“I really thought I was in love with him,” Melissa tells the Associated Press (via the Washington Post). “Looking back, three years later I’m now married and I know what that love feels like. I couldn’t have been in love with him. I didn’t know that much about him. I didn’t know — I (still) don’t know what he does for a living! Little things like that, you know? And that’s what maturity does. It was a very humbling experience and I know not everybody’s gonna go through something like that but people are gonna go through similar experiences.”
Pretty much every “winner” on The Bachelor and Bachelorette goes through that experience. The big difference with Melissa and Jason is they didn’t just break up after the show, and their breakup wasn’t just televised, it was televised right after the happy proposal on the 2009 finale — and it included Jason asking out his runner-up. After Melissa left that After the Final Rose stage in anger, Jason and Molly Malaney sat down and made plans to start seeing each other. Now they are married.
“I really have no hard feelings toward Jason or Molly,” Melissa tells the AP. “I think he made a stupid decision, you know? I think he got wrapped up in the process and was probably prompted to act a certain way and do certain things and he did it but I don’t think he’s a bad guy, you know? I mean the little bit that I did get to know him on The Bachelor and talk to him after he didn’t seem like a bad guy. I think he just did a bad thing. But I haven’t talked to either one of them since the day I walked off that stage, and I know they’re married now and happy and I’m married and happy. I think we both ended up where we should have.”
Melissa also says she thinks the Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars idea is “genius” but she doesn’t say yes or no to returning. That’s the other difference with Melissa and Jason — she went from The Bachelor to DWTS to co-hosting Bachelor Pad to working as a correspondent for Good Morning America togetting her new CMT show with her husband Tye and writing a book, which just came out last week. Jason and Molly have stayed out of the spotlight, with Jason taking just about the full brunt of America’s anger after Season 13.