Under the Mexican sun. Maurissa Gunn and Riley Christian fell in love during season 7 of Bachelor in Paradise — and made history in the process.
Christian made his Bachelor Nation debut during season 16 of The Bachelorette, competing for Clare Crawley‘s heart in 2020. After the hairstylist got engaged to Dale Moss in week four, the lawyer stayed on as one of Tayshia Adams‘ suitors. The former phlebotomist sent him home in week nine before choosing Zac Clark as her winner.
Gunn, for her part, briefly appeared on Peter Weber‘s season of The Bachelor, which aired in early 2020. The pilot sent her home during the first rose ceremony.
When the patient care coordinator first arrived in Mexico for BiP, she initially hit it off with Connor Brennan, who originally competed on Katie Thurston‘s season of The Bachelorette. After Christian made his entrance in week two, however, Gunn’s romance with the musician quickly fizzled.
The attorney and the Atlanta resident connected right away, deciding to go to the boom-boom room after their first date. Though the move generated backlash among some viewers, Gunn wasn’t bothered by the critics.
“We got back to the beach and we wanted to continue our conversation. So, as two consenting adults, we went into the boom-boom room together, which is fine,” she explained during a September 2021 episode of the “Bachelor Happy Hour” podcast. “The difference between my situation and other people’s situation is that it’s not on national TV and I’m not afraid to talk about it.”
At the end of the season, the duo became one of three couples to get engaged during the finale along with Joe Amabile and Serena Pitt and Kenny Braasch and Mari Pepin-Solis. While many fans thought Gunn and Christian were a sure thing all along, the Montana native later told Us Weekly that she wasn’t convinced he was going to propose.
“The whole time we were standing there, I’m like, ‘OK, well, I’m about to be embarrassed, we’re about to walk out together,'” she said in October 2021.
Christian, for his part, said he knew he wanted to pop the question after the pair’s overnight date.
“I said [on the episode that] I had some things to, like, think about, which I did because I mean, having a family, being engaged is everything that I ever wanted,” he told Us after the finale. “So obviously I want to take my time and make the decision, but, you know, it didn’t take too much time. I thought about it. I got it out and it was game time.”
When the duo decided to tie the knot, they became the first Black couple in the history of Bachelor in Paradise to get engaged.
Less than one year later, however, their love story came to an end. In January 2022, the pair confirmed in a joint statement that they decided to call it quits.
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Keep scrolling for a look back at Gunn and Christian’s romance: