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The Broken Engagements On Reality TV That Crushed Our Hearts
We really thought these couples on shows like "The Courtship" and "The Bachelor" could make it work.
We love to watch, well, love form on reality shows about dating and romance. But while plenty of people ride off into the sunset after finding the one on reality TV, plenty of others end up leaving with a broken heart. Most tragic of all is when it seems like a happy ending has been sealed with an engagement ring, but then fans later learn of a brutal breakup.
Here are just some of the most devastating broken engagements we've seen on reality TV.
Nicole Rémy and Daniel "Danny B" Bochicchio
On "The Courtship," Nicole Rémy was determined to find true love by trying out an entirely new style of dating: She and her suitors lived like they were in a Jane Austen novel. That meant they wore Regency-era clothes and observed customs of the times while getting to know each other in a gorgeous castle in England. Many of the men charmed Nicole, but it was obvious from the beginning that she had a special connection with Daniel "Danny B" Bochicchio.
However, Danny B would often admit he was uncomfortable with the idea of an engagement right at the end of the show. Nicole made it clear she expected a proposal, and he seemed to overcome his fear of commitment when he asked her to be his wife.
Shortly after, though, he broke up with her, Nicole said.
"He proposed to me, but ... then a month and a half later, he broke up with me," she revealed in an interview with USA Insider.
She elaborated in an interview with E! Online, saying, "The feelings I had for him on the show and post-filming were always the same, and I wanted nothing more than to spend my life with him, whereas Danny told me after the show wrapped that he felt differently about me, and no longer felt like I was the one."
Danny, for his part, insisted he will always care about Nicole.
"I had a great experience on 'The Courtship' where I made new friends and got to know the incredible woman that Nicole is," he said. "At the time of the proposal, I was hopeful that Nicole and I could make this work in the real world. It was never my intention to call off the engagement or hurt her, but unfortunately the realities of modern-day life caught up to me once I got home. I know this has been a difficult journey and I'm sorry it didn't end as we all had hoped. I wish Nicole nothing but the best as we both move forward, it is what she deserves."
Tayshia Adams and Zac Clark
Tayshia, a fan favorite on "The Bachelor" franchise, thought she had finally found her happy ending at the conclusion of her stint as the Bachelorette in Season 16, when she came in halfway through the season to replace Clare Crawley, who had quickly chosen Dale Moss as the one for her.
Much like Clare, Tayshia soon formed a bond with one man in particular: Zac Clark, who proposed to her at the end of the show. "Zac is my person. And this just feels so right," she said at the time.
However, their engagement was short-lived. The pair struggled with long distance after Tayshia left to co-host a season of "The Bachelorette," with sources telling PEOPLE it made things "strained." Ultimately, Tayshia and Zac announced they were ending their engagement in November 2021, only a little over a year after Zac had proposed.
"All in all, all I have to say is that I'm heartbroken. But we tried really hard and I still love him very much. And I'm not sure what the future holds," she said during "The Bachelorette's Men Tell All Special" in December of that year.
Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell
Another fan favorite couple that never made it to the altar from "The Bachelor" franchise is Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell. Ben proposed to Lauren in Season 20 of "The Bachelor" after giving her his final rose. The two seemed over the moon about each other, and they even did a reality show about what their new life together looked like: "Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?" which lasted for a season on Freeform.
The two broke off their engagement after just one year. Ben later wrote in his memoir "Alone In Plain Sight" that he thought the "Happily Ever After?" show and the pressure it brought damaged their relationship. Lauren, however, told Page Six in 2022 that she thinks the split happened simply because they were too different.
“I think [we didn’t work] for two reasons. I think we shared a lot of the same core values, but personality-wise, I don’t think we were super compatible,” she said. “I don’t even think it had anything to do with the show or the spotlight or anything like that. Also, I was young. I think I needed to do a lot of reflecting on myself, and I had a lot of growing to do.”
Salvador 'Sal' Perez and Mallory Zapata
"Love Is Blind" is an intense experiment. After all, people fall in love after days and weeks spent talking to someone they never get to see. Once they actually meet each other in person, the relationships often change.
Salvador "Sal" Perez and Mallory Zapata on "Love Is Blind" Season 2 had fans rooting for them, though. Unlike other couples on the show, they seemed respectful of each other and truly enjoyed spending time together. But while Sal did propose sight unseen, when they got to the altar, they realized it wasn't the right move for them.
“I cannot. I feel like I just need more time," Sal said, although he stressed to Mallory's loved ones he had a lot of love and respect for her.
The two revealed during the reunion they never rekindled their romance, although they are still friendly.
“I was a roller coaster of emotions [at the wedding],” Sal told Us Weekly of that fateful wedding day. “I was just feeling everything, and I really was trying to wrap my head around everything that we had been through together ... I was really just kind of summarizing it in my head and I knew that at that moment of my wedding, I just wanted to make that choice with her. I wanted to see how I felt in that moment with her. It was a crazy day.”
Tinsley Mortimer and Scott Kluth
OK, Tinsley wasn't on a romance-themed reality show — but "The Real Housewives of New York City" viewers still rooted for Tinsley to find true love, as they knew how much finding a husband and having kids meant to her. And while her on-off relationship with businessman Scott Kluth, which was documented on "RHONY" after her castmate Carole Radziwill introduced them, didn't endear her to some castmates, it still felt like a satisfying ending to her stint on the show to discover Tinsley was engaged to Scott and moving to Chicago to be with him in November 2019.
“I have changed so much since coming back to New York and moving into Sonja's townhouse,” Mortimer said in the episode, which aired in the summer of 2020. “It’s taken me a little bit of time, but I finally feel like myself again. I feel confident again. … It’s been a great ride and I’m just so happy with where I am right now and so excited for my future."
Unfortunately, a little over a year after Scott popped the question, the two broke up for a final time.
“This was an incredibly difficult decision, but it is one that I believe is best for both of us. I will always care about Tinsley, and I sincerely wish her happiness and success in all that she does in the future,” Kluth said at the time. “While I understand this news will be of interest to many, I ask for privacy and understanding during this time as I continue to work on recovering emotionally from the end of our relationship.”
Shanique Imari and Randall Griffin
The whole point of "The Ultimatum" is to determine whether one is really ready for marriage by swapping partners with other couples for a few weeks. For Shanique and Randall in Season 1, it was a test they felt they needed because Shanique wanted to settle down and get married, but Randall claimed he had financial concerns.
Shanique and Randall both formed close bonds with their sort-of-new partners during their time on the show, but it seemed like things had worked out for the best when Randall decided to propose to Shanique in the season finale. It was exciting to see a happy ending could come from the show — but then the pair revealed during the reunion they broke off the engagement six months later.
Clearly, there is still a connection between the two, as they said they were still dating at that time. Maybe there's hope for an engagement that sticks?
Catch up on "The Courtship" and "The Real Housewives Of New York City" on Peacock now.