Katie Thurston and John Hersey's Relationship Timeline

Katie Thurston and John Hersey started dating in late 2021 after first meeting on The Bachelorette

John Hersey may not have gotten Katie Thurston's final rose on The Bachelorette, but he did later win her heart.

Thurston landed the lead role on ABC's hit reality dating show in 2021 after appearing on Matt James' season of The Bachelor. The Washington native was presented with 30 potential suitors at the start of her season, including Hersey. However, the pair didn't hit it off right away, and Thurston sent him home during week two. Thurston ultimately ended up getting engaged to Blake Moynes, a contestant from season 16 who joined the cast halfway through filming.

Thurston and Moynes' engagement was short-lived, though, and they called it off six months later in October 2021. A month before news of their split broke, Thurston had moved to San Diego and developed a close friendship with Hersey, though both Thurston and Hersey maintained that their relationship was strictly platonic while she was with Moynes. In November 2021, PEOPLE confirmed that Thurston and Hersey were officially dating.

While there was some controversy surrounding the timing of their relationship, the couple managed to ignore their critics and were not shy about sharing their romance on social media.

"Falling for you was the best decision I never had a say in, and I couldn't be happier," Hersey captioned an Instagram tribute for Thurston's birthday in January 2022.

John Hersey and Katie Thurston
John Hersey and Katie Thurston. Christopher Polk/E! Entertainment/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Less than six months later, however, the couple shocked Bachelorette fans when they announced their breakup on June 20, 2022.

"Statement: no we aren't together," Thurston wrote on her Instagram Story. Hersey addressed the split on his own Story, writing, "As Katie stated earlier, we are no longer dating. The decision was not made lightly and it was obviously not an easy one to make."

From their Bachelorette beginnings to their eventual split, here is a complete timeline of Katie Thurston and John Hersey's relationship.

March 2021: Katie Thurston meets John Hersey on the first night of filming The Bachelorette

Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty

Although Thurston's season of The Bachelorette didn't air on ABC until June 2021, filming commenced shortly after casting was announced in March at The Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa in New Mexico. Upon meeting on the first night, Hersey and Thurston seemed to hit it off right away, with Thurston noting that Hersey was her "type." However, their brief spark seemingly fizzled, as Thurston sent Hersey home during the second rose ceremony of the season.

Thurston went on to get engaged to Moynes during the final rose ceremony.

September 2021: Katie Thurston and John Hersey reconnect and become friends

Katie Thurston and John Hersey
Katie Thurston Instagram

Shortly after her season finale aired, Thurston moved to San Diego while her then-fiancé stayed in Canada and the two did long distance. While living in San Diego, Thurston and Hersey became close friends, often hanging out at the bar Hersey worked at as a bartender. In early September, Thurston posted a picture of the two of them on Instagram with the caption, "Internet rumors lead me to this guy becoming a dear dear friend."

Sept. 30, 2021: Katie Thurston discusses how her fiancé feels about her friendship with John Hersey

During an appearance on Whitney Cummings' Good For You podcast, Thurston addressed Moynes' reaction to her friendship with Hersey.

"He's not intimidated by anything. I'm actually really close friends with John Hersey, which is a week two guy from my season, which I think most men would be like, 'Well that's kind of weird,' but [Blake's] just like, 'Do your thing, whatever,'" Thurston explained to the comedian.

Oct. 17, 2021: Katie Thurston and John Hersey attend a music festival together

Hersey and Thurston attended the Blended Festival together in San Diego along with an array of other Bachelor Nation alums, including Dylan Barbour, Hannah Godwin, Blake Horstmann and Becca Kufrin. Hersey posted several clips from the weekend on TikTok, with many of them featuring Thurston.

Oct. 25, 2021: Katie Thurston and Blake Moynes break up

Although Thurston and Moynes attempted to make their long-distance relationship work, the pair called it quits in late October 2021, announcing the news in a joint statement on Instagram.

"It is with mutual love and respect that we have decided to go our separate ways. We are so grateful for the moments we shared together and the entire journey that has unfolded this year, but we ultimately have concluded that we are not compatible as life partners, and it is the most caring choice for both of us to move forward independently. We ask for kindness and privacy as we both navigate this transition. Both of us will forever want the best for one another and ask you to please support us in our decision," they wrote.

Nov. 22, 2021: Katie Thurston reveals she's dating John Hersey on Instagram

Less than a month after Thurston and Moynes split, Thurston revealed on Instagram that she and Hersey were an item. As part of her "12 Days of Messy" challenge, Thurston reminisced on the contestants from her Bachelorette season by sharing photos of them along with songs from Taylor Swift's Red (Taylor's Version) album. Thurston concluded the challenge with a video of Hersey flying a small plane with her in the back seat and a video of him serving her a cocktail. She paired the tribute with Swift's hit, "Begin Again."

A rep confirmed their relationship to PEOPLE, saying, "It's known Katie and John became close friends post-season [...] John has been there for her through all the major changes in her life and they are excited to explore this newly found romantic connection."

Nov. 23, 2021: John Hersey confirms his relationship with Katie Thurston via TikTok

Katie Thurston and John Hersey attend a private event at the Hyde Lounge at the Crypto.com Arena hosted by Sandals Resorts for the Justin Bieber concert on March 07, 2022 in Los Angeles, California
Vivien Killilea/Getty

Following Thurston's big reveal, Hersey took to TikTok to confirm their romance himself. He posted a video where Thurston can be seen riding piggyback as Hersey carries her down the sidewalk. In another clip, Hersey gives Thurston a passionate kiss for the camera. He captioned the post, "I really like it here."

Nov. 24, 2021: Blake Moynes accuses Katie Thurston of "emotionally cheating" on him with John Hersey

After Thurston and Hersey confirmed their relationship, Moynes spoke to the Talking It Out podcast and said he was "blindsided" by his ex-fiancée's new relationship.

"I really don't think there was any physical cheating there, but there's clearly emotional for it to transition as quickly as it did," Moynes told hosts and fellow Bachelor Nation alums Mike Johnson and Dr. Bryan Abasolo. "I feel stupid and foolish for allowing it to happen, to some degree. And I don't know if it was partially me too, like, was she in some sense emotionally cheating because I wasn't able to provide something with words of affirmation, which I know I struggle with sometimes?"

Moynes also shared that he struggled with the timing of Thurston's "12 Days of Messy" reveal. "That's what I have a hard time processing … I'm sure she probably knew who day 12 was — who it was going to be and why," he said. "So when I try to think about the breakup happening when it did, roughly a month ago, she probably had an idea two weeks after that who was gonna be day 12 and how she was gonna announce it."

November 2021: John Hersey defends Katie Thurston amid cheating rumors

After Moynes accused Thurston of emotionally cheating, Hersey quickly came to his girlfriends' defense. Hersey posted a letter to Reddit explaining that he and Thurston did not pursue a relationship until after she and Moynes broke off their engagement.

"I am absolutely in favor of everybody having their own opinion … What hurts me, however, is watching SO many of you build assumptions and throw around accusations based on very limited knowledge of a situation," he wrote, adding that while he and Thurston "developed an incredible and deep friendship" once The Bachelorette wrapped, their relationship was "always platonic" while Thurston was with Moynes. "Neither Katie nor I would ever cheat, push someone to cheat, or be involved in cheating. It is not in our nature," he continued.

Dec. 2, 2021: Katie Thurston and John Hersey make their red-carpet debut

John Hersey and Katie Thurston
Paul Archuleta/Getty

Thurston and Hersey made their first red carpet appearance as an official couple while attending the First Noelle Ball at the Mavericks Beach Club in San Diego, and they did not shy away from PDA. Other Bachelor Nation stars were also in attendance, including Cassie Randolph and boyfriend Brighton Reinhardt, Hannah Godwin and fiancé Dylan Barbour, Katie Morton and Tammy Ly.

Thurston documented the event on her Instagram Story and posted a selfie of the pair dressed up prior to the event as well as a video of the two sharing a romantic kiss under the mistletoe. "When it's suddenly snowing in San Diego and your whole mood changes," she wrote. "Thank you @drlovegrove for the event of the year!"

December 2021: Katie Thurston and John Hersey defend their relationship reveal

While Thurston's "12 Days of Messy" challenge was meant to be lighthearted and funny, it received some backlash from Bachelor Nation. Thurston and Hersey did an Instagram Live together titled "12 Days of Oops" to defend their relationship reveal and set the record straight. During the Live, the former Bachelorette explained that she didn't initially plan on doing a full reveal of their relationship during the challenge.

"John's role I think grew, the closer we got to the last day. Initially, it was gonna be very like lighthearted. It was like, 'Oh, we'll just share a picture. It'll just be a picture from the show.' Very entry level," she said. "But as the days got closer, I personally decided to do a very big grand reveal. I wanted to really show that to me John is my world. John is handsome. John is romantic. John is everything and I wanted to make a really big, grand gesture to show that."

Thurston then went on to say that she regrets doing the challenge, and if she could "go back in time and not do it," she would. She also addressed the controversy over not giving Moynes a heads-up.

"People are always like, 'Well, you should've told Blake … ' We talked about giving Blake a heads up," Thurston said. "But here's the thing that people forget: We're just normal people trying to live normal lives. And when have you ever had to tell an ex that you're seeing someone new?"

Dec. 22, 2021: Katie Thurston celebrates John Hersey's birthday on Instagram

Katie Thurston (L) and John Hersey (R) are seen on February 15, 2022 in Los Angeles, California
Paul Archuleta/GC Images

In honor of Hersey's 28th birthday, Thurston penned a sweet birthday message to him on Instagram. "Cheers to you handsome … 28 looks good on you already," she wrote alongside a photo of them smiling at each other on a couch. "Happy birthday! Celebrating you is easy!"

Jan. 3, 2022: John Hersey shares a birthday tribute for Katie Thurston on Instagram

Weeks later, Hersey returned the sentiment by posting a tribute to Thurston on Instagram ahead of her 31st birthday.

"I could have never dreamt up what this year had in store for me," he captioned a snap of them kissing at Lovegrove's First Noelle Ball. "I am both in awe of, and extremely grateful for the circumstances that brought us together. And thank goodness you dumped me on national television, or else we could have never gotten to where we are now. Falling for you was the best decision I never had a say in, and I couldn't be happier. Cheers to another year around the sun- happy birthday beautiful girl!!"

January 2022: Katie Thurston says she is the "happiest version" of herself during a vacation with John Hersey

Katie Thurston and John Hersey
Katie Thurston Instagram

Thurston and Hersey started 2022 with a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Thurston shared several moments from the trip on Instagram, including shots of the couple enjoying local wildlife, walking along the ocean and hiking a rock formation.

She also posted a video of herself walking on the beach. "You're gonna meet the happiest version of yourself, and it's all gonna be so damn worth it," the audio of the video said as Thurston threw her arms in the air.

Feb. 13, 2022: Katie Thurston and John Hersey go skydiving

As evidenced by his Instagram — which is filled with videos of him skydiving, surfing and flying planes — Hersey is quite the thrill seeker. His adventurous spirit seemingly inspired Thurston, as the former Bachelorette posted a video in February 2022 of the couple skydiving together. Thurston later shared on Instagram that she was working towards obtaining her skydiving license.

Feb. 14, 2022: Katie Thurston shares a sweet Valentine's Day message for John Hersey

The couple celebrated their first Valentine's Day together in 2022, and to mark the milestone, Thurston posted a sweet tribute to Hersey on Instagram.

"My heart danced in a way that was new. A crowded room but felt like us two. Some talk about Cupid or love at first sight. I never understood until that very same night. Your eyes, that smile, you energized my soul. You ignited my world, leaving me whole," Thurston wrote. "Once you found a rose floating at sea. I can't help but think we were always meant to be."

March 10, 2022: John Hersey teases Katie Thurston for sending him home on The Bachelorette

As the couple approached the 1-year anniversary of the day they met, Hersey poked fun at Thurston's decision to send him home during the second week of The Bachelorette.

After Thurston posted a photo of the couple on Instagram with the caption, "A year ago I'd never believe I would be right here in these moments with you," Hersey commented, "That's because you'd just sent me home."

March 22, 2022: Katie Thurston and John Hersey celebrate the 1-year anniversary of the day they met

Katie Thurston and John Hersey
Katie Thurston Instagram

A few weeks later, Hersey posted a more serious tribute to celebrate the milestone with a sweet Instagram post. "It is mind boggling to think that it has been exactly 1 year since this evening," he wrote. "Contrary to what @thekatiethurston says, I'd absolutely have believed I could be right here in this moment. Thank you to all of you who have joined me in this journey this past year. I am so grateful to have been surrounded by such a supportive and positive community. With so many adventures on the horizon, I can't wait to bring you all along!"

Thurston joked about the couple's unexpected love story in the comments, writing, "Sorry to all the bachelor brackets we f—ed up. We owe you one."

April 2022: Katie Thurston and John Hersey attend Coachella together

Katie Thurston and John Hersey at Coachella
John Hersey Instagram

In April 2022, Thurston and Hersey attended Coachella together and documented their weekend at the festival on Instagram. Fans were especially excited to see their reality dating show universes collide when the couple hung out with Love Is Blind alums Deepti Vempati and Kyle Abrams.

"Added a few core memories this weekend. Enjoying life is so easy with such amazing people!" Hersey wrote alongside a carousel of pictures of him and Thurston looking happier than ever.

June 20, 2022: Katie Thurston and John Hersey announce they've broken up

After less than a year of dating, Thurston and Hersey announced they were going their separate ways on June 20, 2022. The former couple took to Instagram to share the news of their split, with Thurston simply writing, "Statement: no we aren't together," on her Story.

Hersey shared more details on his own Story, telling fans that their decision to break up was "not made lightly" and "not an easy one to make."

"I love being able to share special moments with you all — the funny ones. The happy ones. The outrageous, embarrassing, and heartfelt ones. But I don't know if it will ever get easier to share the sad ones," he also wrote. "I appreciate every one of you that has supported us throughout this journey. We could not (and would not) be here without you."

Aug. 24, 2022: Katie Thurston reveals she and John Hersey broke up twice

During an appearance on former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe's podcast Off The Vine, Thurston opened up about getting "dumped" by Hersey and revealed that the couple actually broke things off twice.

"He dumped me," Thurston said. "Technically, we actually broke up twice. The first time no one knew about."

Thurston shared that the first split didn't last long. "Like maybe a week or two, we kind of worked through it and decided to get back together, so I thought we were golden," she explained. "You know, if you get back together after a breakup, you're really committed to whatever the situation is."

However, the couple eventually decided to call it quits for good. "I think it was just unavoidable. Like, we just got [into] a conversation and at one point, I just said to him, 'I know more reasons why you don't like me than why you love me,'" she said. "And that's a really s---y feeling."

The season 17 Bachelorette also shared Hersey's reasons for wanting to end things, including his claim that she didn't share his passions, which she said: "will always piss me off."

"He said, 'I just really need someone who can enjoy my passions and who wants to watch surf, maybe learn surfing with me,' " she said. "I look at him and I go, 'You realize I jumped out of a f---ing plane three times' to join him in his passions. Eight hours of ground school, all these things to partake in his passion and somehow that was completely ignored and now we're focused on surfing."

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