Many viewers (an average of 7 million tune in weekly) consider The Bachelor and Bachelorette to be the most romantic shows on TV. Who can resist a love journey complete with fanasty dates in tropical locations, all ending in one epic rose ceremony? The onscreen romance doesn't always last offscreen, however, and even diehard romantics like us have to admit the franchise's relationship success rates are pretty low. After 10 years of ABC matchmaking — 17 completed seasons of The Bachelor and eight seasons of The Bachelorette — a full four out of 24 “official” couples are still together.
That lucky 16 percent includes Jason and Molly Mesnick, even though Jason had originally chosen (and proposed to) Melissa Rycroft over Molly on The Bachelor 13 finale.
The Bachelorette arguably has a much higher success rate, with two Bachelorettes now married to their final pick: Trista Rehn (to Ryan Sutter) and Ashley Hebert (to J.P. Rosenbaum). The franchise has had two or three so-close-to-making-it couples, and those guys are the ones who most closely match real-world relationships. As much as Rosemaster Chris Harrison and company like to say The Bachelor breakups match real-life dating statistics, most of us don’t end our engagements after just a couple of months. That’s not normal.
Season 16 Bachelor Ben Flajnik and fiancée Courtney Robertson ended their engagement in early October 2012, and Season 8 Bachelorette Emily Maynard and fiancé Jef Holm followed suit just one week later.
Here’s the rundown of which couples are still together and which are dunzo (head here for details on each couple):
THE BACHELOR STATS
Season 1: Alex Michel and Amanda Marsh — BROKE UP after almost a year of dating after the show.
Season 2: Aaron Buerge and Helene Eksterowicz — BROKE UP five weeks after the finale aired.
Season 3: Andrew Firestone and Jen Scheff — BROKE UP 7 months after finale aired.
Season 4: Bob Guiney and Estella Gardinier — BROKE UP one month after the finale aired, right after they attended Trista and Ryan Sutter's December 2003 wedding.
Season 5: Jesse Palmer and Jessica Bowlin — BROKE UP one month after the finale aired.
Season 6: Byron Velvick and Mary Delgado — BROKE UP, but after several years together. They got engaged in November 2004 and had some domestic issues but didn't officially end their union until December 2009.
Season 7: Charlie O'Connell and Sarah Brice — BROKE UP, but after a great run. They "took a chance" on a relationship in May 2005 and broke up in September 2007. By November 2008 they were back together, but split up again in April 2010. So close!
Season 8: Travis Stork and Sarah Stone — BROKE UP sometime after the show finished taping, since a week after the finale aired, Travis and Sarah told reporters on a conference call that they had already split.
Season 9: Lorenzo Borghese and Jennifer Wilson — BROKE UP two months after the finale aired.
Season 10: Andy Baldwin and Tessa Horst — BROKE UP, first ending their engagement three months after the finale aired, but adding that they were still dating. However, one month after that announcement they officially broke up.
Season 11: Brad Womack and ... Himself! — EPIC FAIL, since he didn't even pick between DeAnna and Jenni Croft, his two finalists. He could've at least pretended to pick one, like Jen Schefft. (Kidding!)
Season 12: Matt Grant and Shayne Lamas — BROKE UP two months after the finale aired.
Season 13: Jason Mesnick and Melissa Rycroft... er Molly Malaney — STILL TOGETHER, at least, Jason and Molly are. Jason infamously ended his engagement with Melissa on the "After the Final Rose" special, asking Molly out for coffee just a few minutes later. Awkward! But the Mesnicks got married in February 2010 and they are still going strong two years later.
Season 14: Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi — BROKE UP just three months after the finale aired. Aired dirty laundry in ugly televised breakup shortly after that.
Season 15: Brad Womack and Emily Maynard — BROKE UP at least once while the show was still airing but kept trying to make it work until making an official breakup statement three months after the finale aired.
Season 16: Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertson — BROKE UP in early October 2012.
Season 17: Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici got engaged in November 2012 and are still together!
THE BACHELORETTE STATS
Season 1: Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter — STILL TOGETHER, after the finale aired in February 2003 they got married in an ABC special broadcast on December 6, 2003. They now have two children together.
Season 2: Meredith Phillips and Ian McKee — BROKE UP one year after the finale aired.
Season 3: Jen Schefft and Jerry Ferris — BROKE UP technically on the "After the Final Rose" special when Jen realized she wasn't feeling it.
Season 4: DeAnna Pappas and Jesse Csincsak — BROKE UP four months after the finale aired.
Season 5: Jillian Harris and Ed Swiderski — BROKE UP one year after the finale aired.
Season 6: Ali Fedotowsky and Roberto Martinez — BROKE UP just before Thanksgiving 2011, one year and three months after the finale aired.
Season 7: Ashley Hebert and JP Rosenbaum — STILL TOGETHER after getting engaged on the finale, which aired August 1, 2011. They are planning a televised wedding for December 2012.
Season 8: Emily Maynard and Jef Holm — BROKE UP in October 2012 after weathering a cheating scandal.
Of course, The Bachelor franchise has also spawned many non-”official” couples between show alums, including Bachelorette 4’s Jesse Csincsak and Bachelor 13’s Ann Lueders Csincsak; Bachelor Pad 1 cuties Tenley Molzahn and Kiptyn Locke; Bachelor 10’s Peyton Wright and Bachelorette 6’s Chris Lambton; and BP2’s Holly Durst &
Michael Stagliano Blake Julian... So maybe the “success” rate of The Bachelor franchise has less to do with on-air engagements than on-air introductions to people who later connect in the real world over a shared experience with the weirdness that is reality TV.
We’ll raise a glass to that.