The Bachelorette Season 16 was peak pandemic viewing. Amid Bachelor Nation’s calls for more diversity on the show and new COVID-19 protocols, Clare Crawley searched for love among contestants who had to quarantine and have multiple tests before even getting their chance to vie for her heart. And still, despite all of that, Crawley walked away with an engagement, upending the show’s typical outline and producers’ plans in the process.
After just 12 days of dating husband hopefuls, Crawley famously called it quits on The Bachelorette, deciding to throw away those extra roses and accept a proposal from contestant Dale Moss. If you’re doing the math, yes, that means she’d known her fiancé for less than two weeks when he popped the question. As a result, ABC cast Tayshia Adams as the new Bachelorette, clearing the way for the engaged couple, who fell in love at first sight (allegedly, but more on that later), to live happily ever after.
However, that wasn’t the end of Crawley and Moss’ story. They appeared to call it quits within months, before getting back together once again. Despite some social media drama at the time, the couple then appeared to be living their best lives together before calling off the relationship once again in September 2021. In honor of their whirlwind romance, we’re looking back at how it started and digging into how it’s going with the once-lovebirds.
March 2020: Crawley Is Ready To Find The One
On March 2, 2020, the then-39-year-old hairstylist from Sacramento, California, was officially announced as Season 16’s Bachelorette during a Good Morning America interview. At the time, she said she was looking for a man willing to “take off his armor” and listed vulnerability and willingness to be open as desirable traits for her future suitors.
June 2020: The Bachelorette Cops To Some Contestant Recon
Crawley was originally slated to step out of the limo and begin filming in March, but because of the pandemic, her season wasn’t able to shoot until July. In the meantime, she admitted on the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast that June, she did some research on the contestants, including Googling the men. “Obviously. What woman wouldn’t? Are you kidding me?” she said. “I will say this. At first, I really didn’t. I really did not and it was because, I don’t know, I just kind of felt like I want to get to know them and regardless, I know how my Instagram is.” The Bachelorette explained her view that social media is just a piece of a person’s life and “you have to see and feel it in person.” Plus, she noted that she’s “huge on pheromones.”
July 2020: Relationship Rumors Heat Up
On July 29, resident Bachelor Nation sleuth Reality Steve started dropping spoilers from Crawley’s season on social media. He shared that a 31-year-old named Dale had received the first impression rose. The next day, a source told Life & Style that Crawley had not only given him the first rose, but had already given him her heart as well, sharing, “She told producers she no longer wanted to participate in the show,” adding that Clare had “already fallen in love.” The plot thickened on July 31, when another source took to Reddit to claim that production was having “problems with Clare” while filming The Bachelorette.
“On Monday, I got some messages saying that production is having a lot of problems with Clare during filming,” the post read. “Among other things, she canceled everything that was supposed to happen that Saturday before, and they called in a new Bachelorette. They are recasting her with Tayshia. Tayshia is already quarantining at the hotel and they should be taking her phone on Friday (today). The plan is for her to call back some guys that have already been eliminated.”
August 2020: Breaking The Bachelorette
On Aug. 3, Life & Style reported that a source close to the pair had said that Crawley and Moss were officially engaged, seemingly confirming rumors. That same day, a source told People that the lead had been chatting with a certain someone before she got on the show. “One of her potential guys found a way to get in touch with her and they began talking,” the source said. “By the time filming officially began, they were basically already in love. No one else stood a chance. It just became so obvious from her subsequent few dates that her heart wasn’t in it and she just wasn’t feeling it. Then she said she wanted out.”
On Aug. 7, OK! added fuel to the fire by reporting that the couple had been sent away from the set. “Dale and Clare have been whisked away to a private home where they will stay until the show debuts,” a source told the magazine. “So far, everything is being kept a mystery. Which is why we haven’t seen or heard from Clare for weeks.”
September 2020: Dropping Hints
On Sept. 2, The Bachelorette dropped a promo for Crawley’s season featuring moments to come and (inexplicably) Keke Palmer in the studio singing Aretha Franklin’s “Respect.” In it, fans saw Crawley locking lips with Moss, a foreshadowing of things to come.
October 2020: “I Just Met My Husband”
On Oct. 12, People shared an exclusive clip from the series premiere of the moment Crawley and Moss first met. In it, the Bachelorette says, “Oh, man. I definitely feel like I just met my husband. I’m shaking!”
The next day, Us Weekly published an interview in which Crawley discussed rumors that she’d fallen for Moss too fast. “My question would be to the people that are saying that — to the people that question it — what exactly is the formula for falling in love?” she said. “Is there one way to do it? Is there one example of this is how it’s done?”
On Oct. 19, Crawley took to Instagram to downplay rumors that she’d been wearing an engagement ring. “People have noticed I wear this ring on my wedding finger and have asked why! The truth is because it is a commitment to myself first and foremost, to embody self-love,” she shared in the post. “In the past I found myself getting into relationships where there was little to no reciprocity and, in the end, would feel depleted and empty. This is my promise to myself, to make sure I always had enough self-love that no matter what happened, I was committed to loving myself unconditionally, and that is something no man could take away from me.” But that didn’t exactly put rumors to rest considering what was about to happen.
November 2020: The Engagement Goes Public
Just a short four episodes into the series, Crawley and Moss officially announced their engagement. After leaving the show as predicted, the couple told fans on Instagram live, “We’re going to enjoy this moment. We’ve been waiting a long time,” Moss said. Crawley seconded his statement, saying, “We’ve waited three months to share this with you guys.”
January 2021: Breakup Or A Break?
Things seemed great with the couple based on their canoodling on social media and even their open comments about their relationship — that is, until they didn’t. On Jan. 19, a source spoke to E! News, sharing, “Clare and Dale have been fighting a lot recently.” The insider went on to claim that it had been “very tense” between them because Moss wanted to live in “a lively city and focus on his career,” whereas Crawley “is rooted in Sacramento to help care for her mom.” While the source did say they were “still getting to know each other and figuring it all out,” things were apparently looking pretty bleak. “They’ve decided to take some time apart for now... They are still figuring out the logistics of their relationship and if they will stay together,” the person added.
In a now-deleted Instagram post on Jan. 19, Moss announced that they had split. “I wanted to share with you all that Clare and I have decided to go our separate ways,” he wrote. “We appreciate the love and support we’ve received from so many people, but this is the healthiest decision for both of us at this time.” He went on to add, “We strongly believe in leading with love and always remaining true to oneself—something our families have taught and instilled in us throughout our lives. We only hope the best things for one another.” Finally, he called for privacy for the two as they “[worked] through this together.”
Crawley responded with her own, now-deleted post, but her statement shared a different perspective. “I was made aware of a ‘mutual’ statement at the same time you all were, so I’ve needed some time to really digest this,” she wrote. After making it clear that she was blindsided by the breakup, she went on to say, “Our relationship was not perfect, but I can say that I was genuinely invested with all of my heart.”
February 2021: Reunited? Maybe.
On Feb. 16, fans started spotting Crawley and Moss together at restaurants and strolling around town together, making it clear that they were on better terms again. A source shared with Us Weekly, “They were just hanging out, having a couple drinks.” Another source told E! News, “Dale had regret over everything that happened between him and Clare and has been reaching out to her recently. She finally caved and decided to answer his calls and talk it out with him.”
March & April 2021: Back On Again
On March 17, a source told Us Weekly that the couple was officially back on but taking it slow. “They are now just starting to really understand all the difficulties a public relationship can create, and they want to make sure they are giving their relationship the opportunity it deserves without all stress and anxiety that followed after the show,” the person said.
On March 21, Crawley spent her birthday in Napa, posting Instagram stories in celebration. Soon, fans began to speculate that her Bachelorette winner was with her. Though they didn’t share photos together, Moss also posted pictures from Napa that same day.
By April 16, Moss was semi-happy to chat about their relationship again. “Clare and I, we’re in a good place. When the time is right, we will definitely talk about all those things,” he told the Hollywood Raw podcast. “For right now, we’re just focused on one another. We’re keeping things private and that’s working for us. In time, we’ll speak about that together.”
May 2021: The Ring Is Back!
In May, things seemed to be back to normal. Crawley was back on Moss’ Instagram feed, and he was back on hers as well. But, perhaps more tellingly, the huge diamond engagement band made its triumphant return to the former Bachelorette’s ring finger.
July 2021: What A Difference A Year Makes
On July 6, a source shared with Us Weekly that the couple is “engaged but still are working on building a solid relationship.” The insider also said the two had spoken about their future, but “they aren’t rushing to tie the knot.”
Later, both Crawley and Moss shared Instagram posts in honor of the 365 days of their whirlwind relationship. She captioned her post, “Happy One Year Anniversary Love!!” Dale shared a similar sentiment writing, “When we first met I knew god’s hand was at work but I could have never imagined the journey he had in store for us. Love you with all my heart @clarecrawley ❤️.”
August 2021: Marriage Rumors
Less than a month after celebrating their first anniversary, Cosmopolitan reported that multiple tipsters told celebrity gossip account Deuxmoi that Clare and Dale officially tied the knot. “Clare and Dale are married,” one insider reportedly revealed. “They did it in ‘secret’ but filmed it with a small crew and serious NDA.” The insider added that the couple was in the process of “negotiating” with print magazines to set up coverage that will coincide with a wedding special.
Although Deuxmoi’s second tipster didn’t mention a televised wedding, they did say that the former Bachelorette couple exchanged vows. “Yes Clare and Dale are married,” they wrote, adding that the reality stars hope to have babies “ASAP.” Fans on Reddit also noticed the former athlete wearing a ring in Clare’s Instagram Stories, but some fans claimed that it was for sleep-tracking and that it wasn’t a wedding band. Clare and Dale have not yet confirmed or denied the marriage rumors, but following many highs and lows, the couple appeared stronger than ever in August 2021.
September 2021: Clare And Dale Split Again
Just eight months after their reconciliation, Dale was spotted attending several events without Clare by his side, including a friend’s Sept. 19 wedding — which she was reportedly invited to. “[Dale] didn’t mention why she didn’t go,” an insider told Us Weekly. “He was celebrating a friend’s wedding and wasn’t going around telling people about his own personal life.”
On Sept. 28, Us confirmed that Clare and Dale have yet again called off their relationship, though details of their split are currently unknown. “It was best for them to go their separate ways at this time,” a source told the magazine. “They will still support each other and have love for each other no matter what.”
On Sept. 30, Clare broke her silence on Instagram with a photo of her holding her mother’s hand. “I’m choosing not to speak right now on the details of my relationship,” she wrote, adding that she’s still healing from her recent surgery and that her mother’s been placed on hospice care. “My energy is focused on grieving, healing, and being present at home here in Sacramento,” she added.
Clare closed out her statement by thanking those who continue to love and support her even when things get hard. “I am just thankful for the people in my life who offer genuine unconditional love with no personal gain, and stand by me through thick and thin,” she added. “ESPECIALLY WHEN THE CAMERAS ARE OFF with no accolades. Actions speak for themselves.”
October 2021: Cheating Rumors
Eagle-eyed fans were quick to notice that when Clare broke her silence on Instagram, she tagged Bachelor in Paradise star Abigail Heringer in the photo. This went down shortly after the Instagram account Deuxmoi shared an anonymous tip alleging that someone from BiP hooked up with a recent Bachelor or Bachelorette winner.
So, how did people come to the conclusion that it was Abigail and Dale? On Oct. 1, a source told Us Weekly that they “hooked up” way before Paradise started filming and that Abigail was “under the impression that he and Clare weren’t serious.” According to the magazine’s insider, Clare found out about the cheating allegations because of all of the rumors floating around the internet, which is was prompted her to tag Abigail.
It’s worth noting that a second source told the outlet that things were never romantic between Abigail and Dale. “They met once at flag football in New York City that a bunch of Bachelor people attended,” the insider said. “Everyone went to a bar after, they did not sleep together. He never cheated on Clare. They never kissed or had sex. Dale is friends with Abigail.”
Abigail, for her part, seemed to laugh off the rumors. When her BiP love interest Noah Erb posted that there’s been “a lot of interesting stuff swirling around” on spoiler accounts, she was heard chuckling in the background. This came after several reports that the duo split on the Bachelor in Paradise finale, but they’ve since confirmed to the public that they’re still together.
As for Clare and Dale, Dale’s rep confirmed to People on Oct. 4 that they called it quits. “Dale and Clare broke up in mid September when Clare was in New York City spending time with him,” the statement read. “Clare then chose to fly home to Sacramento and asked Dale to send her things. A couple of weeks later, Clare’s mother’s condition worsened, and Dale chose to immediately fly out to Sacramento to be with her.”
The rep added that Dale left Sacramento for work but had every intention of returning to be with Clare and her family. However, “his number was blocked, which made it impossible to communicate with Clare.” Elsewhere in the statement, the rep said that Dale wouldn’t address the Abigail rumors out of respect for Clare and her family. “Dale knows what it’s like to watch a mother’s health deteriorate over time, and how devastating that is,” the statement continued. “He hopes that people will understand the current situation enough to respect everyone’s privacy during this time.”
Clare, for her part, made it clear that between her mother’s health and her breakup, things have been rough. “It takes a lot to bring me to my knees... but damn this week has pushed me to that point,” she wrote on Instagram on Oct. 4. “One thing I refuse to do though is stay down. I’ll be damned if I let it all take me out, so amidst all this, I’m taking steps even if [they] are small. I will feed myself the right food, drink some water and handle it the best I know how.”
On Oct. 21, Clare reflected on the split on Jana Kramer’s “Whine Down” podcast. “My biggest regret is trusting the process, trusting a man — a man’s words and who he showed me he was,” she said, according to People. But even though she has regrets about The Bachelorette process and trusting Dale, she doesn’t regret falling in love.
“I believed somebody that they were who they said they were or that they would hold up to the promises that they make when they get down on one knee... I don’t know if that's a regret,” she continued. “I loved, and have always had such a deep love for, Dale, and A) he doesn’t go away overnight and B) I don’t regret that I loved loving him.”
Elsewhere in the podcast, Clare spoke about how hurtful it was that Dale never gave her the closure she needed. “It’s painful when you feel like somebody who you love deeply doesn’t even have enough respect to take you to sit down and have a very vulnerable conversation” she said. “It’s hurtful because it’s like, ‘You think that little of me?’ But yet he supposedly loved me … Maybe that is the closure.”
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