The women who apply to be on “The Bachelor” often frame it as an “I’ve-exhausted-all-other-options” approach to dating. The franchise tends to paint these women as desperate, searching for their “last chance!” to find love, as if they’re 80 years old when in fact they’re nearing the ripe old ages of 27 to 33.
So what happens when the women who have “exhausted all other options” win “The Bachelor” but lose their happily ever after?
It’s happened to Lauren Bushnell, who was engaged to Ben Higgins. The two of them went on to star in an incredibly boring Freefrom series “Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?” and then split in May.
Now, according to Bushnell’s Instagram feed, she’s found love again. Not on “Bachelor in Paradise” or any of the franchise’s other shows — which is another option for those who’ve exhausted all others. No, Bushnell and her beau met on the dating app for the masses: Tinder.
On Thursday, Bushnell posted a photo of her cozying up to a man in a backward-baseball cap, with the caption: “Spending time with you this holiday season is the best gift I could ask for, Dev.” According to US magazine, Bushnell has been public about her relationship with Devin Antin since October. The couple met two years ago on Tinder, Bushnell said in a Q&A on her Instagram account. “I only met up with one person from the app and it was him,” she said. “We hung out for a while but more as friends but always got along really well. Fast forward two years later when I moved back to L.A., we hung out to catch up and things just kinda happened after that.”
The “Bachelor” brand of romance — helicopter rides, hot tub soaks amid vineyards and off-the-wall group dates — is over the top, highly produced and nationally televised: the exact opposite of Tinder, an app known for flakiness and casual anonymity. (Bushnell isn’t the only “Bachelor” alum to end up on Tinder; Ben Flajnik met his girlfriend Stephanie Winn on the app, though it’s unclear if they’re still together.)
Generally Tinder is treated as more punchline than meet-cute, which is what makes Bushnell’s Tinder love story so refreshing. When you’ve had your dating life televised on not one but two shows, it must be hard to date like a normal person afterward. But here’s one woman who’s done it.