Earlier this week, Bachelor contestant Jasmine Nguyen posted Instagram photos of herself on what appeared to be an intimate lunch date with fellow Bachelor star Alexa Caves, with the caption: “Spoiler: We did find love after all.” Caves is sexually fluid, and the post quickly went viral, with many responding enthusiastically to the apparent union of two queer women who met on a show dedicated to straight relationships. Well, as it turns out, celebration came premature — the two are not dating.
On Tuesday, the women resorted to their Instagram Stories to clarify the romance rumors sparked by the post:
“We love each other very much, have each others’ back, and I appreciate her in my life, [but] that’s it,” Nguyen said, adding that she “never meant to lead anyone onto anything.” Caves, on her own Story, was more explicit: “I see now I’m getting a lot of questions and the story seems to be getting bigger,” she started off, before claiming that she also never meant to “mislead” anyone. “Jay and I are not dating. She’s one of my best friends. I’m sorry to get your hopes up! That would be a great story.” Nguyen also changed her original caption on the Instagram post to “Happy birthday Noodle!!!”
Some fans consequently accused the women of queerbaiting, or falsely implying a queer relationship, often to appeal to queer audiences. In a series of defensive posts to her Instagram Story, Caves included a definition of queerbaiting, and asserted that Nguyen’s post didn’t count, because “you can’t queerbait without intention.”
But were the women truly unaware of the message that “Spoiler: We did find love after all” sent? Debatable.