Worth the wait! Ashley Iaconetti is officially off the market – and dating the love of her life, Jared Haibon. The pair, who met in 2015 on Bachelor in Paradise, revealed their relationship in the latest episode of The Story of Us, published on Tuesday, May 22.
“I never felt like it was over between us after Paradise,” Haibon, 29, explained in the episode, sitting next to Iaconetti, 30. “I’m not gonna lie and say that I was in love with Ashley during BiP. It was a slow build for me.” For her, it was love at first sight. They remained close friends after the season, but it was complicated, as she wanted more. They got closer during an event in Virginia and he felt “in love” seeing how real she was. “That was such a different experience being with someone in the show and in real life. You were just so down to earth and easy-going, ambitious … sexy. I wanted you that night,” he admitted.
When they returned to Paradise in 2016 for another season, they fought a lot, but that led to a year of great friendship. Then, he went on Bachelor in Paradise Australia and couldn’t stop thinking about Iaconetti.
“I was just sitting there and thinking, ‘God, I wish Ashley were here,’” he revealed. “I just wanna hang out with Ashley.” When he returned home, they spoke briefly but Iaconetti then went on Bachelor Winter Games. When she started seeing Kevin Wendt, Haibon wasn’t happy. (Wendt has now responded to the new relationship news!)
“I was sad,” he said. “Sometimes I need a kick in the ass. That was a big kick in the ass.”
In January, the pair went on a trip to St. Lucia with Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert – and everything changed. He felt it wouldn’t be fair to tell her he had feelings now that she was with someone else. “What kind of assh—e does that?” he asked.
Tolbert pushed him though, and eventually, he told Iaconetti he had feelings for her. She wanted to continue dating Wendt, so he knew he had to do something – he kissed her at the airport.
“I thought ‘Okay, well that’s everything I’ve ever wanted, but I’m definitely gonna continue dating this other guy. 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,’” she explained.
When Winter Games aired, she realized her heart was with Haibon and ended things with her boyfriend. When they split, Haibon started sweeping her off her feet, sending love letters and filling her apartment went flowers. And that’s only continued today.
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