Even when you’re there for the right reasons and really trying, finding love in Bach Nation is tough. And hanging onto that love and nurturing it into an actual, meaningful longterm relationship? Well, it’s just not for everyone (clearly—look back over the franchise’s track record).
In a new interview with Us Weekly, recent Bach lead Peter Weber (aka Pilot Pete) got v candid about how the Bach Nation pressure cooker impacted his relationship with Kelley Flanagan (who wasn’t his winner…or his runner-up, but was the person from his season that he ended up dating for a while), which ultimately ended in December 2020.
“It’s just — it’s unnatural,” he said of dating inside the Bach Nation bubble—not on the show, but after, when the Twitter commentary comes nonstop. “It’s unnatural having so many people be so interested in your relationship [and to] have every move, like, scrutinized….I remember with Kelley, when we started dating, [we were] trying to keep it hush, [stay] under wraps a little bit ’cause we’re trying to figure it out in that moment. And you don’t want, like, the whole Bach Nation giving their opinion on it. … [But] you can’t escape it.”
Those opinions come pretty much constantly for any BN couple, but it often goes double for couples with unconventional stories within the franchise, which Peter and Kelley definitely have. They met briefly before the season started and had a pretty instant connection. Still, he ended up cutting her before hometown dates and bouncing between relationships with both of his final two (Hannah Ann Sluss and Madison Prewett) before they finally got together in April 2020.
“Having so many opinions [about your relationship], it just gets to you,” Peter said on Friday. “Obviously, my experience is pretty unique with Kelley and whatnot.…But hey, you see couples come on [the show] and it works for them and they make it through it.”
They announced their breakup in December that year, with Instagram posts that made it clear they were on good terms and as drama-free as Bachelor Nation exes can be (at the time at least—things have since gotten…messier).
As “unnatural” as Bachelor love can be though, Pete insists he has no regrets about, well, any of it.
“I think everything happened the way it was supposed to happen,” he explained. “I really do. I don’t have any regrets or anything. I learned about myself and, like, how I want to be in a relationship moving forward and what I want. And, you know, I’m so, so, so incredibly thankful for Kelley [and] for all the girls … [I] got to meet through the journey.”
Who knows, maybe Pilot Pete will land a spot on Bachelor in Paradise next summer if he’s up for another Bach-sanctioned love journey (especially considering the glowing edit and sexy new S.O. former Bachelorette Becca Kufrin walked away with after her stint as the first former lead on the beach this season).
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