Who doesn’t love love – especially when it comes to love between two of our favourite reality TV personalities? In case you haven’t heard, RHOP star Ashley Darby and Summer House stud Luke Gulbranson have been exploring their mutual attraction the past couple of months, and fans are invested.
Whether this is the greatest setup to ever happen at a reality TV event or a total flop remains to be seen, but for now, read on to learn everything we know about Ashley and Luke’s blossoming romance.
Fans (and Andy!) want to set them up
Following Ashley’s separation from husband Michael Darby earlier this year, one fan wrote to her and suggested that she “hook up with Luke” at BravoCon. Andy Cohen was all in when Ashley told him that tidbit on an early October episode of Watch What Happens Live.
“I think that’s a good idea,” he said. So, naturally, Ashley pressed him for some more info. “He is straight. He is super handsome. He’s tall. He’s a model. He chops wood. He makes jewellery,” Andy continued. Now what girl wouldn’t be into that?
There was a hiccup, though: “He has to be interested too, Andy!” Ashley said. Naturally, Andy had a feeling he would be.
The pair meet at BravoCon a week later
A week later, as Bravolebrities descended into New York for BravoCon, Luke and Ashley seemed aware of their mutual attraction. During a panel, when Luke was asked who he’d like to see on Summer House, he revealed his No. 1 pick was Ashley Darby. As it turned out, they had first met at the Bravo After Dark Party the night before.
“We hung out last night,” Ashley said during a RHOP panel, in which it also came out that some spotted the pair holding hands. “Turns out we have a lot of common interests. We both like horseback riding and hiking and all that crunchy sh*t. A girl doesn’t kiss and tell. Can I plead the fifth?”
A wild weekend out
It took a while for the pair to open up about what happened during that night out at BravoCon, but later on, Ashley spilled the tea during a November episode of Hannah Ferrier’s podcast.
“So we were really feeling it and dancing, having fun. And then afterward, we went to an after-party for Saturday Night Live… so we hung out there for a little bit,” she shared. That wasn’t the only group hang, though. Ashley also revealed the next day, when BravoCon wrapped, she and Luke hung out again — and there’s a Canadian connection!
“So after the last night of BravoCon, Luke invited a bunch of Bravo people to this little Canadian bar that he knows. So a bunch of people from Southern Charm and also from his show, Summer House. And we’re all just there hanging out, it was a bar full of Bravo people. I just had a great time and that was how we left it. So literally, like, no kissing or anything.”
See also: Meet the cast of Summer House.
Getting to know each other
Later, Ashley confessed to People that she and Luke exchanged numbers. Since then, they’ve been talking and chatting and just getting to know each other. On that same November episode of Hannah Ferrier’s podcast, Ashley raved about Luke.
She called him “very funny” and said he is quite resourceful. “My grandfather was very handy like that,” Ashley explained. “Like, the house that I grew up in, my grandfather built it. Growing up, he was always building things, fixing things, and chopping wood outside. So to see someone like that, I’m like, wow, I recognize that.”
Luke also opened up about the ongoing flirtation when he appeared on an early November episode of Watch What Happens Live and played a game called “All About Ashley.” In it, he revealed the pair had even texted earlier that day.
“I asked her what I should wear today, and she told me what I should wear,” Luke told Andy. He added, “and I didn’t listen.”
A visit to Washington
Something else that happened in early November was a trip to Washington. Luke came out to see Ashley and brought his co-stars and friends, engaged couple Carl Radke and Lindsay Hubbard. During the trip, the foursome caught a Washington Commanders football game, and Ashley and Luke also went on a solo date to a Washington Capitals game. Both outings were captured on social media.
“We were like, ‘Should we really take this picture?’ Because we’re both being a little private about this, you know?” Ashley revealed to Page Six’s Virtual Reali-Tea podcast in mid-November, referencing the hockey game photo. “So he was like, ‘Should we?’ And I was like, ‘Eh, why not?’ So we took the picture.”
Turns out, that’s how Michael Darby learned about his ex-wife’s potential new romance, too. “It’s probably not his wallpaper on his phone, that’s for sure,” she joked on the podcast. “He’s also living his life too. Like, let’s be fair. He’s an attractive man — I know he’s a little older, but he’s still got his personality, his business is thriving… He’s doing his thing. He’s floating like a butterfly.”
Ashley Darby meets Luke’s family in Minnesota
Darby appeared on the Mention It All podcast on Dec. 19th, where she revealed that she met Gulbranson’s family in Minnesota, according to E! News.
“It’s so great,” Darby said of her trip. “Meeting Luke’s family and his friends has also been really cool. So, it’s nice. I mean, I miss my kids, but aside from that, I’m having a really good time.”
Ashley and Luke go Instagram official
The real thing fans want to know is, are Ashley and Luke for real, or is this another showmance to casually track? Well, it looks like they could be in it for the long haul, as Page Six points out that they recently made their romance Instagram official.
On Dec. 20th, Ashley Darby posted a selfie with the Summer House star as they sauntered around Gulbranson’s home state, Minnesota, together.
“The definition of a winter wonderland,” Darby wrote. “I didn’t know I missed snow so much!” She then proceeded to write, “Thank you for showing me the beauty of Minnesota!”
Fellow Bravolebrities reportedly commented on the Instagram post, with The Real Housewives of Atlanta alumni Cynthia Bailey writing, “Y’all are so dang cute!” Darby’s fellow RHOP castmate Robyn Dixon even wrote, “Ok so is this your boyfriend?”
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