The Truth About Bachelor In Paradise's Carly Waddell And Evan Bass' Relationship

When we think of "The Bachelor" franchise, success is not the word that immediately comes to mind. A lot of the couples that get together on-screen don't make it in real life — after all, only one leading man from "The Bachelor" actually married the woman he proposed to during the season finale (we're looking at you, Sean Lowe). But when Carly Waddell and Evan Bass got together on "Bachelor in Paradise," it looked as if the franchise would see another successful relationship through. 

Carly and Evan were a bit of an odd pairing — remember their seriously awkward kiss? — but it became clear that they absolutely fell for one another. Evan popped the question, and the two married in 2017. They welcomed two children, made appearances throughout Bachelor Nation, and seemed to have a relationship that everyone wanted to emulate. But things went gravely wrong, and the two announced their separation in December 2020. So what happened? What was their relationship like, and why did it crumble? Here's the truth about what went down between Bachelor Nation favorites Carly Waddell and Evan Bass.

Evan and Carly married in 2017 and were Bachelor in Paradise's it couple

It's an exciting day when a couple from "The Bachelor" franchise makes it down the aisle, and everyone was thrilled for Carly Waddell and Evan Bass when they got married. The two tied the knot in 2017, and, in pure "Bachelor" fashion, former host Chris Harrison officiated. The ceremony, attended by family and friends, was held in the gorgeous Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta resort near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. A couple of familiar faces from Bachelor Nation were in attendance, namely Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert, and the ceremony looked truly romantic, something out of a bridal magazine. 

As noted by People, Carly looked back on her time within the franchise and told the publication that her journey from "Bachelor" contestant to "Bachelor in Paradise" hopeful was well worth it. "Everything happened for a reason," Carly said. "It's been a long journey for me in Bachelor Nation, but I would do it a thousand times again. Because the next part is going to be bliss." From that moment on, the phrase "I want what Carly and Evan have" began circulating around Bachelor Nation, because these two really seemed to have it all.

Bachelor in Paradise's Carly and Evan welcomed two children together

If Carly Waddell and Evan Bass weren't already the poster couple for "The Bachelor" franchise after they got married, they definitely were when they started having kids. As noted by People, Carly and Evan had two children together — daughter Isabella "Bella" Evelyn and son Charles "Charlie" Wolfe. When they found out Carly was pregnant with their second child, the couple joined Chris Harrison on "The Bachelor" stage for the gender reveal — alum Wells Adams literally jumped out of a cake with a blue onesie on and shouted, "It's a boy!" signaling yet again that Carly and Evan were #BachelorGoals.

The two welcomed Charlie in 2019, and the family of four seemed to be everything that Bachelor Nation wanted in a "Paradise" success story. "Delivery was fast and perfect and straight into Mommy's arms," Evan told People after Charlie was born. "He is super healthy and everyone is doing well!" As the publication noted, Evan also has three sons from his first marriage — Nathan, Liam, and Ensley — and the family was only continuing to grow.

Carly and Evan were considered one of The Bachelor franchise's biggest success stories

If it hasn't been made clear that Bachelor Nation loved Carly Waddell and Evan Bass, let us reiterate — these two were considered one of "The Bachelor" franchise's ultimate success stories, and not only were they used by other contestants as a measure of success on the show, but the series' producers continued to comment on the couple well after their time on the screen came to a close.

As noted by People, "Bachelor" producer Elan Gale posted a tribute to the fan-favorite couple on Instagram shortly after their first daughter, Bella, was born — making it clear to everyone that the adoration for Carly and Evan was just as prominent in production as it was with fans. "It feels like only yesterday that I had the great pleasure of watching these two people meet, go on a date, vomit, then eventually fall in love and roll around in piles of paint," Gale wrote, accompanying a photo of Carly and Evan on one of their "Bachelor in Paradise" dates. "Through it all, they've both filled my life with laughter and humor and joy as individuals and together," he wrote.

In a surprising twist that shocked Bachelor Nation, Carly and Evan revealed their separation

In December 2020, Carly Waddell and Evan Bass announced that they would be separating after three years of marriage. It was a blow to "The Bachelor" franchise and just beyond devastating in general (especially when you remember that the couple have two really young kids). In a joint statement, Carly and Evan said, "We will always cherish our time together and continue to have the utmost respect for one another as we focus on what's best for the future of our family," as per People. The divorcing couple went on to ask for privacy and support from their fan base. 

The only clue as to any rockiness in Carly and Evan's marriage was identified in retrospect. As noted by People, both had been a bit absent from each other's social media platforms, which, in this day and age, is one of the only ways of telling how things stand between a couple. The announcement came just days before Christmas 2020, and it was certainly a lump of coal for Bachelor Nation, rather than the nicely-wrapped present that Carly and Evan were known to be.

This is how Carly's life became abnormal after her split from Evan

Honestly, we're still reeling from the announcement that Carly Waddell and Evan Bass called it quits — shortly after the news dropped, Carly took to Instagram to talk about just how weird her new normal was. "Christmas Day isn't what I had excepted [sic] this year," she wrote on social media. "The new normal. Which feels incredibly abnormal, and actually very sad." 

She went on to say that a number of people had reached out to her in the days after her very sad personal news broke, and while she said that she wanted to maintain positivity, she was not okay. "Today is the first day that both kids are staying at Evan's house overnight. I feel like I'm missing a piece of my soul," she wrote in the post. Carly did go on to say that she was blessed that her kids have such a devoted dad and that she was comforted by knowing that they'd have "a blast" with Evan and his three older sons. She thanked everyone for checking in on her and concluded the post from there — but talk about heart-wrenching.

This Bachelor in Paradise alum weighed in on Carly and Evan's marriage

Going through a separation is an extremely painful experience, but having it happen in the public eye adds another layer of difficulty. Carly Waddell and Evan Bass had a public split, and, as such, others from "The Bachelor" franchise weighed in, including alum and friend of the couple, Jade Roper. 

Jade and her husband, Tanner Tolbert, also met on "Bachelor in Paradise" — which is returning for summer 2021 — and attended Carly and Evan's wedding. While promoting a new business venture, Jade caught up with Us Weekly and gave her thoughts about the once seemingly-perfect couple. "I think they're just trying to figure it out," Jade said. "They're not officially divorced and with children, I think it's something that they want to, like, make sure that they exhaust all avenues before they give up on their relationship." 

When Us Weekly asked Jade if she wanted to see Carly and Evan get back together, she said that Carly seemed "happy where she is right now" and that if reconciling with Evan is what will make her happy, then Jade is all for it. "I just want to see her happy and thriving," the "Bachelor in Paradise" alum said.

One half of this former Bachelor franchise couple has seemingly moved on and is dating again

While Carly Waddell is fairly active on social media, Evan Bass isn't — so when he takes to Instagram, his activity is watched pretty closely. As noted by Us Weekly, Evan conducted an Instagram Q&A on his story in mid-June 2021, where followers could submit their queries, and he would pick and choose what he answered. Some tea was spilled, to say the least. 

Not only did Evan confess that he was "happier than I've been in a long time," but he answered the question as to whether or not he was back in the dating game. He answered, "Yes I'm dating," accompanying a selfie. The admission did come as a bit of a shock, given that Carly expressed her sadness over their separation a number of times on social media and YouTube (more on that later).

But, of course, this isn't Evan's first time getting back into the dating game following a separation. As noted by Us Weekly, Evan was formerly married to Marie Bass, and the couple had three sons together. They later went their separate ways, and Evan then found himself on "The Bachelorette." Crazy how these things happen.

Carly took to YouTube to tell fans what really happened between her and Evan

There was a lot of shock surrounding the news that Carly Waddell and Evan Bass had called it quits, and so, in January 2021, Carly took to YouTube to clear the air. In the video, Carly gave some insight into what really happened between her and Evan. "I call this the divorce room because this is where Evan told me he wanted a divorce," Carly said. "He was sitting right where I'm sitting." Talk about relatable.

Carly busted out some sage and a lighter and took viewers through her cleansing ritual, telling them that she wanted to make "new memories" in a room that held a lot of pain. She also addressed some confusion surrounding the split and provided clarification on the timeline and what exactly happened between them. "We separated a day after Thanksgiving," Carly said, before saying that she and Evan had been attending therapy together for years to try to work on their marriage. "We focused a lot more on the kids than we focused on ourselves and ultimately I think that was probably our biggest downfall," she said.

Who eventually pulled the plug on the marriage between Bachelor in Paradise's Carly and Evan?

Given that in their early days on "Bachelor in Paradise," Carly Waddell seemed more hesitant about their partnership than Evan Bass, the news of the couple's split came as a shock. In her expository YouTube video, Carly confessed that the "last two years have just been really hard," but that, ultimately, it was Evan who pulled the plug. "I always told him that if he wanted out then it was his call," Carly said, as she described herself as someone who would "never be out." She went on to pose the "What are you gonna do?" question to her viewers, saying that, no matter what, if someone doesn't want to maintain their relationship with you, there's nothing you can really do about it at the end of the day.

Carly then showed footage of herself burning sage in the room where Evan asked for the divorce, and, honestly, her relatability made the entire sage-burning practice funny and lighthearted. She closed out her video by saying that she is "focusing on the future," which is great because we all just want to see her thrive.

Evan and Carly reunited on this holiday in a meaningful way

There is something to be said about a separated couple that can still maintain respect for one another, and that certainly seems to be the case for Carly Waddell and Evan Bass. While they made the decision to end their marriage in December 2020, the two were spotted together with their children on Mother's Day 2021, as they met up for brunch in Nashville, Tennessee. 

As noted by E! News, the pair's reunion sparked interest among fans that they were getting back together, but Carly's team relayed to E! News that the couple were simply supporting one another and showing their kids that they always put their family first. "Carly and Evan wish to have a civil relationship with each other for the best interest of their children," the statement from Carly's team read. "Carly and Evan shared Mother's Day together to catch each other up on their lives, and discussed co-parenting and the children's summer schedules." While reunion and reconciliation were not on the table during their Mother's Day get together, it's clear that Carly and Evan have patience with each other and dedication to their kids, which is admirable.

A health scare brought the estranged Carly and Evan back together

Evan Bass and Carly Waddell were brought back together in a very unnerving and scary way. On June 14, 2021, Carly was rushed to the hospital after a health incident while traveling, as noted by Us Weekly. Despite their separation, Evan was with Carly in the ambulance and stayed by her side at the hospital. 

Evan took to social media to shed some light on the early circumstances, even saying, "This brings back some memories," referencing when Evan needed medical attention during filming of "Bachelor in Paradise" Season 3 and Carly joined him in the ambulance. "Thanks for all the prayers and support," Evan shared on social media. "After 9 hours we left the hospital but she's still in pretty rough shape and may have to go back," he said, adding, "Continued thoughts and prayers are so appreciated." He then noted that he had permission from Carly to share a photo of her in the hospital on his Instagram story (consent is key, friends). After a lot of confusion and questions, Evan said in a post that sharing Carly's medical news was not up to him and that it would be her decision to share the details or not.

Carly took to social media to explain her health situation

After Evan Bass shared some startling information about Carly Waddell's health on social media, fans of the former couple had a lot of questions. Carly eventually took to social media to address what happened, and while Evan wasn't really mentioned throughout her explanation, some fans took to the comments and expressed that they were happy that he was by her side throughout her hospital ordeal.

So what exactly happened to Carly that landed her in the hospital? As noted by Page Six, Carly started experiencing intestinal cramps while boarding a flight, and things only got worse from there. She said that the cramps "kept hitting, and I couldn't breathe anymore," sharing that she eventually even lost her sight and hearing. Medical professionals finally drew blood from Carly, and the tests revealed that her white blood cell count was extremely high, signaling a virus or bacteria. "They didn't know what was going on ... I don't know what's going on. Nobody actually knows," she said.

This member of Carly's family said the couple may resolve their issues and get back together

Scary situations can bring loved ones together, even those who have been separated. Carly Waddell's health scare brought Evan Bass to her side, and fans weren't alone when thinking that the situation could bring Evan and Carly back together for good. Carly's brother, Zak Waddell, told Us Weekly after Carly's hospital stay that she and Evan may even figure out their differences eventually. "Don't close the chapter on this love story yet," Zak said. "There are pages still to be written." 

Of course, what we see on social media is just the tip of the iceberg, and it remains unclear if Zak was speaking on behalf of Carly and Evan, or if he was just giving his opinion. For their parts, Carly has been fairly vocal about her marriage ending, whereas Evan has kept a pretty low profile. He did say, in April 2021, that he felt like "an easy target" because he hadn't been as open about their separation. "In the absence of information from one side, you just sort of fill in the gaps or whatever, believe whatever, which is fine," he said.

As of publication, things seem to be stable in both Carly and Evan's lives

Carly Waddell's health scare and Evan Bass's involvement in her hospital stay certainly projected their relationship back into the spotlight, but, as of publication, everything in their lives seems to be fairly quiet. Based on her Instagram activity, Carly is back home and spending time with her kids. 

On June 24, 2021, she shared a photo of herself and her daughter, Bella, in their garden, and the pair looked to be having quite a lot of fun. "Garden redo cuz I basically accidentally killed everything," she wrote in the caption. "Anyone else garden out there? I'm the WORST but it's been a fun adventure for the family." As for Evan, he has maintained his less-than-active social media presence, not posting anything on his permanent Instagram feed since April 2021. Only time will tell what happens with their union, separation, and impending divorce, but, regardless, we wish them both the best.