For the most part, Bachelor Nation rejoiced watching Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon get engaged on Bachelor in Paradise during Monday night's episode. However, there was a very awkward elephant in the room, or on the beach: Ashley I.'s ex Kevin Wendt was there. Don't worry, though: Kevin and Ashley I. are cool, even after he watched Jared propose to her. That had to be so rough to watch in person and relive watching the episode, but it seems like the exes are on pretty good terms.
During the episode, the Bachelorette Canada alum took to Twitter and wrote,
"Look...I’m a romantic and believe true love is the end goal. Everything on and off camera aside, I wish Ashley and Jared nothing but happiness together. Everybody wins here. Me included. Moving onnn, let’s talk about anything else, moving with cheese maybe? #bacheloreinparadise"
Aside from misspelling the hashtag at the end there (let's blame that on Twitter's autocomplete function), that was the perfect post for Kevin to share.
It has to be rough watching your ex's man talk about how they established their romance while dating other people and describing the situation like a plot of a romantic comedy when you were the other person she was dating at that time. Still, it's not as if Kevin was lonely. Kevin and Astrid Loch seem to have the most stable relationship on this season of Bachelor in Paradise.
While no one really wants to be viewed as an obstacle in someone else's love story, everything really does happen for a reason. If Kevin didn't hit it off with Ashley I. during The Bachelor Winter Games, would he have been cast on Bachelor in Paradise Season 5?
Obviously this is a hypothetical question that can't really be answered at this point, but maybe Kevin was a part of Ashley I. and Jared establishing their true love and Kevin meeting Ashley I. on Winter Games has led him to BIP and possibly finding "the one" for him.
Even Ashley I. is supportive of Kevin finding happiness with Astrid on Bachelor in Paradise, so there's no need to vilify anyone in this situation. It is just yet another awkward dating scenario in the Bachelor bubble. Ashley I. responded to Kevin's tweet by saying, "Thank you, Kevin. We really appreciate this. Wishing you and Astrid the best as well."
If both Kevin and Ashley I. are wishing happiness for each other, then why can't the Bachelor in Paradise viewers do the same? There's no need to pit anyone against each other or take sides.
A fan tweeted, "Not watching this episode specifically because they're gonna do this right in front of Kevin. #classless." No one can dispute that Kevin was put in an awkward situation as the witness to that proposal, but so were Jared and Ashley I. The last thing either of them wanted was to get engaged in front of Ashley I.'s ex-boyfriend.
Ashley I. responded to the viewer and shared a behind-the-scenes tidbit: "You know that Jared had absolutely no power over this. He fought hard not to have him there. He begged for him to be on a date."
Unfortunately for Kevin, Ashley I., and Jared, it sounds like someone in production (likely multiple people) preferred to let that awkwardness play out and incorporate it into Kevin and Astrid's storyline. At the very least, Kevin did get his first Paradise date during that episode, but it wasn't until after the proposal went down.
Kevin and Astrid connected pretty early on and did not a get a date card this whole season. Considering that they have been in the arguably most solid relationship on the show, they might not have received one if Ashley I. and Jared didn't make their cameo appearance.
For the most part, the date cards come in with new contestants or when it's convenient to the storyline, i.e. if there's drama. Obviously there's no way of officially confirming that Astrid and Kevin wouldn't have had their first official date if it wasn't for the proposal, but the proposal definitely didn't hurt their chances of getting the private time away.
Of course, this whole love square is all sorts of awkward, but it just may produce two happy endings. Kevin's relationship with Ashley I. led Jared to confess his feelings for her. Jared's proposal to Ashley I. was followed up by a date card for Kevin and Astrid. So maybe, just maybe, Kevin and Ashley will have supporting roles in each other's love stories when it's all said and done. Now the viewers just need to see how things end up on this season of Bachelor in Paradise.