John Paul Jones On His Bachelor in Paradise Love Story
The Bachelor franchise will never be the same thanks to John Paul Jones. His quirkiness--he is only referred to by his full name, and his job occupation on the show is listed as “John Paul Jones”--and luscious blonde locks won the hearts of audiences worldwide on Season 15 of The Bachelorette, even though JPJ only remained on the show until week four. On Season 6 of Bachelor in Paradise, Jones continued his journey for love: although he went on dates with both Haley Ferguson and Tahzjuan Hawkins, he had his sights set on Tayshia Adams from the very start. Jones recited a Shakespearean poem, threw a prom, fought with fan-favorite Derek Peth, and sobbed like there was no tomorrow, all in pursuit of Adams’ love. Although their relationship flourished toward the end of Paradise, Adams ultimately broke it off with Jones, claiming that she wasn’t in love with him yet. However, their love story isn’t quite over yet. Read JPJ’s exclusive Bachelor in Paradise confessional below to discover behind-the-scenes secrets from the series, as well as where he and Adams stand now.
Why did you decide to go on Bachelor in Paradise?
After my experience on The Bachelorette, I saw that it was genuinely possible to find love on a reality show. I watched Luke P. and Hannah fall in love after, essentially, four episodes, and I decided it would be worth my time to find someone I could actually fall in love with in Paradise. While I still [doubted the experience], I decided to try it because the objective of the show is to find someone you can spend the rest of your life with and get engaged. I hoped that the women would think the same way about the men, or at least be open to it. I have a stable job--I’m a financial analyst with a tech company--and I’m at a point where I feel ready to settle down. I thought that given the stability of my career, it was realistic to anticipate meeting--and even falling--for someone, given I’d been single the past year and was not having a ton of success finding a serious match in the course of regular dating. I also liked the setup of the dating scenarios in Paradise better, and the odds of finding someone I could really fall for were greater because there were more options. I was also intrigued by the idea of being at a beautiful, tropical beach for an extended period. Doing the show was made easier because the company I work for was incredibly understanding and supportive of the uniqueness of my situation, allowing me to take the time off. I’m not sure I would have done it if I had needed to quit my job.
How did it differ from your experience on The Bachelorette?
Paradise is different in that there are so many more dating options, obviously, by the nature of the show’s concept. The Bachelorette consisted of a lot of waiting around. Paradise is a much more active and engaging environment where you’re constantly around your love interests. It’s more organic than The Bachelorette. When you’re constantly waiting around for an opportunity to have either a one-on-one or group date on The Bachelorette, it can get long, tedious, and frustrating at times. You’re still hanging out with some awesome dudes, but you want time with the woman you want to get to know. Paradise is more realistic because the numbers of men and women are closely matched, and you’re off to the races from the beginning, engaging with beautiful women and having a more typical social approach to dating, versus 25 guys vying for the attention of one woman. The other big difference is that in Paradise, you’re pretty much in one location the whole time, [as opposed to] the constantly-changing location scenarios on The Bachelorette.
What’s one thing people may not know about Paradise?
Paradise is not as relaxing as it seems--it’s actually really stressful. You have to imagine what life would be like with cameras everywhere, recording every interaction and conversation you have. The show needs to capture the interactions and conversations as they’re happening to be “real” but over an extensive period, it can become stressful being in that situation. It may not seem like cameras and camera crews are hovering to the viewers, but they’re always there. You also spend most of your time in a relatively small area for weeks, and it feels more confining in real life than it may appear [on television]. You don’t have your own bedroom and space, so you’re constantly with other people, whether it be the guys, girls, or crew folks.
Were your sights set on Tayshia from the beginning? What about her attracted you?
I anticipated that Tayshia would probably be there. When I went back and watched Colton’s season, she was the one woman I was most attracted to, but I never considered the possibility of us actually dating. She’s five years older than I am, and I simply thought she would go with one of the more “well-known” people from the franchise. At that point, only three episodes of The Bachelorette had played, and I was not that well-known. All the girls seemed to be interested in the guys that had national recognition and larger social media followings. I also thought, “Oh man, this woman is so beautiful, she might not even pay attention to a relatively-young dude like myself.” Tayshia and I were always friendly with each other from the beginning, but we never considered each other romantically until we had the opportunity to have some deeper life discussions, which started to happen gradually as friends and good acquaintances. We realized that we had similar values and that we both were committed to being in Paradise to genuinely find a potential life partner. But being attracted to Tayshia is almost unavoidable when you see how stunningly beautiful she is, and the person she is on the inside matches the natural and overwhelming beauty on the outside.
What was your favorite Paradise date you went on and why?
The prom date was, by far, the most fun. When Tayshia first told me that she’d never been asked to her high school prom, I immediately started to think about how we might be able to do a Paradise version of a prom date. The producers were so awesome in helping me to bring it all [to fruition] and make it so different and fun, and I was so excited to make it happen. As you can see, it worked out really well, and a lot of the other couples and folks on the show loved it as well and enjoyed watching it happen. Having a night where just the two of us got all dressed up and went on a very special date was an awesome time. It was really warm and humid that night, however, and I sweated profusely in my dress clothing. But that date was, hands down, my favorite date and moment on the show.
Did the breakup with Tayshia take you by surprise?
A little bit, but I really wasn’t shocked, given that there was such a limited amount of time, and there were so many conversations that she and I hadn’t had by the time fantasy suites rolled around. I sensed that we needed more time. Although Tayshia was into everything and interested in our relationship evolving, she wasn’t going to rush and wanted to feel further along. But we had been going strong for a while, and the connection felt very deep and very real, so while I’d hoped she would take a leap of faith, I was ready for her to say she wasn’t quite there. I also wasn’t going to be totally devastated, despite it hurting, because it’s not reasonable to think that someone may not be ready to commit in such a short period, especially when that person is mature, confident, and really thoughtful about big decisions in life.
How did you cope in the days that followed, considering you were in love with her?
I thought the worst thing to do would be to go home and just sit around and be upset about it. So, the day I got back from Mexico, I went back to work and got busy, I also hit the gym and got back into my workout routine, visited with my family in the area, who were also incredibly supportive of me. I just decided to move on with my life by plugging back into all the things I was doing before I left for paradise. I also intentionally did not follow her on Instagram, I didn’t really want to see or know what she was up to. I just tried to distance myself from her and protect myself emotionally. But make no mistake, it was painful, it hurt, and I had lingering thoughts of what might have been, and even what may happen moving forward.
How are you and Tayshia doing now?
We’re doing really well! We FaceTime pretty much every day, and we try to see each other a couple of times a month in person. We initially had some travel commitments that made this a little easier, but we’re dating long distance. It’s tough, but we’re taking things one day at a time. Being on opposite coasts is not an easy thing to overcome in continuing to develop a lasting and deepening relationship. It definitely slows things down, just by the mere fact that your interactions are so much less frequent than all the time you’re together during the show. But we’re going for it, and we enjoy the time we’re together or on FaceTime. We still laugh a lot at things [despite the distance] and enjoy the deepening friendship that’s foundational to our romantic relationship. We’re both incredibly busy, so we have to just focus on taking it one day at a time, enjoying what we do have, until a point comes where one of us can relocate and we can explore next steps.