At this point, viewers don’t really expect the Neil Lane diamonds—and the Bachelor Nation love stories they represent—to be long for this world.
With only one Bachelor couple still looking rosy today (we see you, Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici!) and another six from spin-off The Bachelorette, the franchise has earned its reputation for not exactly being conducive to lasting love. For some of the more cynical viewers of ABC’s love hunts it’s become almost sport to start betting on just how many months it will take for the final couple to release a carefully parsed breakup statement and relinquish their multi-carat jewels. (The record goes to Jason Mesnick and Melissa Rycroft who enjoyed their betrothal for about a month before he realized he still had feelings for his second choice.)
But in 2018, dare we say most of these pairs seemed as if they were in it for the right reasons. Sure, Arie Luyendyk Jr. flip-flopped, reverting to his runner up before the show even made it to air in a move that has become known as pulling a Mesnick.
But we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that Jason and his wife Molly Mesnick marked their eighth anniversary this year. And Luyendyk Jr. is on track to follow fully in the account exec’s footsteps. This January he will make Lauren Burnham his bride and the newlyweds are set to welcome their first child together five months later.
And in the great Bachelorette tradition of girls making better choices than the boys, Luyendyk Jr.’s former fiancée Becca Kufrin is still doing the damn thing with final rose recipient Garrett Yrigoyen.
So while this was the year one of Bachelor Nation’s most beloved pairings, Kaitlyn Bristowe and Shawn Booth, bit the dust and Bachelor in Paradise‘s cutest couple winners Jenna Cooper and Jordan Kimball combusted before summer’s close, other show alumni offered plenty of reasons to keep believing in love. As we close at 2018, we celebrate those couples that will continue on their amazing journeys together in the new year.