Emily Maynard knows relationships take work. The former “Bachelorette” appeared on Monday’s episode of “The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons — Ever!” to relive her romance with Brad Womack, the franchise’s first and only two-time “Bachelor”.
After deciding not to pursue a relationship with either of his final two on his first “Bachelor” season in 2007, Womack returned for another shot at love in 2011. This time, he found love, and proposed to Maynard. The couple broke up while the season was airing, but got back together in time for ‘After the Final Rose”. They split for good in May 2011.
“There was [a great love story]. It didn’t last so long, but I take a lot of the blame for that too,” Maynard told host Chris Harrison on Monday night’s episode. “I was 24. I’m 34 now. I didn’t have the maturity to deal with all of that. And it was really hard. We both put in a lot of work travelling back and forth and all of that, but I think we both knew, ‘This is just not fun anymore. This is just not going to work.'”
“I fell hard for her,” Womack said in a separate interview. “I think at the end of the day, we were just two different people. You get back to normal life and you start realizing that maybe we want different things. When all this is said and done and the show is gone, what do we actually want? And nothing’s right or wrong, but we just had different ideas of what the future looked like. It was a brutal breakup because I did fall in love with her very, very quickly, and very deeply. I was broken over it for a long time.”
“Then, of course, not only did we break up, but you did me the favour of having her be the ‘Bachelorette’,” Womack quipped. “Not only was my heart broken… every Monday night on national television, [she was there].”
Maynard didn’t find lasting love on her 2012 season of “The Bachelorette”, but she is happily married. She met her current husband, Tyler Johnson, at church, years after her season ended. They now share three young sons — Gibson, Gatlin and Jennings — while Maynard is also mom to nearly 15-year-old daughter Ricki, from her relationship with late race car driver Ricky Hendrick.
“He actually texted me after I got married and told me how happy he was for me,” Maynard said of Womack. “He’s so respectful. I have nothing but good words to say about Brad. It all works out.”
“I’m very respectful of boundaries,” Womack explained. “Don’t get me wrong, after we broke up, I’m sure I called her 200 times and went straight to voicemail. But after all that died down, once I heard she was dating somebody, I don’t cross those boundaries. I think we both moved on.”
The former “Bachelor” said he considered his two times on the show “absolutely a positive memory.” “In fact, [it’s] some of the best memories of my life. Of course, some negative things came out of it, but … I wouldn’t change a single thing,” he shared, adding that he didn’t feel pressure to propose the second time around.
“I don’t feel pressure to do something I don’t want to do. I can admit it, man, I did fall in love with Emily. The proposal was more than genuine. I was a nervous wreck, and looking at what I thought at the time was the woman of my dreams, so I was living out my fairy tale. Did I feel pressure to do it? Hell no, I felt excited to do it. I think of that day fondly, no matter the outcome,” he expressed.