Angela Zatopek got engaged to bachelor Ben Patton on the June 4 finale of the Eva Longoria-produced matchmaking series Ready For Love (available on NBC.com, Hulu and iTunes), but reality tv can't keep up with reality: Angela, 25, exclusively reveals to InTouch that the couple has already broken up!
So what went wrong between the blonde former CBS Sports sideline reporter and the handsome hospital CEO? Angela gives InTouch her side of the story—and reveals why she's so glad she didn't lose her virginity on the show.
IT: Viewers just watched Ben choose you on Ready For Love and fans are online celebrating your engagement, but now you two are no longer a couple. What changed between the taping of the finale and now?
AZ: "I was not expecting him to propose to me at the finale, but I was head over heels, absolutely in love with him. We were coming off an amazing experience—such a high!—but our work schedules and not being allowed to see each other put a strain on our relationship. The proposal was on August 13. After that, we'd see each other once every two months and it'd only be for a day or two. The show was originally going to be on in January, but just kept getting pushed back more and more. He's in Dallas and I'm in Houston—it may sound like it's close, but we really tried to honor our contracts with NBC and not see each other beyond what they planned for us. During the times that we did see each other, it was in secret. I had like five different wigs that I'd wear because people would notice him, because NBC did so much publicity around the show. We came back to our lives, but couldn't totally share our lives with each other. So we said you know what? Let's call the engagement off because there's been so much stress—so let's just be friends and then just see what the future holds. I have nothing bad to say about him, it's all positive, it was just the distance and how much time it's been. It was only like a month ago that we decided to break it off.
IT: You've talked about your regrets; what are you proudest of about the experience?
AZ: Something I'm really proud of is me waiting for marriage. I know [my virginity] been so focused on and there's so much more to me than that, but even though Ben and I will always have a place in our hearts for each other, I'm glad I saved myself for the person I will marry. That's why it's so important that you don't rush into something. I was in an experience where—oh my gosh!—you're being flown all over the place and having the absolute most romantic dates that you could ever fathom. I had the most romantic proposal and I got so wrapped up in that …but I thought, if this is a lifelong thing and this is the man for me, I'm going to wait and I'm so glad I did.
IT: Do you think your much-discussed virginity was a factor in the break-up?
AZ: No, because when Ben chose me, he knew that about me and he was fine with that. Obviously, he proposed to me and he saw the value in that. The fact that we were the only couple who got engaged on the show, shows how strong our connection got. We had a great bond.
IT: Do you think you would've stayed together had the show stayed on NBC?
AZ: I don't think so, because we did stay together while part of the show was being aired. We broke up because of legitimate reasons. I know that I was in it.
IT: What's next for you? Are you still "ready for love?"
AZ: The last year and a half has been so focused on my love life! Love is the greatest feeling, so absolutely I'm open to it. But right now I'm so focused on my ring line and my book, so I'm not jumping back out there. I got the inspiration for my jewelry line, the One Love collection, because after the first episode aired this girl broke through security from the neighboring lot and came up to me with tears streaming down her face and was like 'Oh my gosh, I'm waiting [until marriage to have sex] too— thanks so much for talking about it!'" I'm also going to write a book about my experience on Ready For Love. The fans' response has been unbelievable; I have to get a portable charger for my phone because it's blowing up.