Wounds from the relentless yet addicting love triangle between Kristina, Dean, and Danielle on this summer's season of Bachelor in Paradise are still fresh. Yes, for those involved, but also for fans who watched their romances unfold. After toying with Kristina, Danielle, and the dedicated BiP audience all summer long, it's unclear what Dean's next move will be. It's been confirmed that the 26-year-old isn't the next Bachelor (although creator Mike Fleiss hasn't ruled it out for the future). But will Dean be on Bachelor: Winter Games and continue his public search for love? And if so, are fans ready for that kind of emotional stress all over again?
The upcoming spin-off, deemed the "winter version of Paradise," won't air until February 2018. Whether or not Dean winds up with Kristina or Danielle in the near future, he could still be on the show. Many details about the competition series are being kept under wraps, but host Chris Harrison did hint at the cast, saying former villains and favorite alums, whether single (the Ferguson twins) or not (the Sutters) have a shot at being included.
There's no doubt fans would be intrigued by Dean's return, but it might just be a matter of whether or not he's ready. Back in July, Dean explained why he wasn't ready for The Bachelor and how much personal growth he needed. "I have a ways to go before I'm ready for something like that," he said. Meanwhile, the Aspen, CO native is on the Instagram promotion hustle and hasn't made clear if he'll return to his job as a startup recruiter. And of course, his romantic life is super uncertain at this point.
After making it to the Top 4 in Rachel Lindsay's Bachelorette season, Dean was the center of serious drama during last season's Paradise. He started out dating Kristina (and went to meet her family), then was into the newcomer Danielle, then strung them both along and the whole thing became very confusing. Kristina left during the rose ceremony, Dean remained conflicted, and it all remains just as confusing now.
Danielle recently posted a photo of her and Dean kissing, explaining her choices. Before that, Dean posted of photo of himself kissing Kristina, captioned, "You were out of my league." The three had a super awkward interview on Ellen and basically, Dean still doesn't know what he wants.
Both Danielle and Kristina, however, seem to be moving on. "[He] continues to allude that he only pursued me because of my looks... I don’t hate him but I am disappointed," Danielle recently told Us. Although Kristina isn't ready to be the Bachelorette right now, she recently said she'd consider it in the future while working on moving forward, given that Dean hasn't learned from his mistakes.
But regardless of how the saga plays out, it's unlikely Winter Games would deny Dean's return. Set in Vermont and airing around the same time as the 2018 Winter Olympics, Winter Games will have contestants battle in athletic challenges (and love, of course).
How the show works is yet to be revealed, but it will probably be similar to The Bachelor Pad (in which contestants lived in a mansion and took on Road Rules-like challenges). And in the spirit of the Olympics, Winter Games' international contestants will be from all over the map, and include former contestants from The Bachelor in Japan, Australia, and Canada.
The outcome of Dean's love triangle is still up in the air, but by February, he (and fans) may finally be ready to give his love life another shot.