Honesty hour! Fans have the opportunity to relive Jason Mesnick‘s season of The Bachelor during The Greatest Seasons Ever! on Monday, August 10, and while Jason and contestant Melissa Rycroft‘s breakup was one of the most painful to watch, the brunette beauty exclusively dished to Life & Style that she knew her relationship with was “not going to last” after the show, regardless of his romance with runner-up Molly Malaney. The season 13 leading man famously chose Melissa during the finale only to change his mind shortly after. Although it was “embarrassing” at the time, the former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader noted that the exes are A-OK with where life has taken them.
“It landed us both exactly where we’re supposed to be. That relationship was not going to last. I mean, I don’t think anyone would be shocked to hear that now. I bet he probably regrets how it ended but … [I have] no regrets now, just a little embarrassing,” Melissa explained while promoting her partnership with understandingait.com, a new website designed to educate on why some people suffer from environmental allergy symptoms and treatment options including AIT (allergy immunotherapy). “Jason and I, I think, went on four dates and I couldn’t have told you at the time what he did for a living [or] where he wanted to be in five years. I mean, you’re not able to have the conversations one would think you would need to have before you decide to spend your life with somebody.”
Since Jason’s season, Arie Luyendyk Jr. pulled a similar stunt by getting engaged to Becca Kufrin on season 22, but then ended up proposing to Lauren Burnham during After the Final Rose. Even Hannah Brown tested the waters with Tyler Cameron and Peter Weber after her engagement to Jed Wyatt ended. Melissa noted that the format of the show definitely leaves room for doubts.
“I know in my situation, he had been contacting Molly basically since we left New Zealand, which is where we got engaged. Which messes with your emotions, too,” she divulged. “Because you’re basically — let’s just say you’re in love with two people — and you’re just cutting it off with one person. I mean, feelings don’t just go away … I would imagine there’s a lot of unresolved feelings, you know? Just because you break up with someone doesn’t mean you stop caring about them. And then, you’re questioning in this process. Like, I had two dates to make this decision, did I make the right one or not? So, yeah, I don’t envy them at all to have to decide who they want to marry after, you know, a month.”
It’s been over a decade since Melissa and Jason’s relationship ended. So, where do they stand now? “You know, it is what it is. I was a little bit was angry at him. I just felt like he could’ve given me just a little bit of a heads up,” she acknowledged. “But, the more I’m in the industry, the more time that goes on and the less and less I truly care about it all — it’s not his fault. I think he got played by production in the show just like everybody else did, you know? So, no, I think Jason is a great guy. I think he and Molly totally should have been together from the start and yeah, there’s no hard feelings whatsoever.”
She cheekily added, “Now, I don’t think we all need to go out for a glass of wine after dinner but I think we’re good.”
Melissa is now married to her longtime love Tye Strickland and they share three kids. Keep slaying, mama!