“So I was prepared for anything and everything, but I was not prepared for the amount of love and support that we got,” the 33-year-old Bachelor alum began on the Monday, May 23, episode of her “Scrubbing In with Becca Tilley & Tanya Rad” podcast, getting emotional. “Hayley has really made me feel brave, and she was always like, ‘People love you and they want to see you happy.’”
Tilley confirmed her four-year relationship with Kiyoko, 31, on Friday, May 20, after the former ABC star made a cameo in the musician’s “For the Girls” music video.
“I’ve always said, ‘I’ll go public — we can go public if I can be in one of your videos, like, be the video girl.’ And I’m not an actress and she always hires actors, like, legit actresses. And so she was always like, ‘OK,’” Tilley recalled. “And I just was kind of like, ‘I think I’m ready, like, I think it’s time.’ For four years, you know, it’s been our relationship.”
Tilley noted that she never intended to keep her romance with Kiyoko a “secret,” she just wanted it to be “private” from social media.
“We were very much ourselves. We held hands in public. We kiss. If I met someone … I introduce her [as] my girlfriend, Hayley. I never was like, ‘This is my friend or my best friend,’” she explained. “I really made an effort to make sure that there was that distinction between private and secret.”
“I knew I had a big group of people that have my back and that were going to support me and love me and encourage me and us in our relationship and people who have championed our relationship since day one,” she said. “And even people, like, she went to Ben’s wedding with me and, like, I introduced her to so many people from the Bachelor world, and just people from different parts of my life. And everyone was so warm and kind to her that I knew, like, even people I’m not like super close with, they would still be supportive.”
After attending Higgins’ nuptials in November 2021, Tilley brought Kiyoko as her date to JoJo Fletcher and Jordan Rodgers’ wedding earlier this month.
“JoJo’s wedding, Hayley came and a lot of those guys were, like, Southern guys. … We live in such a bubble in L.A. and you expect everyone to have relationships or friendships with people in same-sex relationships,” she said. “But not everyone is. And so it was cool, though, to see everyone, especially people who know me from the Bachelor and, like, haven’t known about my relationship status — or cared — be so welcoming and warm, and supportive just right off the bat. And my whole, like, four years of dating Hayley has been like, ‘Hi, this is my girlfriend, Hayley.’ And then, like, five minutes later, the person’s like, ‘So are you dating anybody?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, girlfriend. This is my girlfriend romantically.’ I’ve had to do that my whole relationship because and I’ve never been offended by it. I just think it’s funny because it’s like, you know, I make an effort to be like, ‘My girlfriend.’”
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