Unfortunately, the Bachelor shows (and reality TV dating in general) are notorious for building up the hype for short-lived relationships. But it actually is possible to start a long-lasting relationship in front of television cameras. Yes, I get that it's rare, but going on reality TV to find love definitely isnt' a guarantee that a conventional relationships can't work out either. To put a positive spin on things, check out the longest lasting relationships in the Bachelor franchise.
I know that everyone loves to poke fun at the relationships that end just after the show airs, but I'm not into that. I'm all about emphasizing the positive and that's why I want to shine a spotlight on the Bachelor and (mostly) Bachelorette relationships that actually existed for a while and became very legitimate.
Unfortunately, not all of these Bachelor-spawned couples are still together, but not all of them threw in the towel right after the final rose was handed out. The few couples who are married get a lot of well-deserved spotlight, but there are also a few relationships that went on for more than a few weeks that you might have forgotten about. Some of this went down in the pre-social media era and others are just not mentioned nearly enough.
Luckily for you, I did all the research so you don't have to. Here's a rundown of the Bachelor couples who stayed together the longest (so far):
11. Ben Higgins & Lauren Bushnell: 1 Year
Obviously, this is the newest couple to reach the territory of being a "long-term" romance. Nevertheless, props to Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell for being together for a year (if you count the time based on when they got engaged instead of when their final episode aired). If anyone is going to prove that the Bachelor formula works, it's prince charming himself Ben Higgins, so I'm really not surprised that these two are still together and I'm just waiting to tune into their televised wedding.
10. Jillian Harris & Ed Swiderski: 1 Year
9. Ali Fedotowsky & Roberto Martinez: 1.5 Years
It really seems like Ali Fedotowsky and Roberto Martinez tried to make their relationship work, but there were just too many little things that added up. Ali confirmed the split with People in 2011 and cited "different interests," a small apartment, conflicting career goals, pressure to plan a TV wedding, and her femur injury among the reasons that they could not stay together. Ali summed it up by saying, “We definitely had been having problems. But I had always believed that we could work it out.” Unfortunately for them (and the Bachelorette fandom), they did not actually work it out.
8. Kaitlyn Bristowe & Shawn Booth: 1.5 Years
Kaitlyn Bristowe and Shawn Booth are still together after he proposed on the Bachelorette final two seasons ago. They haven't set a wedding date yet, but in January 2017 Kaitlyn did make a bet with Jimmy Kimmel that they would be married within a year, so once again I am hoping for a televised wedding!
7. Desiree Hartsock & Chris Siegfried: 4 Years
Ah, I love a good Bachelorette success story! Desiree Hartsock and Chris Siegfried are what these reality TV couples strive to be. They are happily married and Desiree just gave birth to their first child in October 2016.
6. Sean Lowe & Catherine Giudici: 4 Years
If you want to get technical about it, these two are the pair with the Bachelor and the actual Bachelor winner, who have been together for the longest amount of time. In my eyes, that makes Catherine Giudice and Sean Lowe the star couple of The Bachelor. Not only did they have a perfect wedding and marriage, but Sean and Catherine are new parents to baby Samuel. They really are the most adorable funny and really kill it with their Bachelor live tweets.
5. Charlie O'Connell & Sarah Brice: 5 Years
You might be looking at this one and saying to yourself, "Wait. Is that Jerry O'Connell's brother?" Yes, Charlie O'Connell and Sarah Brice got together during the pre-social media era of The Bachelor. They actually stayed together for five years, which is very long in general and a glorified eternity in reality TV standards. Charlie told People in 2010 that they split up because they were "just arguing over the same things and stuff like that. And then eventually you’ve got to go your separate ways.” Fair enough.
4. Byron Velvick & Mary Delgado: 5 Years
It seemed like the start to a fairy tale when Byron Velvick proposed to Mary Delgado in Spanish, so her parents could understand his words in 2004. That sweetness did last for too long, though. In 2007 Mary was arrested for allegedly punching Byron in the mouth, but they still stayed together for two more years until they broke up in 2009. According to Buddy TV Byron told Inside Edition not long after the arrest, "Just because you met on a reality show, got engaged on this beautiful incredible setting doesn't mean that we're Prince Charming or Beautiful Princess. It's nothing like that. It's just a real couple going through real things." Mary reportedly told Inside Edition, "It was a lot of things. It was something that just kind of got out of hand."
3. Ashley Hebert & JP Rosenbaum: 6 Years
After getting engaged on The Bachelorette in 2011, Ashley Hebert and JP Rosenbaum broke the mold of short-lived reality TV couplings. They got married in a beautiful TV special in 2012 and now the Rosenbaums have two children, a boy and a girl. They really are living the dream and it all started with some roses on a TV show.
2. Jason Mesnick & Molly Malaney: 8 Years
This relationship had a pretty infamous start since Jason Mesnick actually picked Melissa Rycroft to get the final rose during his season of The Bachelor. Jason changed his mind during a live TV special, dumped Melissa, and asked Molly to give him a second chance. As awkward as that is, these two are a very solid couple who had a televised wedding and some beautiful kids. He may have messed up when handing out the roses, but Jason ultimately found his soulmate through The Bachelor.
1. Trista & Ryan Sutter: 14 Years
Without a doubt, Trista and Ryan Sutter are the golden couple of the franchise. Not only have they been together the longest, but Trista was the original star of The Bachelorette and she was a contestant on the very first season of The Bachelor. They got married on TV, renewed their vows on TV, have adorable kids together, and have remained an integral part of Bachelor Nation. If anyone is looking for inspiration to make a relationship work (on or off reality TV), Trista and Ryan are the epitome of #RelationshipGoals.
Love is tough enough as it is. Love in the spotlight of reality TV can be even more difficult, but these 11 couples managed to make it work for a long time. Unfortunately, some of these pairs did break up, but this list does help disprove the reality TV curse when it comes to relationships.