10 ‘Bachelor’ Finales That Didn’t End in a Proposal (PHOTOS)


So where’s the Neil Lane engagement ring?

The Bachelor finale is expected to include diamonds, drama and, usually, a “yes!” to love. But that’s not always the case. Bachelor Matt James is just the latest star to not propose. Instead, he handed Rachael Kirkconnell a rose instead of a ring and, in the After the Final Rose special, told her her racist social media activity made him question their relationship: “It was on the context of you not fully understanding my Blackness and … what it would mean for our kids,” he shared.

While The Bachelor boasts two decades of awe-inspiring, romantic — and sometimes corny — engagements, we estimate that about a third of the Bachelors chose not to propose in the finale.

Ranking the Best 'Bachelorette' Proposals in Recent Years (PHOTOS)See Also

Ranking the Best 'Bachelorette' Proposals in Recent Years (PHOTOS)

From gorgeous Neil Lane rings to rehearsed speeches, check out our ranking here.

We look at the top 10 fan favorite love stories that all ended up sans ring, though some did have untraditional happily ever afters…at least, for as long as they could sustain them. Scroll down to see Juan Pablo Galavis, Colton Underwood, and other bachelors who couldn’t do the deed.

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Alex Michel

Season 1

The very first Bachelor didn’t even propose! Alex Michel instead asked winner Amanda Marsh to move to California with him. While she probably would have preferred a ring, who can say no to moving to the Golden State?

“I want to make sure that we feel the same way about each other outside of the fantasy world of mansions and limousines,” Alex told Amanda at the final rose ceremony. Smart man — they broke up a few months later.

Bob Guiney Estella Gardinier
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Bob Guiney

Season 4

Bob Guiney didn’t give winner Estella Gardinier a ring, ring, but he did give her a promise band to “see where things can go.” They called it quits a month after the finale aired.

The Bachelor Jesse Palmer Jessica Bowlin
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Jesse Palmer

Season 5

The very next season also ended in a non-proposal. “Chase all your dreams, but do it with me,” Bachelor Jesse Palmer told his love, Jessica Bowlin. He presented her with a plane ticket to the Big Apple, but the couple split in a New York minute.

ABC/Craig Sjodin

Charlie O'Connell

Season 7

Leave it to Jerry O’Connell’s brother to shake up The Bachelor. Charlie O’Connell asked both his final women, Krisily Kennedy and Sarah Brice, to continue dating him after the show. Eventually he gave Sarah a promise ring on After the Final Rose. To fans’ surprise, they dated on and off for five years before Sarah reportedly sold the ring on eBay.

Travis Stork Sarah Stone
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Travis Stork

Season 8

Travis Stork took a page out of Carrie Bradshaw’s column on Sex and the City and gave season winner Sarah Stone an engagement ring on a necklace. They vowed to keep their love alive after the show…but that fizzled after a week.

The Bachelor Jennifer Wilson Lorenzo Borghese
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Lorenzo Borghese

Season 9

Remember that time The Bachelor went to Rome? Neither do we, and for good reason. Supposed prince Lorenzo Borghese concluded the bore of a season by not proposing to Jennifer Wilson. Instead, he gave her a “family ring” that his mother apparently helped design. Jennifer was unimpressed, and the couple parted ways a few months later.

ABC/Kevin Foley

Brad Womack

Season 11

Brad Womack stunned audiences by turning away both DeAnna Pappas and Jenni Croft. DeAnna went on to be The Bachelorette, while Brad later returned as The Bachelor and proposed to Emily Maynard, but their relationship didn’t last — but Emily earned her Bachelorette season. Looks like Brad’s exes proved to be great Bachelorettes!

The Bachelor- Juan Pablo Galavis
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Juan Pablo Galavis

Season 18

During the most infamous season in Bachelor history, former soccer star Juan Pablo asked winner Nikki Ferrell — who he never said he loved — to be his girlfriend post-show. He explained that he “didn’t even know her,” but wanted to. After months filming a dating show where the whole point is to get to know someone, why was Juan Pablo so uncertain? “I didn’t feel the need to propose to somebody if I don’t feel 100%,” he revealed. Yawn!

He and Nikki called it quits for good after seven months together.

ABC/John Fleenor

Colton Underwood

Season 23

Colton Underwood fell for dark horse contestant Cassie Randolph, but not without a few hiccups. Cassie first left the series due to cold feet, then returned to get the final rose…and not a proposal. Colton instead asked her to date him after the show for a “normal” love story. Later he explained that he wanted to do the opposite of what other Bachelors did to increase the “odds” of him and Cassie making it in the real world. They did not: After eighteen months together, Cassie later filed a restraining order against Colton, and both released tell-all books.

Rachael Kirkconnell and Matt James, The Bachelor

Matt James

Season 25

Matt James did select a ring for winner Rachael Kirkconnell, but instead of giving it to her, he asked her to date outside of the show. “When I think about the life I want to live, I think about living it with you,” Matt said. “It doesn’t get more real than this.”

Rachael similarly voiced her love for Matt. But the couple went their separate ways before the finale episode even aired due to Rachael’s racially insensitive social media presence coming to light.