The record of long-lasting love is a bit of a heart breaker for America’s darling of reality romance shows, The Bachelor.
If finding love on camera seems close to impossible maybe that’s because it is. Competitive reality TV dating is hard.
Just ask the 20 bachelors who’ve vied for the attention of swooning women since the show’s inception in March 2002.
In 20 seasons of The Bachelor, 12 men have popped the question on air, which is a solid 60% of couples who came out of the show engaged.
However, relationships start to fall apart when the cameras disappear: Only two of the 20 couples are still together, one of whom is married.
Season 17 winners Sean Lowe and Catherine Guidici got married in 2014 and recently celebrated the birth of their first child. Success!
Season 20 winners Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell are currently enjoying their engagement.
Hopefully, their new reality spin-off show will still send them happily down the aisle and not running for the hills.
It still seems like yesterday the young Missouri banker Aaron Buerge got down on one knee and proposed to adorable school psychologist Helene Eksterowicz in 2002.
The proposal was the first for the show as the winners in the inaugural season did not become engaged.
Long before DVR, social media, iPhones and Kardashian takeover, and way before ABC offered virtual reality (VR) experiences online, The Bachelor was starting to form a match-making empire that quickly evolved into the creation of The Bachelorette in January 2003. (The Bachelorette took a three-year hiatus between 2005-2008.) Then along came the trashier if not entertaining spin-offs, aka Bachelor in Paradise and Bachelor Pad.
The Bachelorette has also yielded a much better success rate than Bachelor in terms of the couple staying together after the show ended.
In 12 seasons, five couples are still together – a 42% commitment rate.
The very first season brought us sweethearts Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter, who’ve been married almost 13 years. They are the king & queen of reality television romance.
Here are the others.
Season 7 winners Ashley Hebert and J.P. Rosenbaum are married and expecting their second child.
Season 9’s Desiree Hartsock and husband Chris Siegfried are having a baby this fall.
The most recent couples are Season 11’s Kaitlyn Bristowe and Shawn Booth and Season 12’s JoJo Fletcher and Jordan Rodgers.
We’ll see if those two couples go the distance to the altar.
As in real life, not just TV, relationships, dating, love and marriage don’t always work out.
If dreams are dashed along the way because someone is looking for 15 minutes of fame and not love, the success rate is probably even lower.
Add a mix of personality types that only reality TV attracts and a bunch of booze that’s readily available, and you start to see some mental health issues that TV is famous for.
But all that is just a buzzkill.
Here’s to the success of the next Bachelor Nick Viall!
May he find “the one.”
After countless tries, he deserves happily-ever happiness.
We all do.
Here’s the complete list of Bachelor and Bachelorette winner history and their record of keeping it all together after the end of the show:
THE BACHELOR Couples:
Alex Michel and Amanda Marsh- Not Together
Aaron Buerge and Helene Eksterowicz- Not Together
Andrew Firestone and Jen Schefft- Not Together
Bob Guiney and Estella Gardinier- Not Together
Jesse Palmer and Jessica Bowlin- Not Together
Byron Velvick and Mary Delgado- Not Together
Charlie O’Connell and Sarah Brice- Not Together
Travis Lane Stork and Sarah Stone- Not Together
Lorenzo Borghese and Jennifer Wilson- Not Together
Andrew Baldwin and Tessa Horst- Not Together
Brad Womack and no one (sad trombone)
Matt Grant and Shayne Lamas- Not Together
Jason Mesnick and Melissa Rycroft- Not Together
Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi- Not Together
Brad Womack and Emily Maynard- Not Together
Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertson- Not Together
Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici – STILL TOGETHER
Juan Pablo Galavis and Nikki Ferrell
Chris Soules and Whitney Bischoff
Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell -STILL TOGETHER
Nick Viall and TBD
THE BACHELORETTE Couples:
Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter- STILL TOGETHER
Meredith Phillips and Ian Mckee- Not Together
Jen Schefft and Jerry Ferris- Not Together
DeAnna Pappas and Jesse Csincsak- Not Together
Jillian Harris and Ed Swiderski- Not Together
Ali Fedotowsky and Roberto Martinez- Not Together
Ashley Hebert and J.P. Rosenbaum- STILL TOGETHER
Emily Maynard and Jef Holm- Not Together
Desiree Hartsock and Chris Siegfried- STILL TOGETHER
Andi Dorfman and Josh Murray- Not Together
Kaitlyn Bristowe and Shawn Booth- STILL TOGETHER
JoJo Fletcher and Jordan Rodgers- STILL TOGETHER
Read More: Dashed Dreams: How My “Audition” For A Reality Show Opened Up My Eyes To The Fleeting Fame Of The Genre
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Cover Photo Credit: The Bachelor/ Facebook