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If anyone's relationship was filled with ups and downs this season of Timber Creek Lodge, it would definitely be that of Mark Milburn and Jenna Gillund. The two seemed to have instant chemistry when they stepped in to pamper all the guests that visited the Canadian retreat. But as the season went on, their relationship took hit after hit, whether it was Jenna venting to guests about the romance behind Mark's back or the Timber Creek Lodge hunk hooking up with a guest during the pair's cooling off period.
But once Mark and Jenna got away from all of the stress and drama of working at the lodge, they decided to give love a real shot. "Jenna and I actually worked on our relationship following the show," Mark told The Daily Dish exclusively, adding that the two talked every day while he was in Switzerland before he headed back to Canada immediately after this season ended. "So we spent six months together long distance. I would travel down to L.A., and she'd come up to Vancouver. And we got to learn more about each other outside of the show. It was awesome."
Unfortunately, Mark said that he and Jenna eventually decided to call it quits, mainly because they're looking for different things out of life right now. "We just recognized after we got more time together that we just were slightly different people and wanted different things at that point in our lives," he explained. "Jenna is all about family and wants to have that now, and I'm really pursuing my career. I love guiding and being in the mountains. And so, it was just difficult. I didn't want to move to L.A., she didn't want to move to Canada, but I respect her as a person, and I think she's an incredible person."
With those kind words, it should come as no surprise that she and Mark still keep in touch and are good friends today. "I think after working together in the lodge this season, we got to know a lot about each other through that experience, and we can share that experience. And so because of that, we trust each other a lot. We know we're not gonna stab each other in the back. As much as we may have had those experiences in the show, in real life, we want to support one another," Mark said. "So no, I'd say we're definitely friends. I'm grateful for that opportunity to have actually made a new friend out of the show."
Of course, Mark is aware of how tumultuous his relationship with Jenna seemed this season of Timber Creek Lodge. He said he watched the episode where Jenna briefly questioned his sexuality three times in order to understand her point-of-view. "I get it. If you're dating someone, you want to feel secure with everything about them. And because we were pretty much strangers throughout this whole experience and just getting to know each other, of course my actions, as confident as I was with what I was doing, may have been unsettling for her," Mark said. "I really enjoy making guests comfortable and being flirtatious, but I never do it with a negative or bad intention. But she didn't know that yet."
However, Mark said that he was "disappointed" in Jenna for divulging so much about her concerns about their relationship to the guests from Texas. "She didn't really back me up. She didn't really come to say, 'Yeah, Mark is a great guy.' It's nice to be called, 'Oh, you're handsome and you're attractive,' but I have depth to my personality, I have depth to my character," Mark said. "So for her not to say like, 'No, he's actually an honest person and he works hard and that he will care about me,' these are things that she should have known from our time together already and have been able to stand up for me for, but she didn't, and I was disappointed."
That incident eventually caused Mark and Jenna to put their relationship on ice, which was followed by Mark hooking up with a guest. "Just after this episode with the Texans, Jenna and I were at our furthest point apart. I still really cared about her, obviously, but I was really hurt that she didn't come to defend me. She made it very clear that she wasn't going to. She took the side of the Texans. So at that point, it was kind of like, 'I'm out. I've shown you my true side, I've been romantic, I've been caring, I've been honest, and you're not accepting me for who I am,'" he said. "I didn't draw the attention of the new guest, but I definitely somehow got the attention of the new guest. And I was pissed off. So I did actions that you'll see that I'm not necessarily proud of, but I also don't regret."
Even though they experienced these difficult moments, it seems as though what didn't kill Mark and Jenna's relationship made it stronger. "We had, like, a one-day honeymoon phase, and it was super intense, or at least from my side super intense. And then it just became a rocky, bumpy road as we got to learn more about each other but in such a tight scenario," he shared. "So to be able to walk away from it and to be friends like we are and to actually have tried the relationship is huge. Like I said, I learned so much from her and about her, from dating her and on-and-off the show that I'm grateful that we gave it a shot."
Well, at least we can still hope for romance to bloom between Mark and Vanderpump Rules' Stassi Schroeder after there seemed to be a spark on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen earlier this month. Watch these two reveal if Andy Cohen made a match, below.
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