The untold truth of Colton Underwood

It can be hard to keep up with ABC's The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. We get it. After all, the show is heading into its twenty-third season come January 2019. That's a whole lot of Monday nights. If you're a not-so-diehard Bachelor stan, you may have passed up the last few seasons of the show. Unfortunately, that also means you probably don't know much about former contestant Colton Underwood. And, even if you are obsessed with Bachelor Nation, there are some things about Underwood that simply weren't revealed during his time on The Bachelorette

Though Underwood made it into the final four of that season, he was ultimately sent home. But, that wouldn't be the last we'd see of him. In August 2018, he joined other former contestants on Bachelor in Paradise. Then, on September 4, 2018, the show revealed its next Bachelor and — surprise, surprise! — it's Colton Underwood himself. It's about time we all get to know this eligible Bachelor a little better, so here's everything you need to know.

Football is practically in his blood

After playing college football for Illinois State University, Underwood began a career with the NFL — though he would never end up playing a regular game. Beginning in 2014, he joined the practice squads of the San Diego Chargers, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Oakland Raiders, according to Bleacher Report, but, due to an injury, he was forced to retire prematurely

Underwood's love of football seems almost kismet. ABC News reported that not only was the soon-to-be Bachelor born on Super Bowl Sunday, but he was also given the name Colton after the Indianapolis Colts. Though he — and obviously his family — have a real love for the sport, Underwood said he's not necessarily looking for a partner who is all about football.

"You just have to be passionate about something," he clarified when speaking to ABC News. He went on to add, "Sports was my passion growing up, just because I saw how it transformed my life, but just be passionate about something, have a passion, and be a good person."

He runs his own charity

Even though Underwood's professional football career came to an end in 2016, he would continue to run the non-profit organization, The Legacy Foundation, that he started back in 2015. According to the foundation's website, Underwood founded the charity in an effort to "empower people with Cystic Fibrosis to live fully, dream big and support each other." This is accomplished through raising funds for research, equipment, and other needed resources. 

Since its creation in 2015, The Legacy Foundation has donated nearly $100,000, through cash donations and equipment donations, to benefit those living with Cystic Fibrosis. Underwood also has a personal connection to the chronic disease as his young cousin Harper is, as Underwood puts it, "a Cystic Fibrosis warrior." In addition to fundraising, Underwood and other NFL players have visited children's hospitals to bring joy to other Cystic Fibrosis warriors and started a football camp to not only raise money, but also bring awareness to the hereditary disorder.

He's a virgin

As both a former Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise contestant, you could make the assumption that Underwood, um, gets around. But that's not true, he says. In an episode of The Bachelorette, Underwood revealed to Becca Kufrin that he's a virgin. Kufrin was noticeably taken off guard by the news and had to take a minute to collect her thoughts. It was a tense moment, but Underwood is still happy he shared it with Kufrin — and the world. 

In an interview for the Ben and Ashley: Almost Famous podcast (via People), Underwood explained, saying, "It's something that I hid for so long and [the show] sort of forced me to talk about it and start a conversation — start a dialogue." Still, he admitted that it was "difficult going from six people knowing to about 6 million" — especially when everyone has their opinions on the topic.

Though Underwood admitted that he's not waiting until marriage, he is set on waiting to find the right person. Will the right person be someone from 2019's The Bachelor? We will have to wait and find out together.

He's a dog lover

Adding to his good guy image is the fact that Underwood is an avid dog lover. On Instagram, he routinely posts photos of himself with his precious pup, Sniper. And yes, it's as cute as it sounds. Oh, and we should mention that Sniper even has his own Instagram account. For reals. The former Bachelorette contestant doesn't just love his dog, though. Other photos show he'll pretty much snuggle any canine companion that's willing. Can't. Handle. The. Cuteness.

In August 2018, Underwood also posted a picture of himself with two adorable little puppies for a good cause. "My friends at @puppiesmakemehappy are looking for the next rescue to support and they are letting me pick it," he captioned the photo, in part. He petitioned commenters to give him some suggestions of dog rescues to support throughout the month of September. "This is not an AD," he clarified, "just my love for puppies."

In the end, Underwood ended up choosing Bunny's Bodies, an organization that, per their Instagram bio, rescues "dogs from slaughterhouses and dog meat farms in China & South Korea." Eek, thank you Colton.

His athleticism extends beyond football

Though his football days are behind him, Underwood still enjoys other outdoor sports. In February 2018, he shared a photo of himself snowboarding the slopes in Aspen, Colorado. In May, he was also pictured exercising with his canine buddy Sniper by Lost Lake in Colorado. At the end of August, he also shared a photograph before "shooting some clays for a cause," that would support both The Make-A-Wish Foundation and his charity, The Legacy Foundation.

Underwood definitely keeps busier with charities and hobbies than he does with career pursuits, but this is by design. When the soon-to-be Bachelor revealed his virgin status to Kufrin, he first began by saying, "I told you earlier, I put my professional life in front of my personal life. I spent a lot of time working on 'Football Colton' and sort of forgot who 'Personal Colton' was." As of this writing, Underwood feels both "unbelievably happy" with himself and is ready to "focus on finding [his] wife," he explained to People.

He dated this famous Olympic gymnast

Underwood may be single as he heads into The Bachelor, but he's certainly had a few relationships prior. On The Bachelorette, he revealed he'd had only one serious relationship before starring on reality TV. Although he didn't refer to her by name on the show, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman confirmed to People back in December 2016 that she and Underwood had been dating for some five months.

It all began when Underwood asked Raisman on a date over social media. They started dating since the Video Music Awards and made things pretty "official" by attending the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Ceremony in 2016. 

By month six, though, the then free agent and Raisman called it quits. Borrowing a line from Ross Geller of Friends, Underwood told The Journal Star: "We're taking a break right now." He cited distance and travel as factors that contributed to the breakup and added, "It ended fine. We're in a good place."

What really happened with Becca Kufrin?

Things may not have worked out with Raisman, but things with Becca Kufrin would surely go better, right? Although he made it far enough in The Bachelorette to get a hometown date, the two would not go the distance. 

When Kufrin ultimately decided to break up with Underwood, she revealed that she didn't think he was the one. After letting him go, she explained, "I know that it feels right, but even knowing that doesn't make watching him walk away any better."

Kufrin may have known in her heart that Underwood wasn't the one with whom she wanted to spend her life, but was it really just a case of him not being the right fit? While that could certainly be true, the story of Underwood and Kufrin gets a bit messier and certainly more convoluted once you add in Tia Booth, a former contestant of The Bachelor. How so? Keep on reading.

Making sense of the Tia Booth timeline

It's hard to even mention Kufrin without first talking about Booth. So, here's the deal: Underwood and Booth met prior to Kufrin's season of The Bachelorette — which is confusing because neither Underwood nor Booth starred in the same show. But, leave it to Bachelor fans to figure out how these two met.

According to Elite Daily's calculations, Underwood and Booth met through social media. That's right, ladies: he slid into her DMs. They pursued a relationship, though it appears it was short-lived. Underwood didn't hide this relationship from Kufrin (or us) when he appeared on The Bachelorette, and eventually, this situation would become NBD — or so it would seem.

When Kufrin narrowed down her pool of men to the final four, she decided to seek out the opinions of former show contestants, including Tia Booth. Booth pulled Kufrin aside and dropped the bombshell that she still had feelings for Underwood. Yikes. So, could this be another reason Underwood was let go? We'll let you Bachelor conspiracy theorists decide on that amongst yourselves.

Rekindling an old flame

Since Underwood did not receive the final rose from Kufrin, he was free to continue on as a Bachelor-style free agent. Since both Underwood and Booth were invited to the fifth season of Bachelor in Paradise, they were afforded the opportunity to kiss and make up — which is exactly what they did. The premiere features their very Paradisiac date: jet-skiing. 

Since Underwood is all set to become the next Bachelor, things with Booth obviously did not end in a proposal. If you watched their second breakup, you know that it involved plenty of tears — from both parties. After not only being dumped by Underwood, but then also finding out that he's the next Bachelor, Booth gave her thoughts to Entertainment Tonight, saying, "I mean, it was just about two months ago that I was telling him that he really needs to figure himself out before he can fully be with someone else." She added, "I don't know that he's ready."

Not everyone is happy about the next Bachelor

Booth may not think Underwood is ready to find love, but the soon-to-be Bachelor does. "I think that's one thing that I took pride in on both seasons, was just being true to who I am," he said in an interview with Good Morning America. "I think it took all of that to get to where I'm at now and know who I am as a person and know what I want in a life partner," Underwood added.

Still, many fans of The Bachelor feel similarly to Booth. On Twitter, one woman shared her frustration with Underwood being chosen, writing, "No ma'am I will not be watching [The Bachelor] just to see indecisive Colton fumble his way through, only to break up with the winner after 6 months." Another person tweeted: "Colton as the next Bachelor could be the most disappointing news I'll hear all year." 

Despite his charity-funding, dog-loving, saving-himself-for-the-right-person persona, it's possible nothing will redeem him from, as one person put it, "yanking Tia's heart back and forth." Though, we'll have to wait until Season 23 to know for sure.