The Truth About Bachelor Host Chris Harrison's Relationship With Lauren Zima

It's no secret that The Bachelor host Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima, host of Entertainment Tonight and The Bachelor recap show Roses and Rosé, make an adorable couple. Bachelor fans love these two as a pair as much as we all love seeing Sean and Catherine Lowe or Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert together. But before the famous faces ever decided to date, Harrison and Zima worked together for quite some time. Zima actually interviewed the reality television host for three years, she revealed in an interview with Bachelor alum Nick Viall on his podcast, The Viall Files.


"[Lauren Zima] is one of the best interviewers I ever face, and when I go into an interview with her, I have to have my head on straight because she is so good at just finding the crack and then going in," Harrison told Viall in another interview on The Viall Files podcast (via E!). But, to Harrison, Zima is more than just a tough interviewer these days. She's his love.

So, how did they go from talking about The Bachelor and The Bachelorette couples on TV to becoming a couple themselves? Read on to learn the truth about their relationship.

This is when the sparks started flying between Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima

While Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima had done plenty of interviews together, Zima told Bachelor alum Nick Viall on Viall Files, that it was always "incredibly professional" and that she'd never even considered whether or not she actually found him attractive. Make no mistake: It's not that she didn't think he was handsome; she just never thought twice about him as a love interest. That is, until she ran into him while fetching coffee at craft services a Tell All taping and Zima said Harrison just gave her a "different vibe," in the interview with Viall on The Viall Files (via E!).


While talking about having to pick up his kids, he mentioned being single, so she also let him know that she was currently single. It was somehow communicated in a pretty "overt" way that they were both available, Zima told Viall during the juicy podcast.

Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima started getting flirty on social media

Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima began talking online when Zima admittedly slid into his DMs, she told Nick Viall on The Viall Files podcast. While she knew that it's essentially Harrison's job to be charismatic, she felt confident enough in their connection to make the first move. "I DMed after a bit of a vibe," she said, explaining that Harrison gave her the feeling that there was a mutual interest. "I fully support women sliding into the DMs."


Zima got a little flirtier on Instagram as time went on. She also started dropping hints to fans about her dalliance with Harrison in later Instagram captions. For example, she shared a photo of the two of them at a taping for Harrison's birthday adding that "Chris was lookin' FLY at the taping." In another Instagram caption of a photo with Harrison and a poster of Bachelor star Colton Underwood, she dubbed Harrison and Underwood the "two most important men in [her] life." In hindsight, the crush they had for each other was pretty obvious all along.

Lauren Zima "opened the door" for Chris Harrison to ask her out

Lauren Zima told Bachelor alum Nick Viall on his podcast, The Viall Files, that by sliding into Chris Harrison's direct messages, she totally opened the door for him to ask her out. She DMed him to simply say that it was great to see him at the Tell All taping, where she'd just run into him (and where she'd picked up on a "vibe" that he was into her). Zima explained that the two had a little bit of flirty banter back and forth until, ultimately, Harrison took things to the next level and asked her out for a drink.


Because they'd known each other professionally for years, she wanted to approach Harrison in a fail-proof way that wouldn't soil their working relationship if she'd mistaken their friendly Tell All conversation for flirtation. Fortunately for her, her intuition was spot on. "I opened the door and he walked through," she told Viall about the start of her relationship with Harrison.

Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima knew their relationship could be complicated

Considering Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima worked together in television for years, deciding to go for each other was certainly risky.

"At the very beginning, we did have the conversation of, do we wanna do this?" Harrison explained to Bachelor alum Nick Viall on his podcast The Viall Files. "When we actually went on a date and we could tell there was chemistry and we really liked each other and there was something there, then there was the conversation of, do we really wanna do this?"


Harrison admitted to Viall that he was "a little selfish" and didn't care too much about ruffling any feathers in the industry because he'd been doing The Bachelor for long enough. He said that his personal life was far more important to him than his professional life at that point in time. But he nevertheless made sure to respect Zima, who actually sealed the deal with a kiss when he asked her if she wanted to keep moving forward. So he said, "Okay, we're doing this."

Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima began dating in summer 2018

Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima started dating in summer 2018, Harrison later confirmed to People, though they didn't go public right away. Harrison told the magazine that he's a "pretty private guy" and generally prefers to keep it that way. Eventually, though, the time came to reveal their relationship.


"We came to the realization that we didn't want to hide — we wanted to be able to date and enjoy life," he explained. "When it got to the point where we were having to try to hide, we were like this is enough. We just wanted to live our lives."

Of course, a few close friends did know about their relationship before it was publicized. Harrison said that he confided in The Bachelorette star Kaitlyn Bristowe and other cast members from the show knew what was going on, but they respected the couple's privacy and avoided saying anything about the relationship.

Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima debuted their relationship on the red carpet in January 2019

Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima kept their relationship private for quite some time, but that wasn't because they were unsure about each other. The couple apparently seemed to hit it off right from the get-go and their relationship just blossomed naturally. "It's been easy, and I think that's how it all starts," Harrison told People. "We started dating and, like any relationship, she made me happy. She was kind, nice, we got along, she blended in great with my friends."


Although the couple started dating in summer 2018, they waited until winter 2019 to confirm their relationship publicly. In true Hollywood fashion, the pair showed up together at Entertainment Weekly's pre-Screen Actors Guild Awards party in Los Angeles, California at the Chateau Marmont, according to Entertainment Tonight.

After the couple made things official, they didn't shy away from updating their social media followers about their relationship. In March 2020, Zima shared a photo of the couple embracing, captioning it, "The best snuggles." In June 2020, Harrison congratulated Zima — or "this queen," as he called her — on her Emmy win, writing on Instagram, "So proud ... and happy we now have at least one Emmy in the house."


Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima didn't spend their first Valentine's Day together

Valentine's Day is a pretty big deal for new couples who are typically very excited to share the special day with that new special someone. But, unfortunately, when you're the face of one of the most popular reality television shows out there, duty can call at inopportune times — like on the day of love. Chris Harrison admitted to People that he had to sadly miss his first Valentine's Day with Lauren Zima. He did, however, make it up to her at a later time. 


"Sadly, my plans on our first Valentine's Day are working," he said. He was scheduled to make a cameo on an ABC series, which meant he'd have to spend the whole night shooting. "I have begged her and asked for forgiveness that we're postponing." Ultimately, they opted to have a belated Valentine's Day that following weekend, when Harrison said that he "doubled down" to make sure that it was a special celebration nonetheless.

On their first anniversary, Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima shared a PDA

Since Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima decided to go public, Harrison hasn't been shy about professing his love for his girlfriend. Harrison told People that their relationship just keeps getting "better and better and better" as it progresses. Harrison further opened up about his love for Zima in an interview with The Viall Files (via E!) in August 2019. "I like the way she pushes me," he explained. "And that's one of the things that I was really attracted to before we ever started dating is, I really looked forward to our interviews."


Zima, too, has been very vocal about her love for Harrison, especially on social media. On the couple's first anniversary on August 31, 2019, she shared a photo of them kissing with a loving caption. "In this year I've leaned on you, laughed with you, and fallen in love with you for the incredible man that you are," she wrote of Harrison, calling their love "easy." She continued, writing, "Thank you for adding to my life with your positivity, perspective, and patience, and for supporting me in becoming exactly who I want to be."

Despite their careers in television, Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima both leave work at work

While viewers all know Chris Harrison as the face of The Bachelor series and everyone knows Lauren Zima as a host of Entertainment Tonight, the two of them do have lives outside of work. And although they work in the same industry, they both make a conscious effort to leave work at work, Harrison confirmed in an interview with People. It might come as a surprise, but reality television isn't their reality all the time.


"I have an off-switch and, when I step away, I like to step away, and she's really good about that, too, where she doesn't bring work home," he said of their relationship. "Believe it or not, we don't talk Bachelor 24/7!"

While they do sometimes hop on Instagram Live together to talk about the series, we assume they spend most of their alone time doing normal couple things like binge-watching bad reality TV (not The Bachelor, of course), going out to dinner, and kicking it with friends and family.

No, Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima don't have Bachelor-style dates

The Bachelor might set the bar incredibly high for great first dates, but Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima don't actually go for private dining in fancy restaurants or concerts for two — and they don't fly off in helicopters all the time. They have a relatively normal dating life, Zima told Bachelor alum Nick Vaill on his podcast, The Viall Files (via E!).


"I sort of feel that I am reaping the benefits of someone who has worked on [The Bachelor] and learned how to talk to women for so long," she said, explaining that Harrison is thoughtful and ready and willing to listen. "I don't expect Bachelor dates from him, but I will tell you that he has taken me on a helicopter," she added. According to Zima, she could have fun with Harrison anywhere, even if they're just scanning through movies to watch on television at home.

There's a large age gap between Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima

Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima have a 15-year age gap, but they don't see that as an issue, Zima told former Bachelor star Nick Viall on his podcast, The Viall Files. Zima said that she feels much more mature because of some specific experiences she's had in her life.


"For me, it is all about life experience and the life place that you're in," she said. Losing her dad at the young age of 22, for example, was a very maturing experience for her, she said. "I suddenly had to step up in all these new and different ways with my family ... It aged me up in a lot of ways."

Despite the decade and a half between the two of them, they seem to be on the same wavelength, in the same place in their lives, and looking to cultivate the same kind of future together.

Both Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima have been married and divorced

In the past, Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima were both married, Life & Style reported. According to court documents obtained by the magazine, Zima's ex-husband Charles McKeague filed for divorce from the Entertainment Tonight host citing "irreconcilable differences" just a few days before Zima and Harrison publicly confirmed their relationship. The couple had been separated since March 2018.


Harrison's marriage to his high school sweetheart, Gwen Jones, dissolved much earlier, according to People. "It's been the most difficult part of my life," Harrison told E! in 2012. "I keep a smile on my face because I have to, but Gwen and I, we've been together for 22 years, married for almost 19. So we grew up together and we have so much history." His breakup was a difficult one. After all, they'd known each other for so long and had two children together. They ultimately got divorced in 2012 but remain friends.

Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima grew even closer in spring 2020

When social distancing and staying at home became the norm in spring 2020, families and couples were forced to spend a whole lot of time together. Fortunately for Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima, it seems to have brought them closer than ever before. The Bachelor host told People that the situation "will test your relationship," but that ended up being a good thing for him and Zima. He said that staying at home together has helped them learn how to communicate with one another better and see each other at their worst and most frustrated. While it hasn't always been easy, it's been a growing experience for the couple.


And Zima agreed , telling People they've both "tried to have a little bit of extra grace with each other." She explained that Harrison is great at keeping her grounded with his perspective and calm demeanor, since she finds herself to be more emotional. The tough times have only allowed her the opportunity to see more of the sides of Harrison that she loved before, which makes her evermore appreciative of him.

Lauren Zima loves "every pigment and shade" of Chris Harrison

Chris Harrison has helped a lot of hopeless romantics find love on The Bachelor franchise — and it's about time that he found that kind of love, too. It seems that he has, as the couple is rather candid about their feelings for each other. Harrison told People that he "loves, admires and respects" Zima for being "as much as a grinder" as he is.


That love is mutual. Lauren Zima posted a photo of her and Harrison on Instagram expressing her love for him in March 2020, writing, "I love you. I love you deep. I love you for your calm, your strength, your perspective, your humor." She continued, "I love you in a time when the world is being tested in unprecedented ways. When all of our true colors show, I am grateful for every pigment and shade of who you are." We love their love.