Pieper James Instagram
After appearing on The Bachelorette and The Bachelor, respectively, the pair met through mutual Bachelor Nation friends and began spending time together. However, they kept their romance casual before both being cast on season 7 of Bachelor in Paradise.
Morais was a part of the original cast and James joined later on during week 3. As soon as the latter arrived on the beach, the pair picked up where they left off and progressed their relationship even further. They also confirmed that they had a bit of a romance prior to coming on the show.
However, the couple received backlash from their fellow castmates and fans, and ultimately left Paradise to focus on their relationship privately. Both Morais and James also addressed the controversy on social media as the show aired.
After taking their relationship off-camera, the couple have been going strong and celebrated their one-year anniversary in June 2022.
Here's a complete timeline of Brendan Morais and Pieper James' relationship.
Spring 2021: Brendan Morais and Pieper James start spending time together
Although it is not clear exactly when Morais and James first met, the pair admitted to spending time together before appearing on Bachelor in Paradise, which began filming in summer 2021.
Morais claimed on the show that he and James had gone out to dinner "two or three times just us," and hung out in a group setting a "handful of times." He was adamant, however, that their relationship was casual at the time.
"So it's not like, 'Hey Pieper, do you want to be my girlfriend? Hey Pieper, are we exclusive or not?' That never happened in any way," Morais told his fellow Bachelor in Paradise costars. "So I was hopeful that she was coming. I liked Pieper before the show."
James on the other hand said she came on the show to "completely focus" on her relationship with Morais.
August 2021: Bachelor in Paradise season 7 airs
Morais arrived on the beach before James and spent some time with Natasha Parker — and his interest in her appeared genuine. However, as the season progressed, fellow cast members and fans began to speculate that Morais was holding out hope for James' arrival, and leading Parker on in the process.
After James made her Paradise debut during the third week, the pair went on a one-on-one date where they expressed that they both felt strongly for one another.
As for his relationship with Parker, Morais said, "Natasha and I had a certain connection that was void of any romance and I tried to get there and I never promised Natasha that we were going to be anything more than what we were."
Parker said she felt "completely manipulated" and "completely lied to" by Morais. "He completely downplayed their relationship to me to wait until she got here," Parker said of Morais and James.
September 8, 2021: Brendan Morais addresses backlash
After watching things play out on television and receiving criticism from fans, Morais issued a public apology on his Instagram Story.
"After taking time to begin to process the events that unfolded over the past few days, I have realized that I was wrong on so many different levels," he wrote. Referencing a since-deleted post that made light of him going on the show for "the wrong reasons," he continued, "First of all, I removed my last post from my feed. I posted it before the episode aired and had no idea the magnitude of hurt that I caused. My approach to many things in life is sarcasm. In this instance with regard to my post, I was completely insensitive."
Morais then apologized to Parker directly: "Most importantly I apologize to you, Natasha. I hurt you. I am deeply sorry for doing so. I understand that the damage is already done and all I can do going forward is acknowledge the error of my ways. For those of you that felt my actions triggered certain feelings and emotions I am truly sorry."
September 14, 2021: Brendan Morais and Pieper James leave Bachelor in Paradise
After being confronted by their co-contestants over their pre-existing relationship, Morais and James decided to leave Paradise during the eighth episode.
"This environment, I guess, isn't where we want to be at this particular moment. I think you all know and I am well aware, this is the girl I want to be with and I feel comfortable in saying that," Morais told his costars before he and James headed out.
October 1, 2021: Brendan Morais and Pieper James reportedly split
About a month after fans watched Morais and James eliminate themselves from Paradise, reports surfaced that the couple had split.
Reps for the couple did not respond to PEOPLE's requests for comment at the time.
October 13, 2021: Pieper James confirms she is still dating Brendan Morais
A few weeks later, Pieper dispelled the breakup rumors during an appearance on the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast.
"That's just all they are, is rumors," she told host Becca Kufrin. "I mean, I can understand [with] Brendan unfollowing me [on Instagram] and that kind of thing why people maybe came to the conclusion that we split. But we're still together."
She also discussed her and Morais' decision to keep their relationship private after the show wrapped.
"The reason we didn't choose to go public [with our relationship status after the finale] like everybody else on the show was just because, obviously, our experience was a little bit different. We tainted our own experience in that way," she explained. "So we are kind of working on ourselves and each other, and we're focusing on being a couple before taking that public."
November 12, 2021: Pieper James wishes Brendan Morais a happy birthday on Instagram
Although the couple were still keeping their relationship fairly private at the time, James did share a sweet birthday message for Morais on her Instagram Story.
"Happy birthday B, the only person I know who wears sneakers and socks to the beach," she captioned the post.
November 18, 2021: Brendan Morais and Pieper James make their relationship Instagram official
Brendan Morais Instagram
Morais and James waited a while before making their relationship Instagram official. On Nov. 18, 2021, they both debuted their relationship on their respective accounts and penned loving tributes to one another in their captions.
"The past few months have been interesting to say the least. A love forming between two people in the midst of mayhem is certainly a unique way to begin a relationship. We've had our ups and downs, our peaks and valleys but what has prevailed is a special bond. I've made mistakes along the way and most definitely have fallen short but one thing I got right was Pieper. Through Gods grace and love I remain thankful. Looking forward to growing together and the lessons and love we'll experience along the way," Morais captioned his post.
As for her post, James quotes a bible verse and shared a picture of her and Morais vacationing in Aruba.
February 14, 2022: Brendan Morais and Pieper James celebrate their first Valentine's Day together
With their relationship out in the open, the couple did not hold back when it came to expressing their love for each other on their first Valentine's Day as a couple.
"Imagine giving someone you love a Valentine's Day card and they 'forgot' your card at home…my guess is she forgot my card at cvs because she didn't buy one. I digress 😂," Morais captioned a photo of him and James going in for a kiss. "Pieper you are smart, beautiful, kind and thoughtful. I love you and am grateful for every moment we have and memory we make! Our adventures, I will cherish them forever."
James captioned her post simply, "The easiest 'I love you' ❤️."
June 17, 2022: Brendan Morais and Pieper James mark their one-year anniversary together
Brendan Morais Instagram
The couple celebrated their first anniversary in June 2022. James honored the milestone with a video montage that featured some of their most memorable moments from the year.
"One year of laughing, juggling, swimming, crying, flying, boating, running, eating, traveling and loving with you ❤️ @brendanmorais," she wrote in the caption.
August 10, 2022: Brendan Morais posts a birthday tribute to Pieper James
Brendan Morais Instagram
A few months later, it was Morais' turn to pen a sweet Instagram post. In honor of James' 25th birthday, he shared a series of photos from throughout their relationship, writing in the caption, "Happy birthday to the most amazing person in the world."
He continued, "Pieper I am blown away everyday by your intelligence, creativity and compassion. It has been such a joy experiencing life together. You are my traveling buddy, my workout partner, my favorite chef but most importantly my best friend. I hope 25 brings you all of the incredible blessings you deserve! I love you @pieper_james."
James commented on the post, revealing her nickname for her boyfriend.
"Awwww thank you bagel I love you a million times over ❤️❤️ (ps that popcorn video is hilarious)," she wrote.
September 27, 2022: Brendan Morais and Pieper James run a half marathon together
In September 2022, the couple put their athleticism to the test by running the HOKA Chicago Half Marathon together. After completing the 13.1 miles, James gave Morais, as well as her friend, a shout-out on Instagram for helping her prepare for the race.
"I doubted myself in running a half marathon, but the support from my college running buddy @dani_torrey all the way from the west coast and my jogging partner @brendanmorais kept me going through training," she wrote alongside a video montage of her and Morais' trip to Chicago.
November 12, 2022: Pieper James wishes Brendan Morais a happy birthday
James marked Morais' 33rd birthday a few days early with a carousel post on Instagram. She included a snap of the two embracing on a sidewalk in New York and photos of the pair posing at a Celtics game. "Happy birthday to this slam dunk guy 🏀❤️," she wrote in the caption.