Bachelor in Paradise

Alex Nation EXCLUSIVE: 'Richie struggled after the Bachelor!'

Alex reveals why she was shocked to see her ex in Fiji.

By Karina Recchi
It's expected to be the most dramatic moment in season two of Bachelor in Paradise.
After more than a year apart, Alex Nation and her former Bachelor boyfriend Richie Strahan will come face-to-face for the very first time, inviting audiences to watch their nine-minute confrontation, which will hash out the "grubby details of their split."
However, in an exclusive interview with TV WEEK, Alex reveals she was shocked to see him in Fiji in the first place.
"To be honest, I had in the back of my mind that it might be a possibility. But I also thought to myself, there's just no way," she says.
"I just felt like, looking in, he's done everything he could to shy away [from fame]. And, you know, he really wanted to leave that Bachelor brand behind. I knew that."
Alex says she believes Richie really struggled after the 2016 show, when he was dubbed "Australia's most-hated man" after dumping Nikki Gogan in the finale and confessing his love for Alex.
"I kind of thought, from knowing him and being with him and [understanding] his feelings and emotions towards it… He struggled after the show," she reveals.
WATCH: Nikki Gogan talks about her brutal break-up on The Bachelor. Post continues after the video...
"I won't speak on his behalf, but I know things were quite hard for him given the audience's view and the reception we got from Australia. I kind of thought there was an off chance that he would be there, but I was actually quite surprised that he was there."
Alex recently revealed their relationship ended over text, and now the former lovers will come to blows in front of the cameras as they address what really went wrong.
"I feel relationships, when they do breakdown, it's like a snowball effect with one thing and then another thing," says the single mum, hinting there are a few issues she and Perth-based Richie will discuss.
"Distance for us was a huge factor, like, whoever ever said that distance makes the heart grow fonder doesn't know s--t about relationships," Alex, who lives in Melbourne with her son Elijah, tells TV WEEK.
"It might be the case for some, but doing long distance is really hard – especially when I've got a child and I'm taking off to Perth all the time. You have to really plan things to kind of make time for him and, in the end, it kind of felt like I was just chasing time with him that I didn't get."
"I won't speak on his behalf, but I know things were quite hard for him given the audience's view and the reception we got from Australia," Alex tells us. (Image: Network 10)
Alex admits the cracks in the relationships appeared not long after filming wrapped in mid-2016.
"Laying out the foundations of our new relationship post-show was really, really hard because I think the first two months were bliss. It was like, 'This guy's amazing. We're having so much fun, going on all these adventures.'"
"But, you know, at the end of the day that honeymoon period and what happens when you do lay foundation that's [how you] build a life together. And that's when it gets to the nitty gritty part of [the fact] we couldn't quite get there."
After one failed TV romance, where she was dubbed the "stage-five clinger", Alex says she's trying hard not to make the same mistakes.
"After my relationship with him... I have a bit of a pattern. I fall really hard and I fall really fast," she admits.
"I like to refer to myself as a bit of a serial dater – a compulsive dater – because I'm a hopeless romantic. And when I love someone and it feels great, I just go for it – hammer and pole. So, for me, the next time I get into a relationship with someone, [I'll] take it a little bit slower and not dive in."
Richie's decision to pick Alex over Nikki on the 2016 series of The Bachelor divided the nation. (Image: Network 10)
However, she acknowledges it is difficult to take things slow when there's the prospect of being eliminated and missing out on the opportunity to fall in love altogether.
"When you're in an environment like The Bachelor, it's so hard to pick your pace. You get limited time. It is kind of dating on steroids. So it is hard to kind of figure out what that pace is when you're trying to pursue someone and get to know someone. So it's just different," she says, adding that things get even harder after the show.
"When you transition that [romance] into the real world, that's where the tough stuff starts. That's when you kind of really get to know each other and when you really love someone you take the good with the bad and the bad with the good."
"I think Richie and I fell madly in love with each other and it was built on fire and passion and chemistry, but I just feel like we lacked… I feel like we lacked the real true fundamentals of our relationship and we didn't quite… We missed the mark with that."

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