Tayshia Adams and Zac Clark's Relationship Timeline – PEOPLE
Tayshia Adams might not have had the most traditional Bachelorette journey, but her season did have a happy ending.
Adams became the lead for season 16 after taking over for Clare Crawley, who departed midway through filming after getting engaged to contest Dale Moss. Despite her delayed start, Adams wasted no time on her journey to find love, and her immediate connection with Zac Clark was undeniable.
Over several weeks, Adams and Clark got to know each other through some cozy dates, heart-to-hearts about their pasts and meetings with family members. Their time on the show culminated with Clark getting down on one knee and asking Adams to marry him.
"When she walked in the room, oh my God, the physical attraction was immediate. And in our first interaction, I knew she was special," Clark said of Adams at the time of their engagement.
Adams shared his feelings, saying, "Zac is my person. And this just feels so right."
After getting engaged, the couple had a whirlwind year of moving in together, celebrating holidays and even running a marathon. However, their relationship became long distance when Adams left to co-host Katie Thurston‘s Bachelorette season, and sources told PEOPLE things were “strained” between the pair while they were apart. In November 2021, Adams and Clark called off their engagement nearly one year after their Bachelorette finale aired.
From their first Bachelorette date to their split, here's everything to know about Tayshia Adams and Zac Clark's relationship timeline.
Adams took over as the Bachelorette after Crawley exited the show just weeks in to pursue a relationship with Moss. In Adams’ first episode, which aired on Nov. 10, 2020, she got to know the group of suitors, including Clark.
Adams and Clark went on their first one-on-one date during the eighth episode. The duo participated in a wedding-themed photoshoot and then shared a romantic meal. During the evening portion of the date, Clark opened up to Adams about his past, sharing that he become addicted to drugs and alcohol after being diagnosed with a brain tumor during his senior year of college.
"It was touch and go. Moments of, 'I'm not sure if I'm going to make it to tomorrow,' " he said.
For her part, Adams was nervous about being in a wedding dress again following her divorce. But she said that with Clark, who had also been divorced, “It didn’t scare [her] at all.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, contestants couldn’t actually bring Adams to their hometowns — so they brought their hometowns to her instead. Clark brought the New York City experience to Adams with a yellow cab ride, bagels and pizza.
Adams also got to meet Clark's parents and brother. While Clark's father was initially skeptical of the process, Adams won him over when she said "I could really see myself marrying him at the end of this, to be honest."
During the season finale, Clark proposed to Adams with a Neil Lane ring and a heartfelt speech.
"From our first kiss to riding the Ferris wheel to meeting each other's families, nothing has ever felt so right my entire life," he said. "You've helped me experience the love that I didn't know existed and you've made me smile more than anyone has ever made me smile. I love you, Tayshia."
She returned his feelings, saying, "I'm ready to start a life with you. But also, I love you, Zac Clark, and I'll do absolutely anything to keep that huge smile on your face, because you do everything to keep a huge smile on mine."
Following the Bachelorette season finale and their engagement, Adams and Clark spoke exclusively with PEOPLE about their post-show plans.
"She has a one-way ticket to New York," Clark shared. "We're going to get comfortable. And I'm going to date the heck out of her!"
Adams added, "I'll still have my place in California so we'll be bicoastal, but that's the plan!"
The couple then celebrated the holidays together in N.Y.C. before taking a trip to Laguna Beach, California to spend some time with Adams’ family. Adams posted a family picture on Instagram and captioned it, “This is the first time in a year & a half my entire family is together! And in addition to that we have my brothers Fiancé Samantha & my Fiancé Zachary! MY HEART IS SO FULL!”
The couple ran 3.1 miles through the cold as part of the New York Road Runners Virtual Resolution Run 5K in Central Park. Clark, who is an addiction specialist, ran to raise awareness for his non-profit, Release Recovery, which supports and assists those in recovery.
Adams posted a picture to Instagram with the caption, “Had so much fun doing the @nyrr charity resolution run today with such great people. Guess it’s officially time to get back into running! First run in the city in the books!”
Clark celebrated his 37th birthday alongside Adams, and they dressed for the occasion in Curious George costumes.
Adams posted a picture of the festivities to Instagram, writing, “How am I doing with the promise I made to keep that smile on your face!? ?I love you the most, Clarky!! Had the best time celebrating your birthday with you!”
A few months after their engagement, Adams and Clark celebrated their first Valentine’s Day as a couple. To mark the occasion, Adams shared some romantic shots of the couple celebrating at the top of the Empire State Building. “Feelin on top of the world with you! Happy Valentines Babe!” she wrote in the caption.
Clark penned a tribute on his own page, writing, “Happy love day Queen” alongside a series of sweet selfies.
Adams put some rumors to rest on Instagram after eagle-eyed fans spotted her without her engagement ring on social media.
"There's always weird rumors circulating around that I'm not wearing my ring and that Zac and I are broken up. I don't know what is happening, but you guys, I was holding my phone with my left hand," she explained on her Instagram stories.
She also explained that she had dropped the ring off to get it resized, but that it would be back on her finger shortly.
In May 2021, Adams accepted the award for best dating show on behalf of The Bachelorette at the MTV Movie and TV Awards: Unscripted. She gave a sweet shoutout to Clark during her speech saying, “I just want to thank everybody, especially my fiancé, Zac Clark, because I wouldn’t be with him unless the show [never] happened. Also, everybody else in production, you guys are like my family.”
While speaking to Mike Johnson and Bryan Abasolo on the Talking it Out podcast, Adams’ father, Desmond Adams, had nothing but good things to say about Clark.
"During our [first] conversation, we had some good heart-to-hearts, even on our first talks," he shared. "I was happy with him, I was really happy with him. [I'm] so happy with just how things are progressing. It's nice. He's a great guy."
He added that Clark is "humble," "genuine" and a "good guy."
Exactly one year after he headed out to Palm Springs to film The Bachelorette, Clark took to Twitter to reflect on the whirlwind experience.
"One year ago today I was ripping out to Palm Springs to go on @BacheloretteABC. Shooters shoot, glad I shot," he wrote. "Met some incredible humans and learned a lot about life/myself. Grateful."
The couple enjoyed a bit of competitive fun during an arcade date night. Clark posted an adorable picture of himself and Adams on Instagram where the former Bachelorette’s ring was on full display. Adams commented, “Lara Croft ain’t got nothin on me!”
During an appearance on The Ben and Ashley I. Almost Famous podcast, Adams opened up about what it was like being away from Clark while filming Thurston’s season of The Bachelorette.
"I think after that, it was kinda like we need to remember why we were with each other," she said. "And I think that that's absolutely normal. … It's hard to be in a new relationship and then kind of go away for a couple of weeks, you know what I mean? And this is me being real and honest."
She continued, "People don't need to need to know our story, but like, I think people need to know that even when two people are heavily in love, you still go through things. Like, okay, we need to remember where we came from."
The couple made their official red carpet debut at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. At the event, Adams spoke to PEOPLE about whether they had started planning their wedding.
"We just can't wait to actually be together and just continue to grow our relationship," she explained. "So wedding plans, I'm sure someday on the horizon, but right now we're just looking forward to enjoying New York. We have the marathon to look forward to. We have a lot on our plate right now."
Adams also admitted that the pair had experienced tough times while living apart and dealing with their busy schedules. "It's been pretty tough, but also at the same time we love each other and we want to make it work," she said.
After Clark ran the London Marathon, the couple jetted off to Paris for a few days to have a romantic getaway.
Adams shared lots of moments from the trip on her Instagram Story, including a picture of the city that she captioned, "Guys, I woke up in Paris! I'm so happy."
In early November 2021, Adams and Clark both made it through all 26.2 miles of the New York City Marathon thanks to each other’s support.
Clark shared some heartfelt praise for Adams on his Instagram, writing, “The untold story about @tayshia is one of humility and courage. She would never tell the world how truly inspiring her performance was yesterday at the @nycmarathon but I will.” He continued, “Leading up to Sunday she did dozens of interviews where she could have talked about her chronic knee/back pain or her inability to train due to her insane schedule but instead she talked about her charity of choice, @worldvisionusa, and how grateful she was for all the support from family, friends, fans and strangers.”
Just a few weeks later, Adams and Clark announced they were ending their engagement.
"Tayshia Adams and Zac Clark are no longer a couple," a rep for Adams told PEOPLE at the time.
A source told PEOPLE that the pair’s split didn’t come as a total surprise to friends, who, according to the insider, “didn’t see them getting to a wedding.”
"Things have been strained through the fall. Both of their schedules have been really tough," the source added. "Tayshia has been very busy and Zac also has a lot on his plate. Scheduling time together was just very difficult."
Adams addressed the breakup publicly for the first time during The Bachelorette’s Men Tell All special. “All in all, all I have to say is that I’m heartbroken. But we tried really hard and I still love him very much. And I’m not sure that the future holds,” she said before walking off the stage.
“We’re going to let Tayshia have a minute,” her co-host Kaitlyn Bristowe said.
The following day, Adams told former Bachelorette Becca Kufrin that she was “hanging in there” and “still going through it” on an episode of the Happy Hour podcast.
"That day was really tough for me because that's actually the day that the news broke to everyone so it was just very heavy," Adams said of filming the Men Tell All. "But I had a job to do at the same time so I'm really happy I was able to be surrounded by all of you guys and be supported by that, but it doesn't make any of that easier."
After an Instagram follower commented on one of Adams’ posts and wrote that the former Bachelorette had taken “a detour from … wanting to be married and starting a family,” Adams responded to say she’s happy to focus on her career while single.
"Did I take a detour or am I just living and enjoying my life in its current season?" she wrote back. "I still want marriage and to start a family more than anything so what I BELIEVE you meant in referring to what I "realized" is actually – waiting to be in a healthy supportive relationship while simultaneously being a successful woman; a cohesive unit, not one or the other."
Adams went on to says she's focused on building "an empire" and going after her dreams. She continued, "I want a relationship where we cheer each other on. None of that has changed. So before you confuse the fact that I'm in the wrong for focusing on my career solo rather than with someone by my side and not 'wanting to be married and starting a family, which is not for everyone', (which is incredibly rude to say BTW) Maybe applaud me for not settling, staying to true to myself, going after my dreams and working on myself in the interim to be the best version of me for the right person."
Months after their breakup, Clark proved that things were amicable between him and Adams when he offered her support on social media. After Adams posted a series of bikini shots on her Instagram, she received a negative comment that took a dig at her and Clark’s relationship. Clark directly responded to it, defending his ex-fiancée and writing, “Enough is enough.”
He continued, "One of the problems with social media is it gives people like you a voice and unwarranted power. The truth is, we see this s—-, I see this s—-. It is hard to avoid and it is just not nice, especially when you have no idea what you are talking about/you just make s—- up. I struggle to see why you would be mean for no reason, being kind is so much easier, I promise."
Clark then turned the conversation to Adams and said, "So @tayshia f—- the noise and keep doing your thing."
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