Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon exclusively revealed to PEOPLE that after meeting three summers ago on Bachelor in Paradise, they're engaged
Who’s ugly-crying now? We are.
On Monday, Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon exclusively revealed to PEOPLE that after meeting three summers ago on Bachelor in Paradise, they’re engaged — and Bachelor Nation collectively lost it. From diehard fans to reluctant ones, all were united in their joy that these two reality stars, seemingly against all odds, finally found a way to make it work.
So why exactly are fans so obsessed with this particular pair? Because for as long as we’ve been watching them on TV, it seemed like they were doomed to fail.
The couple met on season 2 of BIP in 2015 — and as viewers are well aware, it was pretty much love at first sight for Iaconetti. But while they went on dates (even an overnight one!), Haibon wasn’t quite as enamored.
The result? A seemingly endless flow of tears from Iaconetti, who developed a reputation for sobbing in confessionals over her unrequited love.
Nevertheless, the two remained friends even after things didn’t work out — and viewers could hardly believe their eyes when they learned that the pair would both return for season 3 of BIP the following year. But if you thought things would be different this time, think again.
For yet another summer, fans watched Iaconetti pine over Haibon, unapologetically sabotaging his chances with fellow contestant Caila Quinn. But still, Haibon resisted Iaconetti’s advances, and it seemed all but obvious that these two would never work out.
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Finally, Iaconetti decided it was time to move on. In late 2017, she jetted off to film another ABC spinoff, The Bachelor Winter Games, where she met Kevin Wendt. The two started dating — just as Haibon had begun to realize that maybe what he was looking for had been in front of him all along.
The giddy duo recapped their journey for fans in a tear-filled episode of Iaconetti’s show The Story of Us, and Haibon admitted Iaconetti’s new relationship felt like “a kick in the a—.”
“I remember I heard rumors that she might have met somebody, and I was sad,” he said. “Sometimes I need a kick in the a—. That was a big kick in the a—.”
After production on Winter Games wrapped, Haibon and Iaconetti reunited for a formerly planned vacation to St. Lucia with Iaconetti’s sister Lauren and Bachelor alums Tanner Tolbert and Jade Roper in January.
“Going into St. Lucia, I did a lot of self-reflection … trying to figure out what I want, what I should do, if I should do anything,” Haibon said of weighing whether or not to tell Iaconetti about his feelings for her. “It’s so unfair for me to say anything. Ashley goes on a show, finds another guy and now I’m gonna say something? What kind of a—hole does that?”
Eventually, however, he decided to come clean — and took a page right out of a romantic comedy when he planted a kiss on Iaconetti just as she was about to board her flight home.
But even after sharing a romantic smooch at the airport, Iaconetti wanted to give her relationship with Wendt a fair shot.
“I thought ‘Okay, well that’s everything I’ve ever wanted, but I’m definitely gonna continue dating this other guy,’ ” she said. “I do like him. He’s pursued me … he’s been all in the entire time and I deserve to pursue somebody else and for somebody else to pursue me after all this time.”
As Winter Games was airing, however, Iaconetti knew her relationship with Wendt was over, and she called it quits in early March.
“I just knew in my heart at that point that it wasn’t right with Kevin,” she said. “I ended the relationship because it had run its course — and then Jared was still there.”
And the rest is history. Looks like fairytales do come true, after all!