If asked which coupled-up contestants on Netflix's Too Hot To Handle would go the distance, my answer would be easy: Sharron Townsend And Rhonda Paul. They far and away had the healthiest relationship on the reality show (despite the admittedly low bar). Alas, their hands-off romance was not built to last.
In several interviews, both Townsend and Paul confirmed they are currently broken up. Was it the long distance? Which party is more interested in getting back together? And how is it possible Francesca and Harry are the most successful couple to emerge from the show? We break down all the complicated details, below.
Rhonda and Sharron are currently not together.
One thing we know for sure: things are over for Paul and Townsend. "Unfortunately, we are not [together]," Paul confirmed to Women's Health. "We are the best of friends; we still do talk, as far as helping each other out, talking to each other, and things like that." Townsend reiterated their relationship status to OprahMag.com, saying, "She helps me for everything. We talk daily. She's there for me emotionally, but not physically. Kind of like in the show."
They never saw each other in person after Too Hot To Handle finished filming.
Time apart is nothing new for the pair. They told Entertainment Tonight that they'd only seen each other via FaceTime since filming on the show wrapped last April. Their relationship definitely suffered "due to long distance." Paul explained to Women's Health,"With everything that's going on now, we actually haven't even had the time to meet since the show," she adds. "It's been very difficult with that space between us… so we kind of just agreed to be friends for now."
Distance and family issues played a role in the split.
"We're working on it. The world is not in our favor right now," Paul told Entertainment Tonight. Townsend explained to the outlet that before coronavirus happened, they had plans to visit each other. (He's located in New Jersey while she lives in Atlanta with her son, Amare.) "The quarantine is another hurdle that we have to get over," Paul told OprahMag.com.
Another struggle to impact their relationship? Family-related matters. "After the show, we were going strong for a few months," Paul told the outlet. "(But) I was having family issues," Townsend added. "My mom was sick. I ended up closing off again. Not intentionally, but I found myself distancing from her."
They never consummated their relationship on the show.
Are you wondering what happened between Townsend and Paul during their green-lit night together on Too Hot To Handle? "Sharron and I definitely had connected at that point in time, but with everything that we were learning throughout our time there, we still did not ultimately destroy Lana's rules," Paul confirmed to Women's Health. "So, we still have not had sex." Per Entertainment Tonight, neither party has hooked up with anyone else in the last year either.
But Paul insisted to Women's Health that she has no regrets regarding her connection with Townsend. "He was shutting me down in the beginning. The more we got to talking and got to spend time with each other, I was like wow—he’s more than just a 12-pack and oiled-up body," she told OprahMag.com. "He’s a genuine person. He saw that in me too."
Townsend is open to getting back together with Paul.
In the several interviews Townsend has given since Too Hot To Handle aired, he's left the door to their romance wide open: "Hopefully there's still a chance that we can still make something work. I got a lot of love for her," he told OprahMag.com. "You know what they say. A blessing comes—but if you let it pass you by, it may not come again. I know what I have in front of me. I don't want to let it pass me by." He also referred to Paul as "one of the greatest things that has happened" to him. "She's been a gem in my life."
Although they haven't spent in-person time together since filming finished, Townsend told ET that he's FaceTimed with Paul's son Amare and stayed faithful to her. "I haven't hooked up with anyone. I've been staying true to myself, and staying true to Rhonda. So, I haven't done anything since we've gotten home." He added, "I've been serious. I gave her my word when we were on the show, like, 'This is it.' If I'm going to try it with anyone, I want it to be with her."
It's not clear where Paul stands—or even if she's single.
When it comes to Paul's hopes for reconciliation, we're confused. During her interview with Entertainment Tonight, she struck an optimistic tone: "The way he opened up to me [on the show and] made me appreciate and respect him so much more," she shared. "Right now, I'm protecting my yoni," she said, referencing the Yoni Puja workshop challenge on the show. "I'm focusing on myself, building myself as a brand. I am [keeping my options open]. It's now or never."
But while speaking with Women's Health, Paul suggested she may be ready to move on. "Hopefully, there'll be more of me somewhere, you know, in another season of finding love for Amare and Rhonda," she teased. Per remarks reported by The Mirror, she has met someone new. "Sharron and I are not together, but fortunately I have been able to rekindle a relationship with a special someone," Paul reportedly said.
Until a potential second season or virtual reunion, we'll settle for social media updates regarding this couple's possible reunion.
Savannah Walsh Editorial Fellow Savannah Walsh is an Editorial Fellow at ELLE.com.