Look away, Kaitlyn Bristowe. Shawn Booth gave a rare interview about his time on The Bachelorette — and he doesn’t exactly have fond memories of the ABC series or his three-year engagement to the season 11 lead.
“I think love is a loose term, like, looking back at it,” the 34-year-old personal trainer said on the “Austin AF” podcast on Thursday, November 18. “There was, like, a serious connection. I don’t know if it was true, true love. I guess it wasn’t because we’d still be together if it was. Of course, you’re thinking it’s love. But you’re put in a situation where you’re completely secluded from the world. You can’t talk to your friends, you can’t talk to your family. You can’t watch TV. You don’t have the internet. I mean, you’re there for 12 weeks, you’re trying to, like, just figure out your emotions and your feelings. And you have this person that you’re kind of going through the process with. So yeah, I question, like, ‘Was it true love?’ I mean, probably not. Because if it was, like I said, we’d probably still be together.”
Booth and Bristowe, 36, called it quits in 2018, three years after he proposed on the ABC reality show.
“Did I have a love for her? Yeah, of course,” he continued. “We had this connection, like, right out the gate. It wasn’t a forced thing. We connected and we had an awesome time. But, like, afterwards, the situation makes it pretty easy to fall in love — no distractions, which some people are like, ‘Oh, that’s a good thing.’ Because out in the real world, you have your phone, you have all these different options and here, you’re able to focus on a relationship, which was cool. I loved not having my phone, that was the best. Not having to worry about anything, but, like, you sit down for these interviews, and it’s almost therapy daily, like, there’s digging into your emotions and your past. But yeah, I don’t know if it was true, true love.”
The Connecticut native, who lived with Bristowe for three years in Nashville, Tennessee, added that there was “a lot of pressure” to make his relationship with the Dancing With the Stars champ work after the show.
“We had a fun time. We were very good at having fun and showing the world that we had fun. Being in love, and doing the whole love thing, we weren’t that good at behind closed doors,” Booth admitted. “And I think there was some sense of, like, a trauma bond, right? I’ll always be connected to her in that way. We’ll always have that bond, like, we went through something that I mean, a handful of people in the world have gone through. And it’s such a crazy, cool experience where you experience the highest of highs, the lowest of lows, and having to do all that in the public display is just like, ‘Holy cow.’ It was intense, but it makes you grow as a person. And so in that sense, we’ll always be connected that way.”
Booth went on to reflect on the show’s structure of having to keep a secret about your engagement until it airs, which also affected their relationship. When asked whether the engagement felt “real” at the time, Booth said no.
“I am so, so worn down mentally, emotionally, physically. I knew we were gonna end up together for, like, a long time on that show. I never, never really had a doubt, like, ever,” he said of filming the 2015 season. “I was always like, ‘Yep, she’s gonna pick me.’ And then that last night was just like, ‘Let’s just get this over with and get out of here.’ I was asking [producers], like, ‘What if I don’t propose, like, I mean, this is kind of a big deal.’ And they’re basically like, ‘If you don’t propose, then everyone is gonna hate you.’”
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Scroll through for more from Booth — including his candid thoughts on Bristowe moving on with now-fiancé Jason Tartick: