No one knows how difficult being in Paradise can be quite like Brittney Weldon. After having her heart broken in Season 2, things were hopefully looking up for Brittney, aka Litney, but the gods of Paradise had other plans.
After battling an ongoing friend-zoning, an unexpected bout of gastro and finally, a love triangle, Brittney seemed to find her chance at love with Jackson Garlick.
In Monday’s Rose Ceremony Jackson gave Brittney his rose - officially ending the love triangle.
“I was so excited,” Brittney told 10 play, “Could you see that smile? That was like a full-on, genuine smile. I was even excited watching it back, I was like, that’s my moment!”
The very next day, the couples were told there would be no more new arrivals in Paradise and they had to begin thinking seriously about their connections.
“It was basically from love triangle to commitment,” Jackson told 10 play, adding, “a lot of the other couples were extremely progressed compared to us, you didn’t get much time for conversation.
“Between that raft-building exercise, the grilling by Steve and the upcoming Rose Ceremony there were only skerricks of time to have those deep conversations.
“It went from zero to 100 really, really quick,” Jackson added.
On Wednesday night, the Rose Ceremony was a symbol that the couples would go ahead with meeting friends and family of their partner. Before the ceremony, Jackson and Brittney made the difficult decision to leave Paradise and explore their connection on the outside.
Jackson - who after leaving Bachelorette went on a family holiday, had about a week before he flew to Fiji for Bachelor in Paradise.
“In terms of being able to stabilise after The Bachelorette, I didn’t really have the opportunity to decompress and think about what happened,” he said.
“He had just been through the whole experience with Angie and bringing his parents and things, so that was a tough situation to get over,” Brittney added.
“Obviously I would have wanted to go ahead, but I also understood the situation he was just in, so if he wanted to see what happened in the real world that was fine with me,” she continued. “I wanted to make something real, and if that meant working out in the real world rather than meeting friends and family, then absolutely.
“I wasn’t there to stay longer on TV, I was there for a real relationship.”
So what happened after they left Paradise?
“Life just got in the way,” Brittney said.
Living in different states made it difficult for the pair to see each other after leaving Paradise, and with Jackson returning to footy training in November, the pair only had the chance to catch-up for their shared birthday in December.
“I had a golf-themed pub crawl through Sydney, Brittney came down and that’s where she met my family and all my friends. But… as much as we wanted it to work, just the geographical distance,” Jackson said.
“If I had my time [in Paradise] again, I would have invested all my time with Brittney from the get-go,” he added. Feeling like he was slow to decide between Cass and Brittney, Jackson says he wanted to make the right decision but didn’t want to string anyone along.
“I felt like I was in doubt and on the fence for a long time. If only I had the knowledge I had today about how good of a person she is,” he said.
“If I had given Brittney a full week of my attention, who knows where we could have been? Families could have come over… it could have been a really different story by the end of it.”
Since Paradise both Brittney and Jackson are still single, though both are looking for that special someone with Jackson especially keen to “settle down”.
“I think the biggest thing with me is time, the amount of time I have to devote to someone else. I’m still doing a uni degree… I’ve got football and work full-time, and on weekends that’s the only time I have to spare. I think it’s unfair for me to think people are going to hang around for that,” he said.
“It’s unfortunate because I do want to settle down, I’m getting on! Even though I’m 26,” he said, laughing, “I’ve always had ambitions to be a bit of a young dad… being busy certainly doesn’t help when you want to settle down with someone.”
Brittney, in typical Litney form, simply said, “Yeah, still single. Just tied down with a cat! He’s really cute, though. Probably the cutest man I’ve ever had.”