The Bachelor & The Beach: Lauren Lane's Journey from Reality TV to Real-Life Happiness - 30A

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The Bachelor & The Beach: Lauren Lane’s Journey from Reality TV to Real-Life Happiness

By: Lauren Sage Reinlie | Posted Apr 24, 2024

Lauren Lane and her husband, acclaimed country musician Chris Lane, are starting to feel the fog of early parenthood lift. With two boys under three, they’ve been in the thick of it. “It felt like the first year of our second son’s life was spent just surviving in the trenches,” said Lauren.

Her advice for parents in the same boat? Hold on. “At least for us, it was a short time,” she said. “And now I can see, yes, it does get easier.”

At 34 years old, Lauren, who works full-time as an influencer, shares publicly the joys and challenges of marriage and raising young children. (Lauren and I – working moms who also stay at home with our kids – laughed when we realized we were both parked in our cars in our respective driveways to ensure we could focus on our phone interview with each other.) While it takes work and dedication, Lauren said building a family is the most important project of her life.

From Idyllic Childhood to Reality TV Fame



Lauren’s commitment to building a stable family began in childhood. She grew up in Portland, Oregon, the oldest of four kids in a close-knit family. Her mom cooked family dinner every night. The family genuinely enjoyed spending time together, playing cards and board games. She was close with her grandparents, who lived nearby. “We had a happy childhood that was really focused on family,” she said.

They took one vacation a year, usually in June, often to Palm Springs, California, where they stayed in a small condo. The kids all shared a room. For three weeks, they spent time only with each other, without the distractions of sports and busy schedules at home, without the distractions of iPhones and iPads that families face today. “It sounds silly, but it forced us kids to spend quality time together and to be friends. I think that’s one reason why we are all so close today.”

When Lauren was 24, living in Marina del Rey, California, and working as a flight attendant, she and a friend did something unexpected. They threw their names in to be contestants on the popular reality television show The Bachelor. To Lauren’s shock, she was chosen to star in the show, which had about 9 million viewers each week. She won and got engaged to the bachelor in the series finale.

The relationship didn’t last, and the couple went through a very public breakup in 2015. “When you’re 25 and going through a breakup, it’s hard,” Lauren said. “But I was doing it in front of this audience of millions.” And the audience wasn’t always kind. “There was a lot of criticism of me and evil things that people who didn’t know me were saying.”

She took it hard. To get through, Lauren leaned on her family, did a lot of self-reflection, and developed an immunity to public opinion. She could have become absorbed in that world, letting the attention become the sole fulfillment in her life. “But because there was a lot of criticism, it, thankfully, made me learn not to worry so deeply if I’m liked by the public or if I’m still in the spotlight or irrelevant. It just made me lean into my authentic self,” she said.

The Bachelor as a Launchpad

Lauren said she has absolutely no regrets about going on The Bachelor. “It has fully led me to where I am today.”

With the audience and experience she gained from The Bachelor, Lauren launched her career as an online influencer, at a time when social media influencing was still in its infancy.

At that time, there were no management companies helping influencers get partnerships, and companies didn’t have marketing budgets set aside for influencers to create content like they do today. “None of it existed,” Lauren said. She worked hard to start her business and prove what she could provide to companies, and she rose along with the explosion of social media marketing over the past decade.

Today, Lauren has built a community of 1.5 million Instagram followers, primarily women and many moms, who share tips and tricks for life’s challenges. She posts content on fashion and interior design, creates her own recipes to share, and gives her followers glimpses of her family life. She has partnered with many companies, including creating a capsule swim line for Vitamin A and a clothing collaboration with the department store chain Kohl’s.

From Bahamas Beach Vacations to Bath and Bedtime Routines

In 2015, backstage at an event related to her time on The Bachelor, Lauren met country singer Chris Lane. The two became friends, but it was still surprising when, in 2018, he invited her on a trip to the Bahamas with a bunch of friends.

“That’s when we started to realize, oh, we have a lot in common, and maybe we could cross into the more-than-friends zone,” Lauren recalled. Things moved swiftly from there. A few months later, Lauren moved to Nashville, where the two shared a downtown condo in an area called The Gulch. “It was so fun, and I’m so glad I got to experience that with him.”



A few months after that, Chris proposed at a gathering of Lauren’s family in Portland. It was an easy decision for Lauren. “We loved each other so much, we had so much fun together, and we have such a great friendship at the root of our relationship,” she said. They were married in 2019.

In June 2021, Lauren gave birth to their first son, Dutton, throwing the two into first-time parenthood. Sixteen months later, in October 2022, their second son, Baker, was born. Then things got real. In addition to the feeding and cleaning, holding and rocking, crying and soothing, there was the problem of sleepless nights. With two under two, the children’s needs were almost all-encompassing.

Early parenthood can be challenging for couples, and Lauren said she and Chris were no exception. “It wasn’t like we just weren’t prioritizing our relationship; we simply did not have the mental capacity to prioritize it,” Lauren said. “We were just trying our best to give our children what they needed. And at that time, they needed a lot.”

By the time the kids were fed and in bed, Lauren and Chris were exhausted. It was hard to muster the same energy level they had when dating or first married. “It does change a lot of that dynamic.”

New Love Unlocked

Now, Lauren is starting to see the light at the end of the early parenthood tunnel, with the next phase of family life coming around the bend. “If there are parents out there who feel like they don’t have a ton of extra energy to pour into their marriages, you are not alone,” she said. “It will get easier.”

Now that their youngest can be away from them for short stretches, Lauren and Chris take out their calendars and schedule time for just the two of them. “It’s not something that just miraculously happens,” Lauren said. “No one else is gonna do it for you; you have to do it yourself and prioritize it.”

The couple has been able to get away for some dinner dates. Chris loves golf, so Lauren got herself a set of clubs and has been joining him.

“For a friendship, a relationship, to grow, you do need to spend time on it. So I’m very thankful we’ve been able to start doing that again.”

Though the past few years were intense, Lauren said it has also been an incredible experience. She saw Chris become a father. She gets to see him throw a ball with their sons, wrestle with them. “It was like a whole new level of love unlocked.”

And while she said being married to a touring musician has its challenges (half the week she does dinner, clean-up, bath, and bedtime herself, which is hard), it’s also a source of great awe, seeing him do what he loves and do it so well.

“Anytime he comes back and plays a song that he wrote that day, I’m always like, how did you do that? How did you just create that from your brain? Even if it’s not what they view as a hit, to me, it’s a masterpiece.” She said she has seen hints of musicality in their boys as well. “Anytime you put on a song, the kids just light up in a way that I can tell music is clearly in their DNA.”

Family Traditions

For the past two years, she and Chris have taken their boys on beach vacations to the now-famous 30A area in Northwest Florida. They plan to do it again this summer. Their vacations are a time for family bonding and, Lauren hopes, will sow the seeds of solid sibling relationships in the future, as they did for Lauren.

Chris is the epitome of a beach person, the type who would like to set up his beach chair at 8 a.m. and not leave until after sunset.

“Last year, ironically, our beach vacation was a lot of pool time,” she said. The pool felt more manageable with the little ones. She’s hoping for more beach time this year now that the kids are a little older. “Every year at this age is so different.”

Lauren said her relationship with Chris is similar, going through many different phases, even in the four short years since they married. “But all are wonderful in themselves, and I wouldn’t trade any of it.”

To learn more about Lauren, follow her updates on Instagram.

 

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Lauren Sage Reinlie is an award-winning freelance journalist currently living in Freeport, Florida. Her work has taken her across the South, where she has covered topics ranging from the wily ways of politicians at the Texas state capitol to the storied land of sunshine and swamp sharks (a.k.a. gators) in Florida. She can be reached at [email protected].

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