Grocery Store Joe may have found love again on Bachelor in Paradise. After meeting ex Kendall Long on the show in 2018, the 35-year-old Chicagoan -- whose real name is Joe Amabile -- joined Season 7 in hopes of finding another romance. Initially, things didn’t look good: he hadn’t fully prepared himself for the flood of emotions that came back to him while on the beach where he fell in love with Kendall. But eventually, he bonded with 23-year-old publicist Serena Pitt. They shared a clumsy but sweet kiss on night one, and Joe chose her during the first rose ceremony.
While questions over whether Joe was really over Kendall remained in the air, his bond with Serena continued to deepen each week. Joe once again sulked when Serena went on a date with Thomas — while accepting that she still needed to “explore her options” — but she returned to Joe’s arms by the end of the night.
Joe and Serena later went on a wrestling date, during which Joe explained that his relationship with Kendall didn’t work out because they wanted to live in different places. The date ended with a kiss and Joe saying he wants to get “more exclusive” with Serena. “I am 100% all in,” he proclaimed. "We both want to fall in love, and I think we're both ready."
Of course, that’s when Kendall arrived on the beach. She told Joe that it was difficult for her to not have him be a part of her life and reminded him that they only broke up because of “logistics,” not because they fell out of love. It seemed for a moment that this could sway Joe away from Serena, but he actually pushed back and told Kendall she was skipping over crucial details. Kendall was just as unwilling to move to Chicago as Joe was to LA, and it became an insurmountable issue.
After their talk, Joe immediately sought Serena out. In a good sign that he’s pretty committed to her, he was candid about how the conversation with Kendall went. He admitted that he wasn’t entirely sure why Kendall came to BiP, and though he’s pretty sure he’s over her, he would understand if Serena wanted to end things to avoid any mess. But she decided to keep pursuing the relationship.
Since then, they’ve been one of the strongest couples on the show, and there are already rumors that the two are still dating. In July, Bachelor blogger Reality Steve shared a photo that appeared to show Joe and Serena cuddling at a pool in Chicago. And though their social media profiles are carefully scrubbed of any clues that they’re together, they’ve been sharing pictures from similar-looking locations. On Aug. 8, Serena posted a shot of her wine-tasting, and about a week after that, Joe posted about drinking wine at a place that has similar decor and scenery. (Neither tagged the location, so it could have been with friends and family — who knows!) Then on Sept. 7 Serena posted a photo of herself in Toronto with the caption, “Just a casual coffee run,” while Joe posted an image of himself holding coffee and a bagel at a similar-looking downtown area with the caption “My hands are full.”
This could just be Serena and Joe trolling Bachelor sleuth. But spoilers aside, Joe and Serena seem to have what it takes to make a relationship work. Despite complaining about feeling like too much of a “veteran” on the beach, Joe wouldn’t have come back to Paradise unless he believed it was possible for him to find love again there, and he admitted he was starting to develop feelings for Serena after a single kiss.
Serena P.’s Bachelor bio also makes clear that the age difference between them isn’t an issue for her (even though she teased him about it). “For as long as she can remember, Serena P. has been a believer that no matter what your age is, when you know, you know,” her bio reads. She did note that Joe is in a “whole different stage of life” than her, but told him that it didn’t feel weird.
Additionally, while distance was a major factor in Kendall and Joe’s relationship, it might not be an issue for Serena. While she didn’t really say much when Joe brought up the topic, she also didn’t sound opposed to living in Chicago. The flight time between the city and Serena P.’s hometown of Toronto is roughly half the time it took Joe to fly to Kendall in Los Angeles, so perhaps it’s meant to be.
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