During her time on the series, fans learned that Danielle suffered a tragic loss in 2011 when her then-fiancé, Nick Haag, died at the age of 29. The former couple were engaged for just three months when he passed away.
Danielle proceeded to try and find The One on season 4 of Bachelor in Paradise. Two years later, the ABC personality exclusively told Us Weekly whether she’d ever want to be the Bachelorette after two failed attempts at finding romance within the franchise.
“I was like, well, ‘I don’t think I can do it’ and then I was like, ‘Well, it might be kind of nice to have 30 men chasing after me,’” she said in March 2019. “I mean, maybe in the future, yeah, I’d consider it.”
The former neonatal nurse added: “My life is gold right now. I’m just very happy in this space that I am in and I guess we’ll just have to see what the future holds.”
In 2021, Danielle reflected on how far she’s come since losing her fiancé 10 years prior — and how what she wanted next in life.
“Today marks 10 years since my fiancé passed away. I’ve been thinking a lot about it again the last month. I was down at the beach a couple weeks ago having an early morning sit by the ocean and just started crying. I had no idea why, and then it hit me. 10 years … a lot has changed in 10 years,” she wrote via Instagram in March 2021. “SO MUCH has changed. I am different in almost every way. I’ve done some incredible things and have some of the greatest humans in my life that wouldn’t be there, if things hadn’t gone the way they did 10 years ago. Cue the grief guilt, or survivors guilt, it has a few names. This life I cherish wouldn’t exist right now.”
The Midwest native explained to anyone who has lost someone that it’s “OK to laugh” and it’s “OK to feel heavy when your song comes on the radio.” She continued: “It’s OK to start over. It is OK to love and embrace a happy life and its ok to recognize the faults in that relationship. It’s OK. Whoever you lost wants you to be happy and they want you to be happy for you.”
The following year, Danielle shared via Instagram that she had been seeing a therapist for two years and had recently hit a “HUGE personal milestone” when it came to “committing” to herself and her happiness.
“I hadn’t dated anyone seriously and knew I still had triggers surrounding relationships and love. I had reached the point though where I was completely happy alone and at peace with where I was in life. But, I also knew the thought of anyone potentially disrupting that peace scared the crap out of me,” she wrote of the self-care experience in September. “I am so grateful for the relationship I have been able to foster with myself and my therapist. There are sessions where I’m happy and things are great and there are sessions where things are really f–king tough and trauma and grief rears its head.”
The reality star revealed: “The time I have dedicated to healing and processing has helped me so much and I hope it makes me a better future partner, but regardless, I am so damn proud of myself and still have a long ways to go. … If no one has told you, I think you matter and your mental health matters 💛.”
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