiting to be picked and I wanted him to choose me," she recalled. "Like I wanted him to fully commit and be in it like I was. And the just never really happened."
Yeah, it wasn't even a little bit okay.
And yet here she is, more than six years removed from the experience that took her from South Korea to a proposal platform in the middle of a St. Lucian rainforest still working the job at Kansas City's Children's Mercy that she raves she's "super passionate" about and steadily approaching her four-year anniversary with longtime friend turned husband Tyler VanLoo this October. "I'm married, have a dog, have a cat, you know, those kinds of things," she riffed to Harrison. "Normal things."
Who needs a Neil Lane cushion-cut?
Because while, as every contestant gamely declares, Paris, Bora Bora and even South Dakota(?!) are fantastic places to fall in love, these former Bachelor standouts managed just fine at home, meeting their person through friends, Instagram and one truly successful Bumble date. No hot tubs or helicopters necessary.