In 2015, Ashley Iaconetti appeared on Bachelor in Paradise and instantly was crushing on cast member Jared Haibon. The two shared a connection, but, ultimately, Haibon ended up breaking the then-virgin’s heart. The two remained friends, but Iaconetti was very open about the fact that she never stopped having feelings for Haibon. Though Iaconetti continued to have romantic thoughts about Haibon, he built a good friendship with her on and off camera, since the show.
This past winter, Iaconetti appeared on The Bachelor Winter Games, where she met fellow cast member Kevin Wendt. The two began dating on the show and left the show as a couple, but, according to Reality Steve, Wendt was on the show for “the wrong reasons.”
At the time, Reality Steve reported that, “They are a “couple” now. Well, as much as someone in this franchise can define “couple” … It’s been reported to me that Kevin’s sole intention of doing this show was to be the next Bachelor: Canada. And if not that, he just wants fame, he wants notoriety, and he was strictly looking to hook up with whatever girl in the house would garner him the most attention … Some say it might be a showmance, but there’s no doubt Ashley is goo-goo ga-ga over him (shocker), and I’m hearing he’s not as into her as she’s into him (gee, where have we heard that before?).” By March 2018, Wendt and Iaconetti’s romance fizzled out and just two months later, she was confirmed to be dating the man she had pined for over the past couple years – Jared Haibon.
Just a couple months later, Haibon proposed to Iaconetti in paradise … and in front of her ex, Wendt. The proposal went down on June 17, 2018, with Wendt, along with the rest of the remaining BIP cast members, on the beach in paradise. Looking at Iaconetti, Haibon said, “Three years ago we met right at this spot. On this very beach. I don’t ever want another day to go by that I don’t kiss you and tell you how beautiful you are and how much you mean to me … You’d make me the happiest man alive if I had the opportunity to spend the rest of my life with you.”
When Us Weekly asked Haibon if he had given Wendt a heads up before the proposal, he said that, “I don’t think there was any need to. He’s an ex. I don’t think I would have to tell my exes.”
On BIP 5, Wendt is dating fellow cast member Astrid Loch, but ABC has reported he becomes a bit upset after the proposal, which causes Loch to worry.
According to Haibon, when he heard that Iaconetti was dating Wendt, it woke him up. He told People that, “I remember I heard rumors that she might have met somebody, and I was sad. Sometimes I need a kick in the ass. That was a big kick in the ass.” Haibon actually confessed to Iaconetti his feelings when she was still dating Wendt, but Iaconetti said that, “I thought ‘Okay, well that’s everything I’ve ever wanted, but I’m definitely gonna continue dating this other guy.’ I do like him. He’s pursued me … he’s been all in the entire time and I deserve to pursue somebody else and for somebody else to pursue me after all this time.”
A short time after, Iaconetti realized that she no longer wished to be with Wendt and she explained it on her show “The Story of Us”. Iaconetti revealed that, “I just knew in my heart at that point that it wasn’t right with Kevin. I ended the relationship because it had run its course — and then Jared was still there.”