In Everything I’ve Learned About Love (So Far), celebrities share their most heartfelt and heartbreaking lessons about dating, relationships, and breakups, and offer their best advice. This time, Bachelorette alum Greg Grippo reflects on how his outlook on love has changed since the show.
On night one of Katie Thurston’s Bachelorette season, Grippo gifted her a macaroni necklace, handmade by his niece. And just like that, Bachelor Nation had a new crush. Though Grippo spent most of Season 17 as the clear frontrunner, his time on the show ended with a controversial breakup — one that sparked a slew of conversations about manipulation and gaslighting.
“It was really tough to watch back because seeing it, I just noticed how much more work I have to do on myself,” Grippo, 29, tells Elite Daily. Following his time on The Bachelorette, the New Jersey native sought out therapy for the first time in two years. “I needed so much more healing,” he says. (Grippo’s father passed away in December 2018. His previous therapist passed away, as well, two years before he appeared on The Bachelorette.)
Reflecting on the show now, Grippo is thankful for it all — even the messy parts. “I honestly wouldn’t trade it for the world because it brought me back to therapy and brought me to where I am now in life.”
So where, exactly, is he now? Grippo still sounds like the hopeless romantic who ran in the (fake) rain with the Bachelorette — just a more mature version. “Everyone in my family is settled down now with two or three kids, and I really see myself going down that path in the next few years, hopefully,” he says.
And that path may or may not involve a sandy entrance to the shores of Bachelor In Paradise. Grippo wasn’t a part of the latest season — at the time, he was still dating a non-Bachelor someone. But now that he’s single, he won’t rule out the possibility. “There’s always Paradise next year,” he says. “I would only go if I was completely single, and I really had my eye on someone.”
Still, it sounds like Grippo would rather have a Rom Com-style meet-cute — one that isn’t televised. “I would love to meet someone like that, at the grocery store or some sh*t. Something organic,” he says.
Here, Grippo shares his favorite first date story, best piece of breakup advice, and all-time favorite breakup album (hint: it’s probably yours, too).
What’s your favorite thing about being single?
Definitely living life on my own terms. For the first time, I’m really enjoying being single. It has been really fulfilling for me. I think I was uncomfortable being single for most of my life because, especially since my dad died, it was hard for me to be alone in a lot of ways. But it’s been refreshing being able to address that all through therapy.
How do you meet people?
It’s so hard to meet people. I’m reluctant to go back on the apps. I really didn’t enjoy it when I was on them three or four years ago, but it’s been tough meeting people in real life. When I go out with my friends, if we’re at a bar and there’s drinking involved, I don’t necessarily love meeting someone in that situation.
I always dreamed of meeting someone organically and not having to slide into their DMs, but I guess that’s what it is today. It’s been really tough to find someone to be like, “Hey, let’s go get a drink.”
What’s your best piece of dating advice?
Be in a good place — in a great place — with yourself, before you give yourself to anyone else.
What’s your best piece of relationship advice?
Communication is key. It’s everything.
What’s your best piece of breakup advice?
Don’t do it on TV. And don’t search them 24/7. Don’t look at their profile. It can prolong how you’re feeling.
Who is one celebrity couple that you admire? Why?
Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively. They are the perfect couple in my opinion. They seem like best friends. That’s the type of relationship that I want, where they’re just so fun together and they’re able to poke fun at one another.
What is your most memorable first date story, good or bad?
It was about a year before the show. I got drinks with this girl, and she was so cool and fun. Usually after drinks, you’re just like, “Alright, so nice meeting you.” But we took Citi Bikes out, and we drove them around for about a mile. It felt really free, and I just felt like a little kid with her.
What’s one misconception people might have about you?
I think people, especially from the show, maybe think I’m sadder than I am or that I’m timid or shy. I’m really not, maybe in a public setting, I’m more of an introvert, but I think that’s where my relationship with Andrew Spencer [Grippo’s best friend and fellow Bachelorette contestant] comes into play. I love that guy to death, and he brings out the best in me. And I think it’s because he’s so extroverted. So I have to match him a little bit.
What’s a fear you used to have about dating or relationships that you’ve overcome?
I think that, for most of my life, I tried to be good enough for that person. That’s something I always questioned about myself. “Oh, do I deserve this person? Do I deserve this love?” This mindset usually turned into me self-sabotaging the situation or getting in my head somehow, some way.
But people come into your life for all reasons, and everyone’s worthy of love. I’ve been discovering that now later in life, but it’s better late than never for me.
What’s one song that’s gotten you through a breakup?
All of Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour. I’m an Olivia stan.
What does love mean to you?
When I think about love, I think about my parents. They had such a true love, and it was incredible to grow up around that type of love. That’s what I really want with someone. I want to be able to give that life that my dad gave to my mom.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.