Katie Thurston and John Hersey relationship timeline: How their budding friendship blossomed

Katie Thurston and John Hersey in formal attire
Katie Thurston and John Hersey’s friendship turns to love post-show. Pic credit: ABC

Katie Thurston found her closest bond with a man she sent home quite early on The Bachelorette. 

Katie and John have long been rumored to have a romantic connection and now it seems the pair are taking the leap and exploring love with one another. 

Here is Katie and John’s relationship timeline. 

John Hersey is rumored to make Katie Thurston’s final four 

Before Katie Thurston’s season of The Bachelorette aired, John Hersey was rumored to make Katie’s final four by the often credible spoiler source Reality Steve. 

However, that report ended up being way off as John Hersey’s time on The Bachelorette was extremely short-lived. 

Katie starts filming her season and sends John home early 

Filming for Katie’s season began in March 2021 and, while Katie had an initial attraction to Hersey, she ultimately decided to send him home in week two. 

John’s early elimination was shocking to The Bachelorette fans who demanded justice for John. 

Katie and John have close encounters in San Diego 

In May 2021, post-filming together, Katie and John nearly ran into one another at a beach in San Diego. Katie and John’s mutual friend Stephen Lovegrove recalled the day John saw a rose floating in the water while he was surfing. 

Stephen and John chalked the floating rose up to a strange occurrence, only to later learn Katie had been at the beach that day and was only 100 feet away. 

During the summer of 2021, Katie attended the bar that John works at as a bartender. Photos from Katie’s time at John’s bar led fans to speculate whether the pair had romantically rekindled. 

Interestingly, Katie encouraged ladies to slide into John’s DMs which suggested the pair were just friends at the time. 

John comes to Katie’s defense after her face-off with Greg Grippo 

Katie and her frontrunner Greg Grippo had an explosive falling out towards the end of Katie’s season in August 2021. Many fans were appalled by Greg’s behavior, including John Hersey who came to Katie’s defense. 

In an IG story, John shared his thoughts stating, “I watched [Monday] night’s episode and was shocked by some of the behavior I witnessed, namely the words and body language exhibited by Greg. Watching these actions get defended (and therefore normalized) strikes me as extremely unhealthy and a step in the wrong direction.”

John continued, “An individual can be a good friend to some while simultaneously being harmful to others in another relationship. Friendship cannot be an excuse to blindly defend someone’s behavior.”

Katie moves to John Hersey’s home state of California 

In September 2021, Katie moved to San Diego and thus became a lot closer to California native John Hersey. Katie shared that Internet rumors led to John becoming her dear friend. 

The pair often spent time together and shared photos from their outings. Katie was still with Blake at this point and she explained that Blake was cool with her relationship with John on Whitney Cumming’s Good For You podcast. 

Katie shared, “[Blake’s] not intimidated by anything. I’m actually really close friends with John Hersey, which is a week two guy from my season, which I think most men would be like, ‘Well that’s kind of weird,’ but [Blake’s] just like, ‘Do your thing, whatever.”

John keeps Katie company while Blake is away in Africa 

Katie opened up on social media about how lonely she felt while Blake was working in Africa. 

Katie also revealed that she was having game nights and hangouts with John Hersey while Blake was away, and the pair appeared to have built a genuinely cherished friendship with one another. 

Blake and Katie break up 

Blake and Katie announced their split towards the end of October and revealed that they wish each other the best even though they were not compatible as life partners. 

Katie’s social media activity leads fans to speculate about her and John’s relationship 

After Katie and Blake’s split, fans again speculated if Katie and John’s friendship had become romantic. 

Katie shared a photo of flowers she received from a mystery person who left a note about just wanting her to be happy. Many felt convinced the flowers were from John. 

In November, Katie also shared a throwback video and photos of her and John to her IG story and admitted to receiving wild DMs from fans that were pushing for them to become a couple. 

News breaks that Katie and John are dating 

Katie did a 12 Days of Messy challenge on social media where she compared her The Bachelorette exes to Taylor Swift songs. On the 12h day, Katie compared John Hersey to the Taylor Swift song Begin Again. 

Shortly after, on November 23rd, US Weekly broke the news that Katie and John were dating. Interestingly, Blake Moynes stopped following Katie as well. 

According to US Weekly, Katie’s rep also confirmed the news of John and Katie’s romantic relationship saying, “It’s known Katie and John became close friends post-season. John has been there for her through all the major changes in her life and they are excited to explore this newly found romantic connection.”

Katie and John were able to build a foundation of friendship first and time will tell if they’ll be as successful and lasting in love. 

The Bachelorette airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on ABC.

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