Hold onto your hats, folks. Less than a day after Bachelor Winter Games engaged couple Clare Crawley and Benoit Beauséjour-Savard publicly ended their relationship, fellow contestants Lesley Murphy and Dean Unglert have announced their own split. Well, so much for Winter Games being a marriage machine like Paradise has been. While we still have international couple Courtney Dober and Lily McManus as proof that love (just barely) still exists, Dean and Lesley's breakup is the third of the post-Winter Games relationships to fizzle out. So, why did Dean and Lesley break up?
News of the two's relationship reached Bachelor Nation before Winter Games even aired this past February, thanks to their PDA while together at the Sundance Film Festival in January. On Winter Games, Dean and Lesley clicked instantly, bonding over their personal experiences with cancer and having a very smooth, drama-free relationship while filming in Vermont. At the "World Tells All" reunion special, Dean even offered the frequently-traveling Lesley a key to his home, bumping their relationship up to a serious level.
For the first few weeks following the Winter Game finale, such smooth sailing appeared evident for Dean and Lesley - well, according to their lovey-dovey social media posts. However, as time passed on and the Bachelor bubble burst, it seems that Dean and Lesley's lifestyles slowly inserted a wedge in between them. A source tells E! News:
It is very recent, but they have been rocky for a few weeks now. Distance and traveling were a factor. They are both going to continue to be friendly and are on good terms, but their romantic relationship has ended.
Lesley, who originally competed for Sean Lowe's heart on Season 17 of The Bachelor, kept busy in her time away from Bachelor Nation by working as a travel blogger. Her blog, The Road Les Traveled, most recently documented a trip to Honduras with Dean. After working with fellow Winter Games alum Ben Higgins and the charity Humanity & Hope United Foundation on a service trip, the two took their own private jaunt to the island of Roatán. Detailing why the trip was special to her, Lesley wrote:
Ohhhh Roatán. Where to even begin? I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for Honduras because not only did I fall in love with the locals, the coffee and the work of Humanity & Hope, but this was my first destination outside of the U.S. with Dean.
Dean's claim to fame comes from finishing in fourth place on Rachel Lindsay's Bachelorette season and then getting caught in an ugly love triangle on Bachelor in Paradise last summer. After such a quick fall from grace within a matter of weeks, Dean's time on Winter Games could have been a disaster. His heartwarming relationship with Lesley totally saved his reputation in Bachelor Nation, but I can't be the only one with an inkling that he'll return to Paradise this year, right?
While audiences had some skepticism about Dean making a third franchise appearance on Winter Games, Lesley happened to miss out on his previous TV stints, telling Entertainment Tonight in February:
I didn't know much about Dean. I saw his cute little face and those big blue eyes and it just went from there. And then talk started coming, and I heard more and more about this reputation of Paradise. But I'm not one to take on other people's opinions for my own, and I just wanted to make mine. So you'll see mine play out on screen.
Often playing out more genuinely than Paradise, Winter Games seemed like a great environment for valid relationships to form. But now with another couple biting the dust, even Courtney and Lily's sheer adorableness isn't enough to convince me that love is still sacred. Luckily, I'm not the only Bachelor fan who feels this way.
Pour yourself a glass of wine this weekend, guys, because it's been a rough day for Bachelor fans. I wish Dean and Lesley the best for the future, but fingers crossed that Dean manages to avoid Paradise this year.