Circling back for more roses? Not every Bachelor or Bachelorette star finds love with their final pick — and some leads choose to give their former contestants a second chance once they are back on the market.
While the ABC series has managed to help find several men and women find their happily ever after — including Sean Lowe and season 17 winner Catherine Giudici, who are married with three children — some of the show’s leads don’t stay engaged to their top suitor.
In fact, many stars of the show, including season 16’s Clare Crawley and Dale Moss, have fizzled out on more than one occasion after trying to make things work. A few of the dating series’ leads, however, have chosen to go back to their season’s contestants to search for a potential forever love — including Jason Mesnick.
The season 13 lead proposed to Melissa Rycroft during the show’s 2009 finale, but things didn’t last between the pair. Mesnick called things off during the After the Final Rose special, turning his attention on runner-up Molly Malaney.
“Melissa is a great girl, but there wasn’t any chemistry,” he told Us Weekly at the time. “So I broke up with her after Christmas, about a month after we wrapped. Obviously, I didn’t want it all on TV, but I had to take the chance if it meant getting [Molly] back. I’d rather have picked up the phone, trust me!”
The account executive isn’t the only franchise star to circle back to one of his TV exes and pursue a romance outside the show — Arie Luyendyk Jr. found love with his runner-up, Lauren Burnham, after breaking off his engagement to Becca Kufrin.
“Internet rumors lead me to this guy becoming a dear dear friend,” Thurston wrote alongside pics with Hersey in September 2021 after relocating to San Diego and sparking a strong bond with the bartender. The following month, she and Moynes revealed they called it quits after six months together.
“It is with mutual love and respect that we have decided to go our separate ways,” the duo said in a joint statement in October 2021. “We are so grateful for the moments we shared together and the entire journey that has unfolded this year, but we ultimately have concluded that we are not compatible as life partners, and it is the most caring choice for both of us to move forward independently.”
Thurston revealed her new love via her Instagram Story in November 2021 as part of her “12 Days of Messy” challenge in which she compared her former contestants to Taylor Swift songs. She unveiled Hersey as “Begin Again,” hinting that he was her fresh start.
Scroll down to see which Bachelor Nation leads dated one of their seasons’ contestants after the show: