In case you need a boost of confidence, know that the members of Bachelor Nation definitely aren't immune to the temptations of cuffing season. In the past few months, the majority of the new Bachelor in Paradise couples have proven strong IRL, and a few relationships even sparked between contestants who never appeared on a show together. Two other fan favorites from recent seasons might be the next pair to couple up ahead of the long winter, because according to the Bachelor rumor mill, Kristina and Blake are dating.
Speculation about the most recent Bachelorette runner-up and the Bachelor Season 21 contestant dating first emerged in early September when Life & Style reported that they might have a secret relationship. The claims originated from Reddit users sighting dental hygienist Kristina Schulman and sales rep Blake Horstmann at a baseball game together in Blake's hometown of Denver, Colorado. Since then, eagle-eyed fans dug up a screenshot of Kristina visiting a Denver brewery and footage of her and Blake having dinner with other Bachelor alums as possible proof that a romantic relationship existed.
While the web of Bachelor connections can become a little incestuous, internet sleuths have learned by now that the list of people that a contestant follows on social media speaks wonders. Bustle discovered that Kristina follows Blake's sister on Instagram, which totally hints at more than just friendship brewing between her and Blake. If the sister approves, you know that you've basically sealed the deal with your guy.
In an Oct. 12 interview with Extra, Blake even named Kristina as his Bachelor Nation crush, confessing that he knew she would come up in the interview. The 29-year-old insisted it was too soon after The Bachelorette and falling for Becca Kufrin to start dating seriously again, but didn't deny that he and Kristina were "hanging out."
Meanwhile, Kristina teased curious fans earlier this week on Instagram when she posted a screenshot of several questions related to Blake that she received via the app. Alongside one of the queries about him, she wrote, "Seeing a pattern in the comments."
Nothing in Bachelor Nation stays a secret for too long, but considering these two's ambiguity about their status, it looks like whatever is happening between them shouldn't be taken lightly.
While she fell into the role of a background player on Nick Viall's Bachelor season, Kristina Schulman became a Bachelor Nation star when she was caught in a gruesome love triangle on Season 4 of Bachelor in Paradise. Before filming temporarily shut down following allegations of sexual misconduct within the cast, she had bonded with Dean Unglert, and the two even spent the production break together. But when the show resumed and fellow Bachelor contestant Danielle Lombard arrived on the beach, Dean quickly became torn between the two women, resulting in Kristina's emotional decision to leave on her own terms.
Still a fresh face in the franchise, Blake won over fans on Season 14 of The Bachelorette with his honesty about his parents' divorce and surviving a school shooting. After viewers saw his emotional response to Becca's rejecting him at the Final Rose stage, Blake became a front-runner for the next Bachelor, but we all know how that turned out. He may not have snagged that gig, but it looks Blake's time in Bachelor Nation has finally scored him some special benefits. We'll keep an eye open for whenever he and Kristina make things Instagram official.
Season 23 of The Bachelor premieres on Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, on ABC.