Bachelor Nation

Skeptics Be Damned, Nick Viall Says Ashley I. and Jared are the Real Deal

"They’re almost annoyingly in love, it’s pretty cute," says the former Bachelor

Ashley I Jared in love: Bachelor Nation alum pose arm in arm for a photo after taping a TV show

Bachelor Nation’s Ashley Iaconetti (third from left), Jared Haibon and Nick Viall—among others—on the set of ABC’s Bachelor in Paradise after show in 2016
(Rick Rowell/ABC via Getty Images)

Bachelor Nation may be built on the idea of finding love, but let’s be real, its track record isn’t all that great—and no one knows that better than Nick Viall.

The Season 10 Bachelorette contestant who had his heart broken by Andi Dorfman became a surprise addition to Kaitlyn Bristowe’s season of The Bachelorette and later went on Bachelor in Paradise and ultimately ended up as Season 21’s Bachelor. In short, he’s visited every corner of Bachelor Nation and experienced first-hand how the show can bring people together )and also leave many crying in a limo en route to the airport. But Nick says that the most recent off-screen Bachelor Nation couple is *absolutely* the real deal.

In case you live under a Bachelor Nation-free rock, here’s the scoop: Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon are offish an item and fans are freaking the eff out. Ashley and Jared started their romance on Bachelor in Paradise Season 2, but ended up splitting—eventually pursuing other Bachelor Nation contestants on subsequent BiP seasons and even Bachelor Winter Games. BUT after multiple rose ceremonies and copious tears (mostly on Ashley’s part) these two seem to have found their way back to each other and recently announced that they are officially dating with a v. cute IG post.

I love my boyfriend.

A post shared by Ashley Iaconetti (@ashley_iaconetti) on


And it seems like all of Bachelor Nation shared their excitement for the new couple, including Nick, who is friends with both Jared and Ashley and is seriously shipping the pair.

“I’m really happy for them,” he says. “They’re almost annoyingly in love, it’s pretty cute. It’s incredibly sincere and I’m really happy for Ashley, you know.”

He brings up Ashley because, while Jared has been unsure about his feelings in the past, Ashley has been absolutely steadfast in her love for Jared. So much so that when Nick crossed paths with Ashley during the third season of Bachelor in Paradise, he told her to stop chasing Jared.

“You know it’s funny, I’m the one in Paradise who told her it’s never going to happen, but everyone’s love story is different,” he says. It hasn’t been an easy road, but they probably needed to go through all those ups and downs (and ITMs) in order to find their way to each other.

“I think they’re in a better place as individuals, and they seem to have an incredibly strong relationship now so I’m really happy for them,” he says.

While skeptics out there are wondering if this is just another Bachelor stunt that will be short-lived and highly dramatic, Nick says these two have truly found the love they’ve been looking for.

“I think it’s going to be one of the better Bachelor success stories of all time,” he says. “If I had to bet on anyone in this world, I’d bet on them.”

As for himself, Nick says that while he’s open to making cameo appearances on the franchise, or attending tapings, he’s going to focus on finding love outside of Bachelor Nation.

“I don’t see myself pursuing love on the show. I’ve proven while it works for some people, it hasn’t worked for me,” he says. “Time to search it in other areas of life.”

Having had Jared move in several months ago, I’ve been blessed to see this relationship unfold. When Ashley found herself in another relationship, it was actually pretty damn adorable to see Jared visibly frustrated. Then getting to watch Jared realize Ashley had been the best thing to ever happen to him and couldn’t risk losing her forever was the probably most romantic relative tv I had ever seen. I remember telling Ashley she will never be with Jared, thankfully I was way off. I never would have thought that only a few years later they would have the type of magic with each other that one day I hope I’m lucky enough to find for myself. I look forward to continuing to be your unofficial third wheel and photographer (as long as the internet starts giving me photo cred… looking at you @beccatilley ) : me

A post shared by Nick Viall (@nickviall) on

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