If you aren't already deep into the finale and reunion episodes of The Ultimatum, what are you doing? Season 2 of this epically dramatic dating show officially dropped on Netflix this month, and there has been lots to unpack with this new crew. Now that the final two episodes have hit the streamer, you'll want to get up-to-speed... soon!
This season of The Ultimatum includes five heterosexual couples who are at a fork in the road. One person in the couple (the ultimatum issuer) is ready for the next phase of the relationship, a.k.a. marriage. The other, (the ultimatum receiver) isn't quite sure yet. To solve the problem, every couple temporarily breaks up and partners up with a member of another couple for three weeks in a trial marriage. Then, the original couples will live together for three weeks. At the end, each person must decide if they are ready to literally "marry or move on."
This season, there are all types of couples—from ones forged on dating apps to the halls of high school. Ryann and James, the high school sweethearts in the bunch, are only 23 years old, but they have been together for over seven years. Their appearance this season is especially stressful—considering how long they've been together.
For context: Ryann is the one who issues James the ultimatum, because she's ready to get married, while he's still a bit more focused on his career. He's hoping to secure a stable job before the couple officially ties the knot, according to Netflix. But there are other issues, too: James doesn't open up emotionally, and Ryann feels like James doesn't put her first.
By episode 8, their trial marriages are complete, but things are still looking pretty up in the air for the former prom queen and football star. Here's the intel on all things Ryann and James, on the show and beyond:
What happens during the first few episodes?
On the first night the couple officially switches partners, it's very evident that Ryann and another contestant, Trey, are a good match. Trey even says that he's "caught feelings" for Ryann after they live together for three weeks, which definitely gets under James' skin. Ryann, for her part, also seems to have had a blast with Trey, and lets James know how easy it was with him. The two have a big, blowup fight when they start living together again, and things look rocky.
However, there are some bright spots. After Trey makes it obvious he's into Ryann, James admits that he knows Ryann is the love of his life. Talk about a perfectly timed confession! James' confession annoys Ryann a little bit—which makes sense. Maybe he should've figured that out before they went on a reality dating show?
James has some intimacy troubles.
After Trey and Ryann link up, James is left to do his trial marriage with Riah, Trey's original partner. TBH, it kind of seems like these two ended up together by process of elimination. Still, the pair seems to hit it off pretty well...at least as friends. But on the physical side? Not so much. Riah is super frustrated by this.
About a week into their "marriage," Riah calls James out for his lack of intimacy. It seems like some wires were crossed in the love language department for this trial couple. James prefers to show love through acts of service, while Riah craves physical touch.
For James, intimacy is more of an "all or nothing" thing for married couples. Riah and James don't want to kiss or have sex, but this bump in their relationship makes it clear they're not quite on the same page.
Since it's revealed that James has cheated on Ryann in the past, it seems he has a firm boundary against doing anything too intimate with Riah.
What happens with Ryann and James on the show?
A big theme in Ryann and James' relationship issues are their struggle to get emotionally close. After seven years together, Ryann feels like she and James should have more of a connection, but she says he puts walls up.
This all comes to a head later in the season when the couple get into a big fight. James reveals some very intense, personal struggles to Ryann that he'd never told her before. While she acknowledges that she wanted this to have been brought up sooner, it seems like the moment definitely brings the couple closer together.
So, are they still together?
Yes! I'm happy to report that these two love birds are planning to get married in September of 2023. He even re-proposed on a mountaintop after the show. Awww!
Viewers were also treated to a different side of James, called "James After Dark," which included a compilation of the contestant getting it on with Ryann "after dark." Safe to say, these two are doing just fine in the intimacy department.
However, Ryann and James seemed to be leaving (accidental?) hints during the season. At one point, they were both wearing what looked like engagement or wedding rings in one of the later scenes. If so, this is a pretty significant slip up production-wise, so it may mean nothing. Still, a ring on the left hand is impossible to ignore.
There were also a few other incriminating piece of social media evidence that indicate this couple is at least still on good terms, if not together. First, James still has a lot of heartfelt posts dedicated to Ryann on his Instagram page.
Since posts are so easy to delete, it seems unlikely James would keep these up after a break up. Still, you never know.
Another big sign? Venmo transactions. Yup. It looked like Ryann and James had exchanged plenty of cash in the last few weeks.
Some of these posts included emojis that might have related to some bigger steps in the couple's journey. Did the music note mean hiring a wedding band? In other transactions, the couple uses the house a video camera emojis. At the reunion, everyone learns that James has moved in with Ryann (and her entire family).
Huge congratulations to all the happy couples!
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