Aven Jones totally surprised Rachel Recchia by showing up after her tense conversation with Tino Franco on the live portion of The Bachelorette finale. Rachel and Aven had previously split while filming The Bachelorette, but he returned to show her support after her engagement ended. “I was obviously super surprised to see him,” Rachel told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “When he took me off-stage, he told me he obviously knew it was going to be a hard conversation [with Tino] and he just wanted to be there to support me. It was really great to have him there and to talk to him.”
However, Rachel was tight-lipped about whether or not something could happen in the future with Aven. “We’ll have to wait and see,” she teased. “You never know!” During The Bachelorette finale, Rachel was left absolutely heartbroken by Tino, who cheated on her just a couple of months after they got engaged while filming the final rose ceremony in May. Their proposal AND breakup aired during the Sept. 20 finale of The Bachelorette. Now that Rachel’s had some time to process the situation, though, she’s ready to put herself back out there.
“I think, right now, I’m ready to have that next step in my life,” she admitted. “I definitely am glad that I’ve had time to really reflect and really heal and look back at some mistakes I might’ve made and to be able to learn and grow from there. I truly believe in love and when it comes it’ll come. I’m definitely open to it, but healing at the same time.” Whether or not that love story involves Aven remains to be seen!
See more from our interview with Rachel below:
After you ended things with Tino, was there any part of you that wanted to reach out to Aven or someone else from your season to explore a potential relationship? This is kind of recent, so for the whole month, I’ve had to relive the [rest of] the season with this information [that Tino cheated]. So it’s kind of nice to have had that alone time for now. It was something I’ve been healing from since it happened.
You didn’t get the answers you wanted from Tino at ‘ATFR’ – is that something you’re still hoping for? I think at this point if I don’t have the answers, I’m truly never going to get them. It really is just a tough situation when all these conversations happen off-camera nad a whole relationship has happened off-camera. I really do wish him the best and I hope we can just move on with our lives after all this.
There was part of your breakup that you and Tino agreed not to talk about publicly because it was so personal. Do you think you’ll keep that private or will you ever share? I think with every single relationship there are things that the public gets to see and there are deep things that you hold in your core and that you only share with someone that you’re going to spend the rest of your life with. There are definitely things in our relationship that are extremely personal, so it’s obviously really hurtful for that to be questioned and feel like I have to admit to these things. I really hope that he will respect our privacy enough. I’d also like to think that he doesn’t want those things to be public knowledge.
Watching the show back and looking back on the experience, did you notice any red flags with Tino? I think looking back, you could say anything was a red flag. I really was blindsided. We definitely had our struggles. I’m not a perfect partner and we were trying to make it work and ultimately that’s just where it failed. When someone is putting in the effort and then someone who didn’t…that’s what it all came down to.
Do you think you put too much pressure on yourself to leave the show engaged? I actually love this question. I think it’s been shocking at how much people have taken it out on [Gabby Windey and I] for wanting a proposal. We just wanted commitment. We came into this and we were so honest with each of the guys that we wanted someone who was going to stand with us and go through life with us — that’s what we were looking for when we said “proposal.” We were both honest from the beginning. We were both ready for that in our lives and ultimately that’s what we knew we deserved.