In the wake of numerous “Bachelor” splits, Sean and Catherine Lowe remain one of the franchise’s biggest success stories. So what’s their secret?
“You have to realize you’re not as important as you probably think you are,” Sean told TODAY during a recent interview with the couple. “I think it’s so easy to be thrust into the limelight. You have people pulling you in every direction. You get this sense of like ‘Wow, I’m really important’ and the fact is, in six months, a 'Bachelorette' is going to replace you. Another six months, another 'Bachelor' is going to come and it’s just this cycle and people are going to keep coming."
He continued, "You might be very important for a short period of time, but how about focus on your relationship instead of ‘What other show can I get on?’ A bit of it is me being the pot calling the kettle black, ‘cause I did ‘Dancing With the Stars’ along with some other things. But I’ve learned and I want to pass that wisdom on to the next guy.”
Catherine, who wed the former "Bachelor" in 2014 after the couple met on the series' 17th season, agreed.
“Enjoy the fruits of what comes out of this, but also like he said, you have to put your relationship first because it is hard,” she told TODAY. “It is really, really hard. Marriage is hard, relationships. When you start out, you don’t even have their cellphone number but you have a ring on your finger. It’s a very bizarre alternate reality.”
The pair, who chatted with us while promoting a partnership with Bertolli to launch its new Rustic Cut Pasta Sauce line honoring National Italian Heritage Month, also shared advice for the next "Bachelor," Arie Luyendyk Jr., and the ladies who’ll be competing for his affection.
"He’s a really close friend of mine,” Sean said. “My advice to Arie would be don’t pick anyone half your age because it’s not going to work. Let’s be reasonable here. Arie, you’re 36 years old, so it’s probably time to start thinking about settling down, buddy. I hope that’s why you’re on the show. So, if that’s the case, try to pick someone who’s down to earth, like I did, who’s sweet, someone who’s funny. I would say “Look for your best friend.” So hopefully, Arie, you don’t gravitate just towards the prettiest. Make sure there’s some substance there. Because you might get lucky and find the best of both worlds, like I did.”
But, he joked, “If you want to further your reality TV career, then you should get absolutely hammered and make a fool of yourself and then you’ll get on ‘Bachelor in Paradise.’”
Catherine’s advice for the women is to “make friends with each other.”
“That’s something that’s important,” she said. “He’ll see your relationship more than just you two. (Sean) kind of looked at me as how I’d fit into his group of friends and he had a lot of girlfriends, like friends that were girls. So just be nice to each other; I think it goes a long way. It’ll make your experience much better and if it happens to be that he picks you, then cool.”
In fact, she said it was her relaxed attitude that worked to her advantage.
“Sean would never have chosen me, ever, in my head,” she explained. “So I went on and was like chill, whatever, ‘He’s not going to pick me. Go ahead and make out with other girls. This is fun.’ And I had so much fun knowing ‘he’s probably not going to pick me, so why not make the most of it?’ I think he saw that fun part of me come out, where I wasn’t stressed out and I wasn’t claiming him already and I wasn’t thinking about how other girls were on my guy. And he liked that, so I’m glad that I didn’t think he’d pick me … because he picked me!”
Catherine said she’s an optimist when it comes to "Bachelor" couples, but admitted, “It is so hard. Really, the odds are against you. I’m sad when they split. I guess I’m not super, super surprised, but I think I see it in a different way. I see it where it’s really tough and sometimes you just decide to just not be with each other anymore, so I get it.”
Sean revealed that he’s “more cynical.”
“I know how hard the show is, and you see signs of ‘Oh, this person looks like they’re enjoying the spotlight a little too much,’” he said. “You see those little signs and I start to think ‘It’s only a matter of time before they break up.’”
So, would the couple want their 1-year-old son, Samuel, to be on “The Bachelor” one day?
“I don’t know if I would encourage Samuel to be on ‘The Bachelor’ when he’s older,” said Sean. “But hopefully we’ve raised a son who’s going to be respectful, know right from wrong, and he’s going to be sure of himself, so I’d like to think if he made that decision and — I’m pretty sure ‘The Bachelor’ will be on in 30 years — if he wanted to do that, he would probably conduct himself in a way that would make us proud. I think I would be OK with it.”
He added, “I think we’ll show Samuel how we met probably at a young age, but we won’t show him full episodes of ‘The Bachelor.’ That would be inappropriate.”