It was a love story three years in the making, but Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon are finally official. After a three-year cat and mouse game, the back and forth Bachelor in Paradise lovebirds revealed that they are officially dating and madly in love in the latest episode of Iaconetti’s relationship show, The Story of Us, published on May 22.
While Bachelor fans knew that Ashley had been smitten with Jared all along, Haibon clearly had his doubts after meeting her on the summertime spinoff Bachelor in Paradise in 2015.
“I’m not gonna lie and say that I was in love with Ashley during BiP. It was a slow build for me,” Jared said in the video. Still, he admitted, “I never felt like it was over between us after Paradise.”
The Bachelor alums remained friends after their season of the ABC reality show ended, and they reunited the following summer for the 2016 edition of Bachelor in Paradise, where they famously butted heads. Haibon later went on Bachelor in Paradise Australia and couldn’t stop thinking about Iaconetti. But bad timing got in the way as Ashley headed to Bachelor Winter Games and began dating fellow contestant Kevin Wendt. Trouble in paradise indeed.
In January, the pair went on a trip to St. Lucia with married Paradise pals Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert, and that’s when things changed. At the urging of Tolbert, Jared finally confessed his feelings for Ashley, despite the fact that she was still dating Kevin Wendt.
“Tanner loves the theatrics of everything,” Jared said. “But he said something that really resonated with me. Tanner said ‘It’s more unfair to Ashley if you don’t say anything because you need to give her the opportunity to let her know how you feel and let her make up her own mind.”
At the airport, Jared even planted a kiss on Ashley just as she was about to board her flight. While Iaconetti never cheated on Wendt with Haibon, she later realized her relationship had run its course. Jared was still waiting in the wings when she was finally single.
After Ashley and Jared announced their relationship news, Bachelor Nation reacted on social media in a major way. Jade Roper wrote that she is so happy for Jared and Ashley, while Tanner Tolbert, the new couple’s “fairy godfather,” simply wrote, “Finally.”
Bachelor executive producer Elan Gale also wished the couple the best, while Paradise alum, Carly Waddell, happily relinquished her “best bachelor love story” status to the new lovebirds. (Carly and her husband Evan Bass previously had the cutest BiP love story.) Even Kevin Wendt wished his ex the best, writing, “Happy for you both Ash. He’s a lucky man.”
You can see Bachelor Nation’s reaction to Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon’s dating news below.
In an interview with People, Ashley Iaconetti revealed why she decided to devote an entire episode of The Story Of Us to her own love story.
“Bachelor Nation hasn’t seen so many of the important details that make up our story,” Ashley explained. “I thought there was no better way to explain to the people who have followed our love lives for over three years than by filming our own episode of The Story of Us.”
You can see Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon’s Story Of Us episode below.
Bachelor in Paradise returns to ABC this summer.