Warning: minor Bachelor spoilers ahead! Last week, reports started circulating that Arie Luyendyk Jr. had a change of heart after The Bachelor wrapped and ended things with his chosen winner. Surprisingly though, he’s not the first person to do it, as Jason Mesnick pulled the same move on The Bachelor Season 13 and ended up with Molly Malaney, who he later married, instead of the original winner. But who are Jason and Molly Mesnick from The Bachelor? The couple is an important part of Bachelor history, in that Jason’s name is now basically a verb and fans can safely say that Arie "pulled a Mesnick." While there’s still a lot to learn about Arie’s decisions and whatever backlash may come from them following his season of The Bachelor, Jason’s own story ended after everything came to light back in 2009.
Jason had been a contestant on The Bachelorette Season 4 before being given the role of the Bachelor himself. As a single dad, he was the first single parent in the entire franchise overall, so he’s probably remembered for more than just changing his mind about his final two and announcing it on live national television. But I mean, it's still a big part of his history. According to an interview Jason did with HuffPost, Jason and Melissa had parted ways prior to After the Final Rose, but he'd been instructed to keep his intention of reigniting things with his runner-up Molly until the special, unbeknownst to Melissa.
“We had broken up before all that, but the only thing [producers] had asked me not to do was not to mention anything about Molly. And so I didn’t do that," Jason told the outlet, though he deeply regrets it. "I never told Melissa about my feelings about Molly. Melissa and I were just getting to know each other. It had only been a few weeks since we were done filming — about six weeks. If I would have listened to my gut and my heart I would have never listened to any producer.”
During ATFR, Jason was able to explain that he’d realized his feelings were much stronger for Molly after filming and that he wanted to do the right thing and follow his heart, as he’d intended to do when he agreed to be the Bachelor. And from there, they became a couple.
A little more than a year after The Bachelor Season 13 premiered, Jason and Molly got married in a televised wedding special appropriately titled The Bachelor: Jason and Molly’s Wedding, which may have paved the way for even more Bachelor Nation televised weddings so I’m definitely not complaining about that. Jason already had a son, Ty, before going on The Bachelor, but he and Molly had their first child together in March 2013, proving that the "journey" on The Bachelor and Bachelorette really does work, even if the beginning can be kind of shaky sometimes.
Although Jason and Molly probably have one of the more epic stories in the franchise, if you look at their Instagram accounts, they seem like a normal family who’s likely only too happy to be away from the spotlight and cameras these days. While Molly hosts her local radio show Bender & Molly In the Morning, Jason is now in real estate where they live in Seattle. And spoiler alert, Molly definitely moved across the country for him, so yes, it can be done, despite some of these Bachelor Nation couples starting off in long distance relationships. Even though the beginning of their relationship outside of The Bachelor was a little unorthodox at the time, things clearly worked out for them in the end.
It’s way too soon to tell what will happen with Arie and the final two women of his season of The Bachelor, but like Jason, he probably felt that he needed to follow his heart, even if his heart changed its mind after filming was over.
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