The truth about Kaitlyn Bristowe and Nick Viall’s relationship

There’s always drama in Bachelor Nation. That especially rang true during Kaitlyn Bristowe’s season of The Bachelorette, which premiered in 2015. Not only did Kaitlyn have to fight to be the season’s lead — the contestants had to vote for either Britt Nilsson and Kaitlyn on night one in the mansion — but she also broke the rules. The Bachelorette alum let Nick Viall, who was the runner-up on Andi Dorfman’s season, join the show halfway through her journey to find love.

After Kaitlyn told the contestants Nick would also be competing for her heart, they were unhappy, to say the least. Shawn Booth — who Kaitlyn later chose to be her fiancé over Nick — even accused Nick of not being on the show for the right reasons. “I think you’re an a**hole,” Shawn told Nick on the show, per Us Weekly. “I don’t think you’re here just for Kaitlyn.”

However, Nick and Kaitlyn’s connection was strong — the two even had sex before the overnight dates — and it seemed like they would leave the show as a couple. In the end, Nick started to propose to the Canada native, but she stopped him and confessed she wanted to be with Shawn.

Naturally, Nick was blindsided, hurt, and angry following the breakup. “I was in shock,” he told People in 2015. “And then reality set in and I felt that hurt and pain. It sucked.”

So, where do Kaitlyn and Nick stand today? Let’s find out.

Nick Viall and Kaitlyn Bristowe were in touch before filming 'The Bachelorette'

In a shocking twist of events, Kaitlyn Bristowe and Nick Viall were in touch before Nick joined Kaitlyn’s season of The Bachelorette in 2015. The Wisconsin native reached out to Kaitlyn on Twitter after she appeared on Chris Soules’ season of The Bachelor in 2015. “That’s how that seal was broken,” he said on an episode of his podcast, Viall Files, in 2019.

“We had never met in person,” Nick told host Chris Harrison during The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons — Ever! (via Entertainment Tonight), which aired in June 2020. “It’s one of those things that just kind of escalated quickly, talking and FaceTime, and we talked every day for a period of time. And then she was asked to be the Bachelorette.”

Nick even wrote “love letters” to Kaitlyn via email while she was on the ABC show. “I had told her that I was going to email her while she was filming the show, so I wrote her a bunch of emails with no anticipation of coming on,” he recalled (via ET). 

Ultimately, Kaitlyn picked Shawn Booth, and Nick was forced to move on. Later on, Nick revealed why his relationship with Kaitlyn was special. “It was more personal because of the relationship before and all the things that happened leading up to it,” Nick explained on his podcast. “Everyone knows at this point that Kaitlyn and I had chatted before. I haven’t shied away from that.”

Nick Viall and Kaitlyn Bristowe fought after the show

After Kaitlyn Bristowe’s season of The Bachelorette, Nick Viall was hurt, so he confronted Kaitlyn and demanded answers about their relationship during After the Final Rose in 2015. “We said ‘I love you’ to each other,” he said during the post-show, per Us Weekly. “That was towards the end, and obviously I took that to heart. I’m wondering what you were thinking.”

However, Kaitlyn defended her relationship with Shawn Booth. “That’s what happens in this world,” she stated, per Us Weekly. “You get into situations. I think at the end of the day, no love that I had was the one that I had for Shawn. I think that is the only explanation.”

Over the years, Nick and Kaitlyn’s relationship got heated as they threw shade at one another in interviews. In 2019, Kaitlyn played a Bachelorette word association game, where she had to say what came to mind when she heard the phrase “The Right Reasons.” She replied, “Not Nick Viall,” per Us Weekly.

Naturally, Nick defended himself via Instagram, writing (via Us Weekly), “@Kaitlynbristowe dms me two weeks into filming … asks me to show up. Picks someone else. Makes jokes post-show at my expense in national interviews to cover [her] own *ss. 3 years later … same ole.”

Nick Viall and Kaitlyn Bristowe have finally buried the hatchet

Four years after Nick Viall and Kaitlyn Bristowe split, the former flames finally buried the hatchet for good. “We were doing little, small jabs at each other,” Kaitlyn said on an episode of LadyGang in May 2019 (via Us Weekly). “And then I was like, ‘We just need to talk it out.’ And then he was like, ‘What did I do [to] you?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, nothing — that’s fair.'”

Since then, Kaitlyn and Nick have made appearances on each other’s podcasts, and it seems like they’re in a good place. “TBH, I look back on this time of my life and have nothing but positive memories,” Nick wrote on Instagram in June 2020 after Kaitlyn’s season re-aired on ABC.

“I just didn’t think ABC would make us relive the entire failed proposal tomorrow night … It really was a season for the ages,” he added. “You never know how you view things as time passes. Glad to be able to call KB a good friend!” In response, Kaitlyn commented (via E! News), “Also, so glad we are friends now too,” with a heart emoji.

These days, Kaitlyn is dating former Bachelorette contestant Jason Tartick. In June 2020, Nick admitted he was “dating” someone new on his podcast (via E! News). That being said, Viall is grateful for his time on the show. “I don’t think we necessarily would have made it as a couple,” Nick told Chris Harrison about Kaitlyn (via Entertainment Tonight), adding, “It all works out.” Indeed, it does.

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