When it comes to the high-drama love affairs on any iteration of ABC's beloved Bachelor franchise, breaking up is certainly nothing new. Still, watching your favorite onscreen couple call it quits is always sad. So, for all the loyal residents of #BachelorNation angling for answers about the subject of the franchise's most recent breakup rumors, Bachelor Winter Games star Dean Unglert commented on his recent breakup with Lesley Murphy in the most roundabout way ever. Neither Dean nor Lesley have officially commented on the breakup rumors, but some people seem to think Dean's recent, cryptic Instagram post suggests the couple is done.
Captioning a photo of himself looking particularly pensive (or, like he'd just witnessed some kind of internal revelation about the meaning of romance and what-not), Dean waxed semi-poetic about all that he's learned from the sometimes unanticipated trials and tribulations that tend to accompany most modern-day relationships. "Growing up as a kid I had a crude but Utopian idea of what love is," Dean wrote, opening the photo's markedly long-winded caption.
Segueing into the heart of his lengthy post, the former Bachelorette contestant gave fans a glimpse into his life-long perspective on love (one which many fellow romance-seekers can probably relate to) and the ways in which that perspective has changed, apparently. Dean continued, writing,
I always had this idea that no matter what you did, no matter how you act, as long as you're true to yourself and act in good conscious, your path would lead you to the one person on this planet you're meant to be with.
Penning the post's final paragraph, Dean shared some hard-earned wisdom about what it takes to sustain a healthy, loving relationship. Finishing the post's caption, Dean wrote,
As I've gotten older, I've learned that although everyone DESERVES love, it's not something we're entitled to. Love takes work. Love is compromise. Love is earned. I still have a lot of work to do on myself, a lot to prove to myself, before I'm ready for something like that.
It definitely sounds like Dean is going through some stuff, right now, and his post certainly hints at a bit of a broken heart.
For a while (or, for the better part of the last four months or so, at least), it seemed as though "the one person on this planet" Dean was "meant to be with" might be Lesley, his similarly sparkly-eyed co-star from last season's Bachelor Winter Games. Before the reality series spinoff had even made its inaugural season debut, E! News published a somewhat speculative report back in January that claimed the two were lucky in love after they were spotted holding hands at a party during this year's Sundance Film Festival, and had been an item since meeting on the Winter Games set.
When Winter Games wrapped this past February, it seemed like perhaps the romance rumors had been true all along. The freshly-minted couple seemed comfortable, happy, and as in love as ever during ABC's post-finale "tell all" episode. In fact, the goofy pair even kickstarted the future of their relationship during the World Tells All special, when Dean got down on one knee to present his lady with — in a pretty stark departure from the seemingly stopgap engagement proceedings that have riddled #BachelorNation with heartache since then — a set of keys to his apartment.
But an exclusive follow-up report by E! just two days ago, on April 6, claimed the two had recently split. It looks like Dean and Lesley's Bachelor-made romance might have been short-lived. Citing the testimony of an unidentified source, the report claims that, after four months of dating, Dean and Lesley decided to call it quits on their relationship — though, apparently, there's no lingering beef between them and they'll "continue to be friendly," according to E! News' source.
"It is very recent, but they have been rocky for a few weeks now," the unidentified source told the news outlet. Speaking to the inevitable question of why Dean and Lesley might have called it off, the source continued, saying, "Distance and traveling were a factor. They are both going to continue to be friendly and are on good terms, but their romantic relationship has ended."
Judging by the final leg of Dean's cryptic Instagram caption, it seems plausible that the breakup buzz might actually hold some weight. If it turns out the rumors are true, that means Winter Games contestants Courtney Dober and Lily McManus are the series' last couple standing. But, if the couple's recent social media activity is any indication, it seems safe to say they're still going strong. As for Dean and Lesley — who else is rooting for a comeback in Season 2?