Can the Engaged Couples from 'Bachelor in Paradise' Make It In the Long Run?
Season 7 of Bachelor in Paradise came to a close on Tuesday night, giving Bachelor Nation a few days to catch its collective breath before Michelle Young's season of The Bachelorette premieres on Oct. 19. While viewers have seen some fan favorites come and go to Sayulita, Mexico, over the course of the series, Tuesday's season finale saw (spoiler alert!!) three couples getting engaged after just a handful of weeks galavanting on the beach. (Related: The 6 Relationship Lessons You Can Learn from 'Bachelor in Paradise')
But the question is, is it possible to have a happy, long-term relationship following a (maximum) three-week vacation? (And yes, according to Bachelor aficionado "Reality Steve," filming began in early June and lasted for three weeks.)
Here's the thing about Bachelor in Paradise; if you have the opportunity to be one of the early arrivals (or the OG cast, so to speak), you have the potential to spend more than half a month with someone almost 24/7. Unlike The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, where the lead and the contestants are housed separately from one another, Bachelor in Paradise couples can spend all day and all night together. During this time, they can get to know one another's daily routines, quirks, etc. (Related: Astrology Says 'Bachelorette' Katie Thurston and Blake Moynes Were Always Meant to Be)
In terms of the Bachelor in Paradise pairs that walked away engaged on Tuesday, do all of them have the possibility to make it in the long run? Let's take a look. (Read more: How Fast Is Too Fast to Get Engaged?)
Serena Pitt and Joe Amabile
Pitt, 23, and Amabile, 35, hit it off fairly quickly at the very beginning of Bachelor in Paradise and navigated challenging obstacles along the way, including the moment his ex-girlfriend, Kendall Long, arrived at the beach (she also left a short while after). The two also dropped "I love yous" long before Amabile (aka "Grocery Store" Joe) put a ring on it.
Pitt and Amabile's connection not only feels genuine, but also genuinely precious — not to mention, sweet chemistry that seemed to ooze through the screen. As their relationship continued to develop on the show, they seemed to be having all the right conversations, including a super honest one about what they were looking for in a partner. And while Long's arrival was certainly unexpected, it also encouraged Amabile and Pitt to have uncomfortable conversations, which can help deepen a relationship. (See: Kristen Bell Is 'Memorizing' These Tips for Healthy Communication)
One of the many downfalls of a quick engagement is the lack of relationship experience with each other, such as navigating different preferences or wants, conflict, etc., that, for the most part, you run into over time. Still, in many ways, they experienced a sampling of real-world problems in Paradise, which ultimately helped progress their relationship. And that's promising, at least as far as a quickie engagement goes!
Kenny Braasch and Mari Pepin
Braasch, 40, and Pepin, 25, noticed their chemistry at the very beginning of Paradise. But when Pepin expressed to Braasch that she wanted to keep her options open, he took full advantage of getting to know fellow contestant, Demi Burnett, when she stepped onto the beach. And while Braasch and Burnett had a few hot and heavy dates, his heart belonged to Pepin. (See: What It Really Means to Have Sexual Chemistry with Someone)
Following his fling with Burnett, Braasch's relationship with Pepin was fairly smooth sailing. The two of them seemed to soak up their time together in Paradise, which included a steamy taco date. Beyond cute date nights, however, Pepin and Braasch were also able to address their pasts. Pepin owned up to her part in pushing Braasch to explore other potential relationships, and he owned up to his actions during that time, too. The two were ultimately able to move forward with an increased sense of trust because they had accepted responsibility for their actions, listened to one another, and decided to move forward instead of letting their romance fizzle out.
Though their relationship started
Riley Christian and Maurissa Gunn
Christian, 31, and Gunn, 25, have passion — and there's absolutely no questioning that. On their very first date (also the same day they met each other), the two were immediately enamored with one another, and thus, a relationship immediately bloomed. Viewers got to see the entire arc of this beautiful love story, from initial attraction to uncomfortable vulnerability, to doubt, and finally, commitment. Christian and Gunn seemingly had an easy time in Paradise (think: not much drama) with the exception of a few communication hiccups — namely about communicating love with words and actions — that were resolved as soon as they sat down to discuss them. (See: 50 Dirty 'Never Have I Ever' Questions that'll Help You Get to Know Each Other's Sexy Side)
In my opinion, as a relationship therapist, Christian and Gunn's relationship has the highest likelihood of lasting the longest because of their connection, communication skills, and desire for similar things in life, which we saw so beautifully articulated during their final date. ("When I see you," said Christian to Gunn, "I see Sunday morning.") Swoon! The two honestly seemed ready to leave the beach and start a life together even before Paradise was over.
The Final Rose — Err, Word — On Quickie TV-Show Engagements
Whether or not these Bachelor Nation couples stay together forever, there's a lot you can learn from them. Getting engaged quickly isn't always good or always bad given most things in life aren't an "always" anything. Most things in life are grey, they exist on a spectrum, and the same goes for relationships of any kind. (See: 6 Things Monogamous People Can Learn from Open Relationships)
As many people have seen time and time again (both IRL and on TV), if two people have a connection and want to be together, they are often the only ones that will stop it — whether that's a conscious decision or unconscious self-sabotage. And while super fast engagements may not be advisable for many reasons, it's not an automatic path to failure. In fact, most of the time, relationships come down to timing; not necessarily the time you've spent with someone, but the timing of where you and your partner are at in your lives, and how that impacts your values and connection.
So let's raise a glass to the happily engaged couples, who seem to have found Paradise.
Rachel Wright, M.A., L.M.FT., (she/her) is a licensed psychotherapist, sex educator and relationship expert based in New York City. She's an experienced speaker, group facilitator, and writer. She's worked with thousands of humans worldwide to help them scream less and screw more.