So many folks end up with their exes after The Bachelor/ette that you have to assume the ex was kept on standby the whole time. Why not? You never know if things are going to work out with The Bachelor or Bachelorette, so why not leave the door open? Of course, some folks leave it a little too open and they get caught having a significant other back home — the pinnacle of being on The Bachelor/ette for (wait for it) "the wrong reasons."
There haven't been too many *official* boyfriend/girlfriends back home, but the show made that the big stories for Wes Hayden on The Bachelorette Season 5; both Justin "Rated-R" Rego and Frank Neuschaefer (in very different ways) on The Bachelorette Season 6, and now Casey Shteamer on The Bachelor Season 16.
In his limo exit speech, Wes laughed that he was the first guy to go on The Bachelorette and make it to the top four with a girlfriend. Some viewers were shocked to hear it, but he was probably laughing at the irony — considering a lot of them probably had girlfriends back home and the guy Jillian Harris ended up with supposedly had two girls back in Chicago that he was smooching with when he briefly quit the show.
Wes always denied having a girlfriend back home. By the way, that rumored girlfriend was Laurel Kagay, the same woman Brad Womack was supposedly contacting while he was The Bachelor for Season 11. She also claimed he proposed to her right before agreeing to be The Bachelor a second time. Talk about being kept on standby.
Justin got caught leaving a gushing voicemail for his ex back in Toronto and it turned out there were two women in Canada claiming to be his ladies. (He also denied it.) Not denying it was Frank, who not only had a lady love back home, The Bachelorette taped him reuniting with her in Chicago, then flying to Bora Bora to tell Ali Fedotowsky he was leaving her for the other girl.
Then there are folks like Melissa Rycroft, who got engaged to Tye Strickland — a guy she had dated off and on for two years — just four months after her televised dump by Jason Mesnick on The Bachelor Season 13. Jenni Croft immediately reunited with her ex-boyfriend after Brad didn't pick her (or anyone, for that matter) in the finale of The Bachelor Season 11. The guy even picked her up from the airport when she got back from the show.
Vienna Girardi had a tempestuous relationship with Brian Lee Smith before going on The Bachelor Season 14, then supposedly kept in contact with Lee while she was engaged to Jake Pavelka. Vienna and Lee recently seemed to be back together, although Vienna tweeted that he still isn't ready to grow up.
There was talk of Bentley Williams wanting to reunite with his ex-wife after he appeared on The Bachelorette Season 7, but then she watched him on the show and seemed to back away.
And though Casey S.’s situation, revealed in Episode 6, may not have been as shady as a Wes Hayden (the man she was still in love didn’t want to marry her, after all!), it still got her the boot from a stern Bachelor Ben — who made a good point about having had to send women home whose hearts were really into getting to know him.
The whole objective is to find love, so if you leave the show and quickly end up in a serious relationship, that still counts as a win. It certainly worked for Chantal O'Brien, who would’ve been the Season 7 Bachelorette if she hadn’t met her new fiance right after taping The Bachelor Season 15. So maybe poor Casey will find someone (perhaps in Bachelor Nation?) who does want to marry her. When she’s completely over her ex, that is.