Tayshia Adams' heartfelt and candid conversations with her potential fiancés are the main reason this season of The Bachelorette has been so refreshing. Her thoughtful exchanges with frontrunners have prompted important dialogues about suicidal ideation, systemic racism, addiction, and eating disorders. The bonds between Tayshia and her men are so strong that we at home have weekly collective breakdowns when one of them is sent home. But ultimately, this is Tayshia’s love story, and she's opened up a lot this season, too. As we head into the finale, we might learn even more about where her head’s at for the future by looking at her history.
Throughout the season, we’ve seen how Tayshia’s previous divorce brought her clear perspective on what she wants out of a relationship, a partner, and a marriage. Her choice to eliminate Ben, for example, wasn’t an easy one, but only emphasized that she knew what she was looking for, and that he wasn't her best match. Several episodes ago, worries from her last relationship also caused a brief rift in her romance with Zac, otherwise a frontrunner, who admitted to cheating on a girlfriend once. (When she explained that this was a dealbreaker — and something that ended her first marriage — he clarified that his infidelity happened in sixth grade.)
Last night, divorcee Brendan self-eliminated after he realized he wasn’t ready to propose again. “Maybe a younger version of me would’ve been really pissed off at you, but at the same time, I know what you’ve gone through,” Tayshia told him. “We’ve both been married before. And as much as I would love to be with you at the end of all this, if you’re not ready, that’s not something I’m going to push you to do.” Their shared experience and understanding led to one of the most mature (and, in my opinion, heartbreaking) Bachelorette breakups in recent history.
In a preview for tonight’s final episode, her very emotionally wise dad also seems concerned about Tayshia going through a painful experience again. “I’ve seen you hurt before,” he says in a promo. “Your mom and I don’t want you making the biggest mistake of your life.” He expressed these same concerns for his daughter when we first met him during a hometown date on Colton Underwood’s season of The Bachelor.
Tayshia met her ex, Josh Bourelle, when she was a college student at Concordia University Irvine. They married in 2016 and filed for divorce a little over a year later. Like Tayshia, he lives in Orange County, and he said in a recent interview that he has a girlfriend. And yes, he's been watching the show and isn't too pleased with how he's been depicted.
“While she was on The Bachelor, she did bring up the fact that the reason why our relationship failed, in her opinion, was that I cheated,” he told popular Bachelor blogger Reality Steve. He also admitted to cheating once, but claimed that wasn’t the only or biggest problem in his marriage. “When that first happened, I said, ‘Well, okay, I guess it’s fine for her to say it one time,’ but now it just continues to happen.’”
He also had some choice words for Tayshia that, above anything else, seem to indicate he has a fundamental misunderstanding of how the show works. “Quit using one thing that happened in our relationship as a sob story to make people feel bad for you,” he added. “It’s kind of hypocritical in a way because, I mean, you're calling me a cheater, yet you're dating 25 different guys at the same time or whatever.” I mean, yeah. That’s not cheating as much as the premise of the reality show these guys all voluntarily signed up for.
We don’t (and really shouldn’t) know the private details of Tayshia’s divorce. But what matters is that, even heading into her season, her hardest experiences have only given her more clarity about what she wants now — and maybe that’s part of why this season feels so honest and reflective. “Having been married, I feel like… I’m not just going to do anything just to do something,” she told Us Weekly. “I’m going to do it because it’s the right thing to do, and I’m excited and happy.”