It’s time once again for The Bachelor to hand out his final rose. But as we all know by now, those roses tend to wilt in a hurry.
For nearly two decades, ABC’s reality franchise has sold us a swoony fairy-tale idea of romance, with a dashing bachelor choosing one woman from among dozens with the intention of marrying her. With 24 seasons in the books, though, The Bachelor has a shockingly low success rate. According to our calculations, whether Matt picks Rachael or Michelle to receive his final rose this Monday (ABC, 8/7c), he and his chosen lady have roughly a four percent chance of staying together for the long haul. (Good luck, guys!)
As this Bachelor season draws to a close, we’re taking a stroll down a rose petal-strewn memory lane with a list of all the Bachelor relationships, in order of how long they lasted together after the season finale aired, from shortest to longest. As you’ll see, many more relationships fizzled out before they even left the After the Final Rose taping than actually made it down the aisle — and it turns out you have a better chance at true love if you’re the runner-up rather than the winner. (Note: We’re just looking at The Bachelor here, not The Bachelorette or any of the various spinoffs. But for the record, Bachelorette stars have a much better track record of choosing a lasting relationship.)
Read on to see which couples didn’t make it out of the starting gate… and which, against all odds, are still going strong.