'Bachelor' Splits with Hometown Honey

If ever "The Bachelor" was destined to create a lasting relationship, this season seemed to be the time.

Not only did Nashville ER physician Travis Stork find a woman he was crazy about, but in Sarah Stone, he found a woman from the same city. There would be no nagging questions about a long-distance relationship or who would move where.

Yeah. Never mind on that.

Stork and Stone both say they're no longer a couple, laying blame at the feet of the no-contact policy ABC enforces on its "Bachelor" couples between the time filming ends and the show's finale airs. In this case, the latter occurred on Feb. 27, some four months after taping in Paris ended with Stork giving the 27-year-old teacher a diamond ring (on a necklace, not on her finger).

"[W]e were in this fantasy world. And now that we're back in Nashville, over time when you're not allowed to see someone, you grow apart," Stork tells Nashville's Tennesseean newspaper.

Although they live within a couple of miles of one another, Stone and Stork weren't allowed to be together in the time between filming and airing. In the same interview -- the former couple's first public comments since the show ended -- Stone wonders if things might have been different had she and Stork met without television's help.

"We wouldn't have had all the baggage that comes from being on this show," she tells the paper. "It would just be the two of us being able to hang out and get to know each other in a normal situation."

Both laugh off the idea that they might rekindle their romance in the future. But hey, they'll always have Paris.

"Through this time, we realized that it was a great experience in Paris and that we're so lucky to have met one another in Paris, and we'll never forget that," Stone says. "And we both agree and know that we'll be friends forever."

The "Bachelor"/"Bachelorette" franchise is now a paltry 3-for-11 in creating lasting relationships. The three couples still together are first "Bachelorette" Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter, who married on national TV; Bachelor No. 6 Byron Velvick and Mary Delgado; and Bachelor No. 7 Charlie O'Connell and Sarah Brice.

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