While we were all surprised by the decision to cast Arie Luyendyk Jr. as the next Bachelor, perhaps no one was more shocked than Sydney Stempfley. Up until a few weeks ago, Stempfley had been Luyendyk's girlfriend of a year, and the 26-year-old told Entertainment Tonight that she was totally "blindsided" by his casting, causing her to question everything about the relationship.
But let's back up. According to the outlet, the two met over Instagram DMs in 2016 shortly before Stempfley moved to Scottsdale, Arizona (where Luyendky already lived).
"I flew out to search for apartments, so I messaged Arie and I told him that I would be in the area and he asked me out on our first date," she explained. From there, the relationship blossomed into something Stempfley is confident was monogamous and serious.
"My family was head over heels about him," she continued. "They thought he was very charming and very sweet and they really liked him. [Arie and I] traveled together and I went to his races to support him. And he also actually lived with me for a few months while he rented out his house back at the beginning of the year."
The breakup was totally unexpected, spiraling from an argument the two had over the phone, leading to an in-person breakup later that night.
However, Stempfley had no idea of his plans to become the Bachelor until she saw it on TV with the rest of America.
"When I found out he was becoming the next Bachelor a month after our break up, I'm sure you can imagine that I was completely blindsided," she said, adding that she would like to think it had nothing to do with their breakup, since he insists he hadn't been auditioning or talking to producers when they were still together. However, she can never be sure.
"You can only believe what someone tells you, so, you know, there’s no proof that he had been auditioning or talking to producers at that point," she explains. "The only thing I have to go off of is his word."