When it comes to reality TV dating series, contestants don’t always get what they bargained for. Sometimes, that looks like leaving the show without a match, only to end up reconnecting in “the real world.” It’s exactly what happened for Too Hot to Handle‘s Bryce and Nicole’s dating life, as the pair of contestants only found their romantic connection after the show wrapped.
That’s right: Cast members Nicole O’Brien, 24, and Bryce Hirschberg, 29, have been an item for nearly a year since Netflix’s hit reality TV dating series finished filming. The unlikely pair only got the chance to know each other three weeks after Too Hot to Handle‘s finale was said and done. At the time, the entire cast was invited to catch up and reflect at a nearby hotel in Mexico—that’s where sparks between the Irish lass and L.A. playboy finally began to spark.
In an interview with OprahMag.com, Bryce explained that he and Nicole “really bonded,” with that opportunity. Finally, the pair were getting their chance to shine (anyone who watched THTH knows that Nicole and Bryce were honestly pretty chill during the season, but left as singles). “He wasn’t really my cuppa tea at the start,” Nicole confessed to the site. “But getting to know him more and more, we formed a proper bond and connection.”
However, just like fellow contestants Harry and Francesca, Bryce and Nicole had one other thing keeping them apart post-show: distance. With Nicole based in London and Bryce in L.A., a long-distance relationship would be the only possibility for the pair. Not to worry; it wasn’t a problem for the newfound lovers. Ever since April 2019, the couple split their time between each other’s city.
Things have only gotten complicated given social-distancing recommendations as of March 2020: “I booked to go see him in June and July. I don’t know if that’s going to happen now,” Nicole told the site. “We FaceTime all the time—it’s the way to keep in contact.”
But things are looking up. “I’ve kept this a secret a whole year,” Nicole explained. Now, that’s not something they have to worry about.