Now that ABC has announced the premiere date for The Bachelor’s 22nd season — starring race car driver and former The Bachelorette runner-up Arie Luyendyk Jr. — we thought it was a good time to look back at the 21 Bachelors who came before him. While each man ended his season in “love” (with one notable exception), most couples never made it to happily ever after. Heads up, Arie: Those who do not learn Bachelor history are doomed to repeat it.
The Bachelor premieres Monday, Jan. 1, 2018, at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Alex Michel (Season 1, 2002)
After the final rose: The OG Bachelor chose Amanda Marsh over the future first Bachelorette, Trista Rehn, in the finale, but instead of proposing, he asked Marsh to be his girlfriend. The couple dated for a year.
Where are they now: After breaking up with Marsh in 2003, the Harvard-schooled businessman became a spokesperson for Match.com and a romance and proposal expert for Princess Cruises. For a time, it was reported that he was in a serious relationship but never married, and more recently has been missing in action. On a 2016 special, host Chris Harrison joked, “He was last seen in New York City. If anyone has any information, give us a call. Alex, if you’re watching, come home, brother!” Marsh later married her childhood friend Jay Caldwell, and they have a daughter named Chloe.
Aaron Buerge (Season 2, 2002)
After the final rose: The vice president of several family-owned banks proposed to Helene Eksterowicz over Gwen Gioia (who later appeared on the first season of Bachelor Pad), but things reportedly ended in a Starbucks within months. The duo did partner one more time, to sell the 2.75-carat Harry Winston engagement ring he gave her on the show on eBay.
Where are they now: Both have since found love in the real world. Buerge met wife-to-be Angye at a sports bar in his Missouri hometown. They married in 2009 and now have two daughters together along with his wife’s teenage daughter. Eksterowicz got engaged to Andrew Goodman, a senior technology consultant for IBM, in January 2013 and got married the same year. They have a child together.
Andrew Firestone (Season 3, 2003)
After the final rose: The tire empire heir who works for the family’s brewery/winery arm got engaged to Chicago gal Jen Schefft on the finale, but they went separate ways just a few months later. Schefft went on to be the third Bachelorette, but she ended up rejecting her final suitor’s proposal.
Where are they now: In 2008, Firestone married model Ivana Bozilovic, and they have three children. Schefft wed businessman Joe Waterman in Chicago in 2009, and the couple has two girls.
Bob Guiney (Season 4, 2003)
After the final rose: After earning quite the reputation as a ladies’ man, the goofy mortgage company founder gave Estella Gardinier a promise ring instead of popping the question. (His runner-up, Meredith Phillips, became the season 2 Bachelorette.)
Where are they now: Guiney found love on TV after all, when he fell for All My Children actress Rebecca Budig; they married in July 2004 and divorced in 2010. Now a part-time TV host (including gigs on HGTV and TLC), Guiney married Jessica Canyon in Mexico in 2016. Gardinier, a “nutritionista” and trainer in San Diego, is apparently single.
Jesse Palmer (Season 5, 2004)
After the final rose: Palmer chose not to propose to his final pick, Jessica Bowlin, and the couple announced their breakup soon after the finale aired.
Where are they now: Former NFL quarterback Palmer has yet to tie the knot, instead focusing on his career as a college football commentator and analyst at ESPN, NFL Network, and TSN. Bowlin graduated from East Carolina State University and went to law school. According to her Facebook page, Bowlin is married to Omar Rawi and has two children.
Byron Velvick (Season 6, 2004)
After the final rose: In the finale, the professional bass fisherman asked former Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleader Mary Delgado to be his wife in her native Spanish so that her Cuban-born parents could understand, and it was magical — until it wasn’t. In 2007, Mary was arrested on battery charges after a fight with Byron, and the couple split in 2009.
Where are they now: Velvick is still a pro fisherman and runs a resort at Amistad Reservoir in Texas. Delgado had a few more run-ins with the law — an arrest for public intoxication in 2008 and a misdemeanor DUI in 2010 — before opening a real estate business in Florida. She married James Kordomenos in Cuba on New Year’s Eve in 2015.
Charlie O’Connell (Season 7, 2005)
After the final rose: The actor did not ask his final pick, Sarah Brice, to be his wife, but they did give it a serious go — twice. They stayed together for two years after their televised courtship but separated amid rumors of his heavy drinking. O’Connell and Bryce reconnected the following year, before breaking up for good in 2010.
Where are they now: O’Connell, now sober, was most recently linked to Playboy model Anna Sophia Berglund. Brice got married in 2012 and now has three sons.
Travis Stork (Season 8, 2006)
After the final rose: After a lot of French kissing in Paris — it was the first season to travel outside the U.S — the fantasy ended in a flash for the doctor and schoolteacher Sarah Stone, who announced their breakup one week after the finale aired.
Where are they now: Stork returned to TV in 2008 as a co-host on the daytime talk show The Doctors. He married pediatrician Charlotte Brown in 2012, but they divorced in 2015, and he currently appears to be single. Stone, meanwhile, became a real estate agent in Nashville and has three daughters with her husband, Brock.
Lorenzo Borghese (Season 9, 2006)
After the final rose: There was no official proposal, but Jennifer Wilson was Borghese’s choice as a potential princess — until they announced their breakup nearly a year later.
Where are they now: Borghese, an heir to his family’s cosmetics company, owns Royal Treatment pet spa and is the president of Animal Aid USA. His current relationship status is unclear. Jennifer married accountant Lee Gerschutz several years after the show aired.
Andy Baldwin (Season 10, 2007)
After the final rose: The U.S. Navy officer and doctor proposed to social worker Tessa Horst on the Hawaii-set finale. Despite calling off the engagement a month later, Baldwin and Horst remained a couple for almost a year before she ended it while he was deployed overseas. Both blamed the split on the strain of long distance.
Where are they now: Baldwin currently works as a Navy doctor in San Diego; he briefly dated Karina Smirnoff from Dancing With the Stars but is now single. Horst married Tom Pickard in 2013, and they have a son.
Brad Womack (Season 11, 2007)
After the final rose: The bar owner narrowed the competition down to two women, Jenni Croft and DeAnna Pappas, but chose not to get down on one knee for either. The shocking move — a franchise first — earned him the temporary title of most hated man in America.
Where are they now: Womack returned to hand out the roses once again as Season 15’s stud. Pappas appeared as the fourth Bachelorette but failed to find a soulmate among the suitors. Later, a contestant from Jillian Harris’s Bachelorette season, Michael Stagliano, introduced her to his twin brother, Stephen. He and Pappas wed in 2011 and have two children.
Matt Grant (Season 12, 2008)
After the final rose: Global financier Matt Grant put a ring on it, but the multicultural match between the Briton and his paramour, Shayne Lamas (the daughter of actor Lorenzo Lamas), was not meant to be. The pair’s international relations ceased a few months after the finale aired.
Where are they now: Grant lives in London and works for a software company. He got engaged to Rebecca Moring earlier this year after meeting her at his neighborhood pub. Lamas appeared on an E! reality show that followed her famous family in 2009, and in 2010 she married blogger Nik Richie within a few hours of meeting him. She gave birth to daughter Press in late 2011, and they welcomed son Lyon via surrogate in July 2015.
Jason Mesnick (Season 13, 2009)
After the final rose: The single dad from Seattle asked Melissa Rycroft for her hand in marriage during the finale, but the bloom was off the rose by the time they reunited for the After the Final Rose special. Mesnick dumped the former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader on live TV and asked runner-up Molly Malaney (inset) to give him a second chance during the same show.
Where are they now: Malaney became an official stepmom to Mesnick’s son, Ty, during a lavish ceremony that aired on ABC in 2010. Three years later, baby Riley made four. Rycroft competed on two seasons of Dancing With the Stars, once taking home the gold, and married her pre-Bachelor ex, Tye Strickland, in 2009. They now have three children: Ava, Beckett, and Cayson.
(Photos: ABC, Getty Images)
Jake Pavelka (Season 14, 2010)
After the final rose: Vienna Girardi was one of the most disliked contestants to ever cross the Bachelor mansion’s threshold, but that didn’t stop the pilot from asking her to become his wingwoman for life. The romance crashed and burned less than six months later.
Where are they now: Pavelka parlayed his reality TV celebrity into minor parts on Drop Dead Diva and The Bold and The Beautiful. He has also become a reality regular, showing up on Bachelor Pad (opposite Girardi), Dancing With the Stars, Famous Food, and Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off. Though he was attached to Kristin Chenoweth (American Gods, BoJack Horseman) for a few months in 2013, he’s currently on the market. Girardi had a very public relationship with Bachelorette contestant Kasey Kahl. After they split, she got engaged to NASCAR driver Todd Allen in 2016. The duo announced they were expecting twins last summer, but unfortunately Girardi lost the babies at 18 weeks.
Brad Womack (Season 15, 2011)
After the final rose: After enduring a night-one slap “for women everywhere” by one contestant, and allowing cameras to film multiple visits with his therapist, Womack conquered his intimacy issues long enough to propose to single mom Emily Maynard. But they hit a bumpy patch before the show even finished airing and broke it off. Maynard and Womack tried again post-finale, but the relationship fizzled again within months. Womack later stated he had “dodged a bullet.”
Where are they now: The Texas bar owner dated AshLee Frazier (a contestant on Sean Lowe’s Bachelor season in 2013), but appears to be single at the moment. Maynard became engaged to Jef Holm after her stint as the Bachelorette, but that too ended within months. She’s now married to Tyler Johnson, and they have two sons, Jennings and Gibson, together.
Ben Flajnik (Season 16, 2012)
After the final rose: Model Courtney Robertson captured the heart of the California winemaker, despite the fact that literally every other woman on the show warned him about her shady ways. Robertson’s victory was short-lived: She and Flajnik stopped speaking to each other for a time while the show was still airing, and though they patched things up on After the Final Rose, their relationship ended for good later that year.
Where are they now: Flajnik has been linked with several women in the years after his Bachelorhood, but the San Francisco resident and founder of Fernet Francisco and Ion Wines has remained single. Robertson, who dated upcoming Bachelor Arie Luyendyk off and on until this fall, released a tell-all book called I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain in 2014 and has since become a high-end realtor.
Sean Lowe (Season 17, 2013)
After the final rose: In Thailand, the chaste cutie from Dallas chose Catherine Giudici to be his queen. When they exchanged vows a year later in a televised ceremony, they made history as the first Bachelor twosome to go from finale betrothal to wedded bliss. (Bachelorette Trista Rehn was the franchise’s first contestant to get married to her final pick.)
Where are they now: Living happily ever after as one of Bachelor Nation’s favorite couples. They’ve appeared on Dancing With the Stars, Celebrity Wife Swap, Celebrity Family Feud, Worst Cooks in America, Marriage Boot Camp, and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. It’s a wonder they found time to have baby Samuel Thomas last July. They’re hoping to add to their brood in 2018.
Juan Pablo Galavis (Season 18, 2014)
After the final rose: “I like you a lot.” With these disappointing words, the former professional soccer player (and dad to adorable scene-stealer Camila) informed Nikki Ferrell that a proposal was not on his agenda. (He also refused to say he loved her during After the Final Rose, which host Chris Harrison labeled “odd” and “unsatisfying.”) The couple went kaput after a few months — and not even an appearance on VH1’s Couples Therapy could save them.
Where are they now: After a friend showed Galavis a picture of fellow Venezuelan Osmariel Villalobos, he struck up a conversation via Instagram; they got married in Miami in August 2017. Ferrell married Tyler Vanloo in October 2016.
Chris Soules (Season 19, 2015)
After the final rose: After proposing to fertility nurse Whitney Bischoff in his Instagram-worthy barn, the Iowa farmer headed off to DWTS… and the duo split six months later.
Where are they now: Soules tarnished his Prince Farming image with an arrest last April following a fatal car crash near his home. He is scheduled to go on trial for hit-and-run charges in January. Bischoff, on the other hand, is doing well: She found her now fiancé, sales manager Ricky Angel, through the dating app Bumble.
Ben Higgins (Season 20, 2016)
After the final rose: Though he said “I love you” to both women in his final two, Higgins ultimately gave the ring to flight attendant Lauren Bushnell. Perhaps we should have realized the couple was not meant to last when their spinoff series was titled Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After? (That’s one ominous question mark.) Rumors of turmoil between the two started to spread in early 2017, and by May they had announced with “heavy hearts” their “decision to go separate ways.”
Where are they now: Bushnell made quick work of getting back out there and started posting pictures of her new beau, L.A. real estate agent Devin Antin, to her social media by midsummer. Higgins, however, was pretty shaken up by the split and told Ashley Iaconetti on her iHeartRadio show that he will likely stay solo for awhile.
Nick Viall (Season 21, 2017)
After the final rose: Two failed proposals on The Bachelorette (Andi Dorfman and Kaitlyn Bristowe) and one unsuccessful Bachelor in Paradise relationship later, Viall finally found success with Canadian special education teacher Vanessa Grimaldi.
Where are they now: Seeing as Viall and Grimaldi barely discussed which country they were going to live in before getting engaged, it’s not so surprising that their fairy tale crashed and burned by summer. They announced their split in August, “with a great amount of heartbreak.”