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Back before a betrothal was standard operating procedure, OG Bachelor Alex Michel asked Kansas City event planner Marsh to simply join him in living at his California home. "Before we walk down the aisle together, I want to make sure we feel the same way about each other outside the fancy world of mansions and limousines," he explained. They split within the year, but Marsh, now a dermatologist, still credits him with leading her to a happily ever after. Separated from former husband Jay Caldwell—dad to her 10-year-old daughter Chloe—for several years, she even considered placing a call to old pal Chris Harrison before finding love the 21st century way. "I met my fiancé on Match.com," she told Us Weekly of future husband Chris. "After the show [Alex] ended up working for Match.com, so it's almost like I still thank him."
Even without a sparkling Neil Lane, actor Charlie O'Connell's romance with Brice chugged along for several years, surviving one breakup before they parted ways for good in 2010. "The thing is that we dated for five years...and were just arguing over the same things and stuff like that," Jerry O'Connell's younger bro explained to People. "And then eventually you've got to go your separate ways." In the all's well that ends well department, Dallas-based Brice, Executive Vice President of Business Development at Cliovana, is now a mom to three elementary school-aged boys with her husband of several years while O'Connell and Playboy Playmate Anna Sophia Berglund tied the knot in a 2018 Montauk, N.Y. event that Jerry labeled the "Best Wedding eva".
Though ER doctor Travis Stork and his teacher love were both based in Tennessee, the romance between them was decidedly not rosy by the time their 2006 finale aired. "You're in Paris and you're part of this incredible experience, this fantasy world, and then suddenly you come back to Nashville, and living in the same city I think we thought was going to be a great thing," Stork told The Tennessean, confirming their relationship had wilted mere days after their proposal aired. "But instead, you're forced to pretend you don't know someone, for essentially the last four months. The reality is that we were in this fantasy world. And now that we're back in Nashville, over time when you're not allowed to see someone, you grow apart." That just gave Stone a chance to let love bloom elsewhere. Now a real estate agent and co-host of the Say It Southern podcast, she found her forever with husband Brock Smith and their three daughters.
Proving that, for some, the Bachelor journey isn't quite fast enough, Matt Grant's former fiancée wed gossip blogger Nik Richie in Las Vegas mere hours after their 2010 meeting. "I am more than happy to confirm last night I got married to an amazing person and we are extremely excited to share our lives together," the actress, then starring on E!'s Leave It to Lamas tweeted. And while insta-vows at Sin City's Little White Chapel don't often spell success, TheDirty.com founder and his bride, daughter to actor Lorenzo Lamas, are still winning a decade later. Penning a Valentine's Day tribute the mom to 8-year-old Press and 5-year-old Lyon (Lorenzo's then-wife, Shawna Craig served as surrogate!) thanked "my Hubby who lets me be me, provides protects and promises to keep me and our children safe. Most importantly loves me to Nordstroms and back. @nikrichie i'm a shoe size 7 just a reminder."
Sometimes things fall apart for the right reasons. Gearing up to re-watch onetime fiancé Jason Mesnick's bait-and-switch on The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons—Ever! in August, the former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader told Us Weekly that drama couldn't be more 2009. "I know people are gonna watch and get so angry. [But] I'm like, 'Listen, we are so OK, we and we are right where we're supposed to be,'" she explained. "If Jason and I got married, it would have been the biggest blowup ever, like, it would have been terrible. We are not supposed to be together."Instead, after their split she took a spin through the Dancing With the Stars ballroom, reunited with ex Tye Strickland and welcomed kids Ava, 9, Beckett, 6, Cayson, 4. "Over a decade later, we're both married, both have beautiful families, so why still be upset?" she wrote on Instagram, praising Mesnick's decade-long union with runner-up Molly Mesnick. "None of us are angry, none of us hold a grudge, and oddly none of us regret it, because look where it took us!"
Between a season of catfights and former Hooters waitress Girardi's seemingly endless barrage of bad press, her engagement to The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love lead Jake Pavelka never really got off the ground. (We still cringe reflecting back on their painfully awkward 2010 breakup interview, TBH.) For a stretch it seemed that Bachelor Pad costar Kasey Kuhl might be the one to guard and protect her heart, but it's Orlando real estate agent Jay Husagic who seems to have taken Girardi off the market. After celebrating their two-year anniversary with a two-week European vacation in 2019, Girardi wrote on Instagram of Husagic, "Life with you is perfect."
When Maynard first met now-husband Tyler Johnson at their Charlotte, N.C. church, she assumed he was just there to make friends. "He really wanted nothing to do with me," she noted on Good Morning America in 2017. "I told my girlfriend I met this guy and he could like not be less attracted to me, he was in the friends zone."But after two broken engagements—with Bachelor Brad Womack in 2011, then Jef Holm, her Bachelorette final pick, in 2012—she felt the need for a bit of divine intervention. On their very first date, as Maynard learned that Johnson shared his April 2 birthday with late fiancé Ricky Hendrick, dad to her 15-year-old daughter Ricki, "I felt in that moment, as crazy as it sounds, God sitting in Heaven smiling at me," she shared in a 2018 Instagram tribute. Seven years and three more kids on, she continued, "He is absolutely nothing short of the best thing that's ever happened in my life."
She poured her all into an engagement with winemaker Ben Flajnik and took a lap with future Bachelor Arie Luyendyk Jr.—detailing their escapades in her 2014 book, I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends—but everything clicked into place for season 16's rose-flaunting villain when she connected with Humberto Preciado on Instagram. "There was just a level of comfort and connection that I've never felt before. I never believed in that feeling of when you know, you know until I met him," Robertson told Us Weekly of their early 2019 encounter. "Nor have I been with someone that I so clearly wanted to start a family with."They wasted little time taking the next step in their journey, the model announcing her engagement and pregnancy in December 2019. Welcoming Joaquin Ramon Preciado just before Father's Day, she told People, he "is the most precious thing we've ever laid our eyes on."
When former professional soccer player Juan Pablo Galavis decided not to proffer a diamond to pediatric nurse Ferrell in season 18's 2014 finale it was definitely not okay. For years the athlete was saddled with the title of worst Bachelor ever up until the point flip-flopper Arie Luyendyk Jr. asked him to hold his drink. Though Galavis also held off on saying the L-word to his clearly smitten girlfriend, their pair's romance meandered on for some seven months (and one stint on VH1's Couples Therapy) before she finally pulled the plug. In the years since, they've walked down the aisle separately with the sports and music consultant, dad to 11-year-old Camila, marrying Venezuelan model and TV host Osmariel Villalobos in 2017 (they have since split) and Ferrell finding her guy in a longtime pal Tyler VanLoo.
Though iowan Chris Soules proved not to be Bischoff's Prince Farming, breaking up with the fertility nurse shortly after the season 19 finale in 2015, their split led her to actual angel. "This one time, on 9/24/15, I went on a bumble date and met a really cute guy," Bischoff wrote on Instagram just days before her October 2017 wedding to sales manager Ricky Angel. "He actually looked just like his pics!! He made me laugh. And he made me feel like I could be myself. He didn't care about my past. We were just two kids living in the moment."As if their connection didn't feel heaven sent enough, the Chicago resident gave birth to their son Hayes Singleton Angel in May 2019 on the anniversary of her mother's death. Possessing Dad's "great hair and mild temperament," she wrote on Instagram, "No doubt he was hand-delivered."
As sweet as her pairing with pure-hearted Ben Higgins seemed (their 2017 breakup was the most Googled of the year), it ultimately wasn't part of the former flight attendant's big, big plans. Still, "I'm very thankful for the show and the experience," she wrote on Instagram ahead of the season 20 The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons—Ever! rehash in June. "I'm not sure I would have met my husband had I not put myself out there and gone on the show."Because it was her engagement with Higgins that first brought her face-to-face with country singer Chris Lane at the 2016 iHeartCountry Festival. Maintaining a casual friendship for years, Bushnell and Lane eventually realized he was destined to put a diamond on her hand during a 2018 group trip to the Bahamas. "I don't know what I did to deserve this man," she wrote in a "husband appreciation post" this June. "I cannot image living life without you @iamchrislane. I am so lucky I get to wake up next to you every morning, lucky I get to pray next to you and am continually humbled by your heart of gold."
Though season 21 lead Nick Viall has said he knew almost instantly that he'd be presenting special education teacher Grimaldi with his final rose, the two simply couldn't keep their love in bloom after their 2017 finale. "We were two puzzle pieces that just didn't fit," Grimaldi explained in September, reuniting with her former fiancé on his new Patreon series, Nick V Talks Trash TV: A Bachelor and His Exes Tell All. But everything snapped into place when Grimaldi met businessman Joshua Wolfe in late 2018. His candlelit Aug. 9 proposal in her native Montreal "will forever be my favourite DAY OF MY LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!" she gushed on Instagram. "YOU ARE MY EVERYTHING AND I CANNOT WAIT TO BE FOREVER AND EVER WITH YOU!!!!!!"