On Becca's season of The Bachelorette, one of her front-runners, Colton, revealed that he’d had a relationship with Tia, Becca’s Bachelor BFF, prior to the show. Bachelor Nation was annoyed, to say the least. Now, the potential couple a are on Bachelor in Paradise together, but the timeline of Tia and Colton’s relationship before BIP is a little messy.
There’s truly nothing wrong with the two of them finding love with each other in Paradise, but everything that led up to this point needs to be addressed and laid out. Colton was upfront with Becca on The Bachelorette and afterward, Tia was too. In fact, the three of them sat down to talk it out on the show in a really healthy way. It seemed like it was all behind them and the season went on. Then, Tia showed up after hometown dates and revealed that she still had feelings for Colton, even if their only official "date" was just a weekend long fling.
That’s when Becca axed Colton and soon after, Tia and Colton were announced as part of the Season 5 BIP cast. To really understand their potential relationship, though, you really need to understand the timeline of Tia and Colton’s relationship before BIP.
It All Began Before Arie’s Season
According to Colton when he appeared on The Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous Podcast, the first time he saw Tia was when Bachelorette producers showed him a photo of her. He revealed on the podcast that during his audition process for The Bachelorette, which occurred before Arie's season even premiered on TV, he was shown photos of the women and asked who his top picks would be for the next Bachelorette. He said that he chose Becca, Tia, and Lauren Burnham. He then went home and followed each of them on Instagram. Tia followed him back and it all began.
Colton’s Instagram Story
Colton also said on the same podcast episode that it was his Instagram story about Stranger Things, randomly enough, that caught Tia’s attention. She then sent him a DM, and they started talking. This was before The Bachelor had even aired, but despite Tia taking part in the show, she obviously had some interest in Colton and they continued to talk on social media, via text, and even on FaceTime.
Their Weekend Away
According to Colton on the podcast interview, he always knew that Tia was keeping her options open about potentially being the next Bachelorette. And she encouraged him to go on The Bachelorette as a contestant regardless. Still, they went away for a weekend to Los Angeles during his birthday and, as Colton said, they went hiking with some rescue puppies. The hike at least checks out, as there’s a photo of Colton on his Instagram hiking in L.A. Of course, Tia is nowhere to be found in the photo, but that would have been too easy.
Colton Goes On 'The Bachelorette'
Even though Tia was passed up as the next Bachelorette, Colton went ahead and appeared on Becca’s season as a contestant. Whether he continued with the process in the hopes that it was going to be Tia is unclear. To his credit, though, he was completely honest with Becca about his past with Tia. Although the couple never made it as far as labeling what they had or even made it far beyond that weekend date away, it was still important for Colton to be open and honest with Becca.
The Spa Date
After Colton revealed the truth about his past to Becca, Tia was one of the women who showed up to the group spa date. As if things couldn't get any more awkward, am I right? Becca used the opportunity to sit down and talk about it with them and they assured her that it was all in the past. Those little smiles and glances told another story, if you ask me.
The Aftermath Of Hometown Dates
Tia showed up on The Bachelorette again after Becca went on her hometown dates. She admitted to having feelings for Colton and it seemed like, to her, this was the right thing to do. Even though Colton didn't say as much to Becca himself, he was later sent home. But instead of going right home, he would soon agree to appear on Season 5 of BIP.
It's not clear if either Tia or Colton knew that the other was going to be on BIP, but on the premiere, it seemed like Tia was hopeful at least. "I feel like we just have a big question mark right now because we haven't talked since he left for filming and we saw each other on the group date," Tia told E! News shortly before leaving to film BIP. "Going into it I would be nervous to talk to him if he was here, but it would also be a relief just to have everything out on the table."
This was a unique situation, with one of the Bachelorette's friends and former cast mates having a prior relationship with a potential suitor. By all accounts, Tia and Colton did the right thing by being honest with Becca upfront. And now that it's all behind them, they could be one of the couples who come out of BIP Season 5 together. Then again, this is Bachelor Nation and almost anything can happen.