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Did Clare & Dale Talk On Instagram Before 'The Bachelorette'? Here's The Story

From the start of Clare and Dale's love story, it was clear this was no ordinary Bachelorette paring. While couples normally go through an entire season of ups and downs, twists and turns, for Clare it was pretty simple: Dale was the man for her. Still, even by Bachelor Nation standards, falling for someone that quickly is pretty unheard of. So, did Clare and Dale talk on Instagram before The Bachelorette?The Nov. 5 episode clears things up.

This isn't the first time fans questioned whether Clare and Dale connected prior to filming the show. On Aug. 3, People reported the couple started talking before production began, which *would* explain why they connected in person so deeply, so quickly. But then on Aug. 5, Michelle Money — another former Bachelor contestant and Clare's pal — posted an IG story to set the record straight.

"Never happened, fake news," Michelle said in her story. "She was impressed by his social media account. But never DM'ed, never texted, never talked."

It looks like Michelle was right on the money (sorry). During the Nov. 5 episode, Clare admitted the truth about why she instantly connected with Dale, and it had nothing to do with any kind of rule-breaking.

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During one of Clare and Dale's first on-screen conversations back on Night 1, they talked about how they both have family members in care facilities, and how hard that experience has been, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. It turns out, it was that shared experience that really drew Clare to Dale from afar.

While chatting with Chris Harrison about the whole "she's in love with Dale/she doesn't want to date these other guys/she's blowing up The Bachelorette" thing, Clare told the host about how she creeped on Dale's social media before filming began. While quarantining prior to production, Clare came across Dale's IG post about his late mother on Mother's Day and said really resonated with her.

When Chris Harrison straight-up asked Clare if she and Dale actually spoke on Instagram before filming, Clare swore on her late father’s grave they didn’t. And speaking of her father, throughout the season, she mentioned she was looking for someone like her dad, and when Harrison asked if she felt like Dale was that guy, she tearfully said: “I think he is.” She went on to say: "I feel like Dale is my match. He meets me on my level emotionally," and that she wanted to spent as much solo time with him as possible.

So, while Clare and Dale didn't technically talk before going on the show, it's clear Clare had eyes for him before he ever stepped out of that limo. The fact that their chemistry holds up in person could mean they might actually be meant for each other.

Season 16 of The Bachelorette continues on Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.