- Nick Viall told Insider he felt “a pressure to fall in love” while he was “The Bachelor” in 2017.
- He proposed to Vanessa Grimaldi during the finale, but they split five months later.
- Viall said he believes there will be less engagements on future seasons of “The Bachelor.”
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Since the first season of “The Bachelor” premiered in 2002, 15 out of 25 finales have ended with the star getting down on one knee and asking “Will you marry me?”
Engagements have been the endgame for the long-running reality franchise, and former “Bachelor” star Nick Viall told Insider that the expectation of a serious relationship added a lot of pressure.
“I think every Bachelor and Bachelorette feels a pressure of finding love for sure,” he said. “And there’s less of a pressure of an engagement, but certainly a pressure to fall in love. And that is very much real, and something I very much felt.”
Viall — who spoke to Insider after announcing the launch of Network Viall Files Media Group, his new podcast network — landed his own “Bachelor” season in 2017 after he was runner-up on two seasons of “The Bachelorette” in 2015 and 2016 and appeared on one season of “Bachelor in Paradise.”
Two years later, Grimaldi revealed that she hadn’t wanted to get engaged during the show.
“They didn’t air this,” Grimaldi said while appearing on former “Bachelor” contestant Taylor Nolan’s podcast “Let’s Talk About It” in October 2019. “I had a conversation with him, and I said, ‘Listen, wouldn’t it be better if we just date outside of the show and then get engaged? Because that’d be more meaningful. We’d get to know each other.'”
“He said, ‘I know to you it could be just a piece of jewelry, but there’s so much meaning towards us leaving engaged because there’s going to be so much attention,'” Grimaldi recalled.
Grimaldi said Viall told her there would be “so much backlash on us” after the show, and that he believed an engagement would “hold us together.”
“I think if we weren’t engaged, we would’ve broken up sooner,” she added.
When Viall was asked about Grimaldi’s comments while appearing on former “Bachelorette” star Kaitlyn Bristowe’s podcast “Off the Vine,” he kept his response short.
“Uh, I mean, it was fine,” he told Bristowe, adding that he always tries to “be level-headed.”
The former reality TV star pointed out that the response to Colton Underwood and Matt James deciding not to propose at the end of their respective seasons was far more positive than when Juan Pablo Galavis and Brad Womack didn’t pop the question during their finales.
“America’s response to that was very different,” he said. “There was a lot of frustration with wasted opportunity, and that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. And it’s the fans that kind of dictate the response and expectations.”
Viall believes that these changing attitudes also reflect how much dating has changed over the last two decades.
“Modern dating is different than it used to be even when the show started,” he said. “The culture puts less emphasis on things like marriage or engagements.”
As for Viall, he’s enjoying life with girlfriend Natalie Joy, a surgical technologist who he met after she sent him a message on Instagram.
“It was playful enough, and I guess it didn’t come across as weird?” he said with a laugh.
Viall admitted that, at the time, he was unsure about whether he should respond to her first message.
“But thankfully I did,” he said. “And it seems to have worked out so far.”