Everyone is looking for love. And we all know that you can find it when you least expect it. Even while you are competing for a million dollars, or looking for your 15 minutes of fame on a reality show. Some reality shows, like Big Brother, and The Real World put a bunch of strangers together with a lot of free time on their hands, so a spark between two people is bound to happen once in awhile. Probably more out of boredom than anything else.
Dating reality shows, specifically, are about as ubiquitous as they come, with new versions coming out every year. But how likely is it that two people forced together to get the best ratings for a network will actually end up falling in love and have a lasting relationship? As 18 seasons of The Bachelor and 10 seasons of The Bachelorette have shown us, finding love on TV is not easy.
But sometimes people do find love on reality television, and against all odds, they go on to get married, have kids, and live happily ever after. At least so far. Some show’s contestants are more successful than others though. Fear Factor, for example, probably isn’t one of those shows that might inspire a love connection.
Here are 10 happy couples that are still going strong after meeting on a reality show.
Jeff & Jordan – Big Brother
Probably two of the most popular Big Brother contestants to ever play the game, Jeff and Jordan seemed more like good friends and allies throughout season 11. But after Jordan was named the winner, and it was back to the real world, the two confirmed that they were dating. They returned as a couple for the 13th season of the show as part of the “duos twist”. They also appeared on season 16 of The Amazing Race. The couple has been happily together since 2009, and are still going strong.
Trista & Ryan – The Bachelorette
Trista Rehn was the very first bachelorette ever, and her season has set a precedent no bachelorette since has been able to live up to. She chose Ryan Sutter, a firefighter from Colorado, and the two got married in 2003. ABC paid the couple $1 million to film and air their wedding ceremony as the finale in a 3-part series, called Trista & Ryan’s Wedding. The couple have two children, Max and Blakesley, and are still happily married 11 years after first meeting on national television.
Suzy & Matt – The Biggest Loser
Matt Hoover and Suzy Preston met during the second season of NBC’s weight loss show, The Biggest Loser. They didn’t reveal until after the finale (in which Matt won the first place prize) that they had been secretly dating. The couple understood each others weight struggles and were able to help each other though the stress of regaining weight after finishing the show. Not surprisingly they aren’t the only Biggest Loser contestants to find love on the show. Suzy and Matt are now married, with two kids.
Sammi & Ronnie – Jersey Shore
If you would have said that perpetually fighting couple Sammi Giancola & Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, from MTV’s Jersey Shore would still be together now, most people would have laughed. But it’s true. After six seasons of the show, and more breakups and makeups than we can count, Sammi and Ronnie are happily together. Maybe not having the drama of living in a house full of party animals has mellowed them out a little bit. They are currently living together, and are a lot more confident in the strength of their relationship.
Sean & Rachel – The Challenge
The Challenge is MTV’s reality competition show that recycles contestants from another MTV show, The Real World. Sean Duffy and Rachel Campos met on the first season when it was called Road Rules: All-Stars, and followed a different format than it does now. Campos had a previous relationship with another Real World contestant from her own season, but it was Duffy, who is now a Republican member of Congress, who she ended up with. The couple got married in 1999, and they are currently expecting their seventh child together.
Ashley & J.P – The Bachelorette
The second successful relationship to come out of The Bachelorette belongs to season 7’s Ashley Hebert and J.P Rosenbaum. The couple is an audience favourite with their low maintenance, drama-free approach to their relationship. They got married in December 2012, with many franchise alum, including Trista and Ryan Sutter, attending the ceremony. They are now expecting their first child, a boy, due later this year.
Rachel & Brendon – Big Brother
If you are a Big Brother fan, you probably remember Rachel Reilly as one of the most annoying contestants of all time. And yet she managed to find love while competing for $500 000. Fellow contestant, Brendon Villegas, and Rachel were inseparable almost immediately, and although they were both evicted pretty early on, they knew there was a connection between them. They went on to compete again in Big Brother 13, with Rachel leaving with the grand prize. The two got married in 2012, and together they competed in two seasons of The Amazing Race, coming in 3rd both times.
Jason & Molly – The Bachelor
In a moment of gold ratings, Bachelor Jason Mesnick decided to dump the woman he chose in the finale of his season, Melissa Rycroft, and ask the runner-up, Molly Malaney, for a second chance. He said he believed he had made the wrong choice, and it was Molly who he really wanted to be with. Miraculously, Molly agreed to give him another chance, and they have now been married for 4 years. They welcomed a daughter, Riley, last year. If you are worried about Melissa, don’t be. She went on to compete on Dancing With the Stars, and is now married with two kids.
Holly & Blake – Bachelor Pad
Bachelor Pad is the reality competition show that pits former Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants against each other. But there is always the inevitable love connection. Or at least a lot of hooking up. Holly Durst was getting over a breakup with another Bachelor-alum, Michael Stagliano, when she went on Bachelor Pad. She ended up winning the second season, along with her ex, but also accepted Blake Julian’s marriage proposal during the finale. They got married in 2012, and are still together. Sometimes not even having an ex-fiance lurking around can stop two people from falling in love.
Rob & Amber – Survivor
Rob Mariano and Amber Brkich met during Survivor All-Stars, which was both of their second attempts at winning the show. They ended up forming an alliance immediately and stayed loyal to each other throughout the game, even making it to the final two together. Before the final vote was read, Rob proposed, and Amber accepted. She then went on to win the $1 million prize. The couple got married in 2005, and are still together with three daughters. They also appeared in seasons 7 and 11 of The Amazing Race.