'Bachelorette' host Tayshia Adams on feeling ‘unneeded pressure’ from social media criticism of her relationship: ‘There’s a lot of judgment'

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 17: In this image released on May 17, Tayshia Adams attends the 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards: UNSCRIPTED in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/2021 MTV Movie and TV Awards/Getty Images for MTV/ViacomCBS)
Tayshia Adams opens up about dating red flags and preparing for the NYC Marathon. (Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/2021 MTV Movie and TV Awards/Getty Images for MTV/ViacomCBS)

It was less than a year ago that Tayshia Adams became the Bachelorette, and found love with her now-fiancé Zac Clark. Since then, the reality star has gone on to do big things, including stepping in after Chris Harrison’s departure from the franchise as one of the new hosts of The Bachelorette. In her new role, she has aided Bachelorettes Katie Thurston and the current leading lady, Michelle Young, in finding love — and kicking all the men who are on the show for the so-called “wrong reasons” to the curb.

Right now, however, Adams is dealing with a different kind of finish line: She is running in the New York City Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 7 — a feat for any runner, but a particularly big challenge for Adams, who overcame previous injuries that once sidelined her from her passion. This year, she’s teaming up with the children’s charitable organization World Vision, which seeks to break the cycle of poverty, a cause close to her heart.

Speaking to Yahoo Life on the phone, Adams shared why she’s excited to step up to the marathon challenge, what red flags she’s uncovered from her time on The Bachelorette and why she is taking a step back from social media to protect her relationship.

What has training for the marathon been like? Have you and Zac had a chance to train together?

We train together when we can. We both have crazy busy lives. It’s been really fun running alongside the West Side Highway, running through Central Park. It’s been a great experience. I will say, half of my training has taken place in hotel gyms, which wasn’t ideal, but you do what you can.

When I signed up for the marathon I was here in New York City, and I had no idea that I was going to leave to film for two and a half months. That really took me out of my comfort zone. There are a couple of things they advise you to do, which is to train in your shoes for a few weeks to break them in. They want you to train on the same terrain. I was running on a treadmill, which isn’t ideal. My work schedule, I could be working 16 hour days and trying to fit in a run, which was tough. Now that I’m back in the city, a lot of my routine has changed, and it has led to a couple of minor injuries, but we’re still here — I’m using my Theragun as we speak! I had a little injury with my knee, so I’m massaging out my IT band.

What made you want to partner with World Vision for the marathon?

World Vision, number one, is a Christian organization, and that’s something that speaks to me. They provide assistance to so many people all around the world. Since a very young age I’ve really cared about children. I’ve been a nanny, I’ve helped raise kids. When I heard about World Vision, and all the things they do long term to impact the lives of many children in poverty, that was something that really spoke to me. I started volunteering with them, and my relationship with them just grew, to the point where I’m running with them in the New York City Marathon.

You’ve spoken before about an accident you suffered in college, in which you were run over by a truck. What has it been like to train for a marathon after undergoing that experience?

It’s kind of surreal. I’ve been so blessed that I don’t have residual pain. That’s crazy for someone who was in such a serious accident. I’m just extremely thankful that I have a fully functioning body and that I’m still able to walk normally, let alone run. It’s been surreal to see that is my reality. I don’t take it for granted, I’ll tell you that.

So many Bachelor Nation couples feel pressure to publicize their relationship. How do you manage that pressure?

It’s not normal to date 30 guys on camera and have the world share that experience with you. When the cameras go away, it’s something you still have to deal with. It’s difficult. Being in a relationship is difficult, in general, and there are ups and downs. With so many eyes watching, it can pose a lot of unneeded stress and pressure. Zac and I, our lives are so busy, and we both connect when we’re able to, and have a good relationship because we trust each other. We make it work. There’s a lot of judgment from people who are like “Well, why aren’t you with him?” And it’s because we are individual people, and we have a lot of other people who we work with and who we impact. 

We decided to take a step back from social media to preserve our relationship and to avoid unwanted stress and, honestly, criticism. My advice for Katie, and now Michelle, is that to put your relationship first. As much as fans root for you, they do not know you, and they do not know the special love you share. Your relationship has to be your number one priority, and people will understand eventually. People care just a little too much, sometimes!

Bachelor Nation seems to be growing more comfortable having more difficult conversations. A recent episode showed a contestant opening up about his mother’s death by suicide, and there has been more talk about racial issues in recent seasons, too. Is this something you’re pushing for on the show?

I highly encourage these conversations. My role as a host is to be a friend to the lead, and to help them as much as I can. Me getting to know them allows me to be like, “This is something that’s important to you, I encourage you to talk about them.” At the end of the day, you want this relationship to be successful. It’s not always going to be the cameras and the fun dates. You need to know that the person who you’re hoping to get engaged to, you can actually relate to.

During my season, the world was going through a lot. It still is. But I think people were really craving connection and honesty, and something that was relatable. A lot of the open conversations with the men that I had on that season, I hope impacted those had on other seasons. I hope it gave a fresh perspective on what we can expect from the future. I’ve been really happy about that.

There’s a lot of talk on The Bachelorette about people being there for the “wrong reasons.” Do you think that your experience has given you a stronger intuition about people in your own life, outside of the show?

I feel like what made my journey successful was that I do have a good intuition, so if anything, I learned to lean into it a little bit more. I’ve learned that if I have a gut feeling, or if something is coming up as a red flag for me, I should lean into it, and address that. If it’s not something I want to put my energy or time into, it doesn’t serve me, and that’s okay. That’s advice I’ve given to the other leads, too — trust yourself, your gut knows.

What are some “red flags” for you in dating?

In the world of The Bachelorette, you get to see a different side of the guys than when they are just with you. If someone has a problem with everyone, that’s something you want to explore, but we’re not always fortunate to see when we’re dating someone in the real world. Someone who just agrees with you, and doesn’t add any value to your conversation, is also a red flag. This might sound mean, because there are obviously certain circumstances, like if you traveled a lot as a child, but not having a friend group at home, that you’ve grown up with — I think that can be a red flag. And, someone who just doesn’t challenge you.

What advice do you have for the guys on The Bachelorette?

If there’s something you feel like she should know, tell her. Tell her your feelings for her. You should always be transparent because that one conversation can be the break that the relationship needs. 

When you’re dating 30 guys, it’s hard to get to know all of them very quickly, but there are some parts of you that you should always be honest about, and therefore you need to be transparent with your feelings. There are some guys who hold out with their feelings, who aren’t transparent, and they’ll say “I’m feeling this way, and I feel like she should know this,” to which I’m like, “Well, how is she supposed to know this if you don’t tell her? She’s not a mind reader.” Guys are very good at not being so vulnerable, but you’ll see on this season that a lot of guys are going to open up more. That’s something [my co-host] Kaitlyn Bristowe and I are trying to encourage more, and you’ll see it more on the show moving forward.

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