While the racing world is certainly dominated by men, there are women who have pushed these men out of the way and made their mark as racers to watch. Yep, one of those women is Danica Patrick, who currently stands as the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel car racing. And although Danica has since retired from the sport, her legacy lives on and she’s still one of the most famous – and most desirable – women in the world.
With fame and fortune comes a stack of suitors waiting on the sidelines, and Danica Patrick has had no shortage of them. But it seems as though this racing legend is pretty fussy when it comes to the men that she’ll let in her life. This could be due to her failed marriage or the fact that she’s been stuck in messy family dramas, but being single at 40 years old probably wasn’t how Danica imagined her life to play out. So, who are the men who broke her heart?
Still Single and Ready to Mingle
Today, Danica Patrick doesn’t have a man in her life. She’s single and apparently still looking for “the one” – but there was once a time when Danica imagined herself happily married with kids at this point in her life. After dropping out of high school to pursue a career in racing, Danica landed her big professional break in 2002 when she competed in five Barber Dodge Pro Series races for Rahal Letterman Racing. But it wasn’t on the racetrack that she landed her first proper relationship.
As a young, beautiful woman on a scene that was overrun with testosterone-charged men, Danica was the talk of the racing town. At just 20 years old she was fresh meat on the racing circuit, and men both in and out of the industry wanted to date her. But what many fans don’t realize is that the same year Danica competed in the Barber Dodge Pro Series, she actually met her husband. In fact, some fans don’t even know that she was married…
Taking Doctor-Patient Relations to the Next Level
In 2002, Danica was just starting out in the pro world when she sustained an injury. She hadn’t crashed her car or been involved in a driving accident but had instead hurt her hip during a yoga class. Worried that this injury would affect her career on the track, Danica made her way to the office of physical therapist Paul Edward Rosenthal.
Paul primarily treats injured golfers and rehabilitates them to full health, but with a gap in his diary, he agreed to take Danica on as a client. The doctor and the patient hit it off immediately, and both of them soon realized that their connection was more than just a professional one. They started dating, but as Danica was still relatively unknown in the sporting world, they were able to keep their relationship under the radar. Until Paul proposed, of course.
A Young Bride and Her Older Husband
After two years of dating, Paul and Danica got engaged, and they didn’t wait too long to officially tie the knot. They got hitched in 2005, and while Paul was over the moon to get to call Danica Patrick his wife, he was dubious about their upcoming nuptials. After all, at 40 years old he was much older than the 23-year-old Danica, and he wondered whether his fiancé was ready for such a big commitment.
Danica even spoke to Women’s Health in 2007 about her husband’s initial doubts. She confessed that “Before we got married my husband asked, ‘Are you ready? Have you done everything you want to do?’ And I just thought, ‘Am I going to throw this relationship away just to party more?’ That seems boring, like a dead-end street.” So, they embarked on their married life together, but soon cracks began to show.
A Husband Watching From the Sidelines
Danica Patrick was still a relative newcomer when she married Paul. She was at the start of what would become an incredible career, and to begin with he was happy to follow her along for the ride. He supported each race and he was there to kiss her forehead when she took off her helmet after an intense circuit. But with Danica getting more and more famous, he began to take a backseat.
A turning point in their marriage came in 2008 when Danica became the only woman in history to win an IndyCar Series race. This win thrust her into the international limelight and pushed her even further into her career. She wanted to become the biggest name in racing and she even started racing stock cars in 2010, and she was so focused on her career that her husband felt as though he’d been left behind.
A Divorcee Looking for Love Again
In the end, Danica’s burgeoning career and fame became all too much for their marriage. Danica and Paul had managed to survive seven years of marriage, but by the time 2012 came around it was announced that they had called time on their relationship. Danica announced the sad news on her Facebook page, stating that their divorce was a “mutual” decision.
She wrote, “I am sad to inform my fans that after seven years, Paul and I have decided to amicably end our marriage. This isn’t easy for either of us, but mutually it has come to this. He has been an important person and friend in my life and that’s how we will remain moving forward.” All eyes were on Danica to see how she would react to such a change in her life. Would she focus on herself for a few years? Or would she jump into another relationship? Well, it quickly became apparent that it would be the latter.
Moving on With Another Racing Driver
Just a few months after she announced her divorce, Danica Patrick confirmed her new relationship – and this time she found her love a little closer to home. She began dating racing driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ahead of their NASCAR Cup Series rookie seasons, and they quickly became a power couple within the racing world. And while they often raced against each other, they made up for it by kissing and cuddling when they took off their helmets.
They quickly moved in together, and they also welcomed two dogs into their world. They became the proud owners of a Siberian husky called Dallas and a Belgian Malinois called Ella, and Danica had nothing but nice things to say about her new boyfriend. She confessed that “The relationship has really evolved into this really comfortable space where we’re … just really happy. It’s really straightforward and simple. And we don’t argue.” Unfortunately, it wouldn’t stay that way.
A Dream of Being Married With Kids
As Danica and Ricky’s relationship progressed, all eyes were on them to make the next move. Would they get engaged? Would they have kids? Fans of the female racing driver knew that was all she wanted. She had made no secret of the fact that she wanted to be a wife, but most of all she wanted to be a mom. During race weekends, she’d hang out with the kids of her fellow drivers – but she really wanted some of her own.
However, Ricky wasn’t exactly on the same page. At this point, Danica had reached the peak of her career and was earning way more than her boyfriend, but Ricky wasn’t there just yet. He was still in the early stages of his career and wanted to continue on the same upwards trajectory, and having kids didn’t seem to match up with his vision. But what he didn’t realize was that Danica was already moving ahead with her plan to become a mom.
Scaring Her Boyfriend Away
Although Danica didn’t confirm this news until 2018, in 2017 she underwent fertility treatment to become a mom – while she was still in a relationship with Ricky. She told CNBC that “I did IVF treatments, I froze my eggs, hormones, I gained 4 pounds, and I’m 5 foot 1, so 4 pounds make a difference. I just decided I needed to try something new.”
While it’s not known whether Ricky was privy to Danica’s fertility journey, what we know now is that this step proved to be way too much for him. Not only was his girlfriend looking to fast-track their personal life and change their family set-up, but Danica had also just started playing around with the idea of retiring from racing around this time. In the end, he decided to bow out.
Single Again, but Not for Long
In December 2017, the news everyone was dreading came to light. A spokeswoman for Danica confirmed that she and Ricky had parted ways and were “no longer in a relationship.” The couple had not been seen together for a few weeks prior to this announcement, and fans were worried this was the case. But the confirmation seemed to be the final nail in the coffin.
Unlike when Danica split with her husband, she didn’t publicly announce this news. In fact, neither of them spoke on the matter and simply moved on with their lives. Like before, though, it didn’t take long for Danica to find another man willing to devote himself to her. Within just a few weeks she fell in love again, and once again it was someone from the sporting world.
Danica and the Famous NFL Football Star
While fans initially wondered how Danica could move from relationship to relationship so quickly, all doubt went out of the window when they realized who she’d chosen as her next partner. In January 2018 she started dating NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers, one of the most famous men in the football world. The Green Bay quarterback was arguably one of the most desirable bachelors in the US, so fans were eager to see how the relationship would pan out.
According to reports, they weren’t strangers when they first started dating in 2018. It’s been noted that the two lovebirds actually met in 2012 at the ESPY Awards and had stayed in touch after that, so they didn’t have to start their relationship from scratch. This meant that they could go full steam ahead and enter into a deep and meaningful relationship extremely quickly, allowing fans to dub them a “power couple.”
Always Having Each Other’s Backs
With both Danica and Aaron being two of the most famous people in their sport, the couple was often seen hanging out at the track or at the side of the football field, and it was clear to see that they supported each other’s careers. This was something that Danica had lacked in previous relationships, and it’s been suggested that this change made her fall even harder for the quarterback.
Whenever she had the chance, Danica would gush over her boyfriend. She told Us Weekly in September 2018 that “You can rely on yourself or you can also rely on those closest to you that are honest. Not people that want to tell you what you want to hear, but people who are gonna tell you what you need to hear and be honest with you.” But while she had a great relationship with Aaron, their relationship was affected by the drama around them.
Being in the Middle of a Family Feud
Those familiar with the life and times of Aaron Rodgers will know that he has a complicated family life. While his dad and brothers also went on to become professional football players, the Rodgers’ family feud has been rife for decades. Aaron reportedly has a strained relationship with his whole family, and this became the talk of the town when his brother Jordan Rodgers appeared on the 12th season of The Bachelorette.
When Jordan returned home during the show, Aaron was noticeably absent – and he told the cameras that “My middle brother won’t be there, Aaron. Like I said, I have a great relationship with my brother Luke. Me and Aaron don’t really have that much of a relationship. It’s just kind of the way he’s chosen to do life and I’ve chosen to stay close with my family and my parents and my brother.” These comments the family feud even more public, and Danica found herself right in the middle of it all.
Trying and Failing to Bridge the Gap
As Aaron and Danica tried to focus on their own relationship, they were also impacted by the backlash and the impact of the Rodgers family drama. It was incredibly tough for Danica, who believes in putting your family above all else. In fact, a source told the press that “It was tough for her to be in a relationship with somebody who’s not close to his family.”
Danica even tried to “bridge the gap” between Aaron and his family, in the hope that she could bring everyone back together for the sake of their whole family and for her relationship. And while she managed to persuade Aaron to get “back on speaking terms” with his brothers and parents, this respite didn’t last long. Within just a few weeks they were ghosting each other once again, and Danica was at breaking point.
Getting Dumped and Laying Low
Aaron Rodgers and Danica Patrick were together for just over two years, and during that time many of her fans assumed that she had found “the one.” They were just waiting for the engagement announcement, and they could see the former racing driver having kids with the quarterback. Sadly, that all came crashing down when the couple went their separate ways in July 2020.
Neither Danica nor Aaron spoke about the breakup, but it was clear for everyone to see that it had hit Danica hard. She retreated from the limelight, she rarely made public appearances, and she tended to keep herself to herself. Fans began to worry about her, especially when Aaron moved on so quickly with the actress Shailene Woodley. It wasn’t until 2021 that Danica came out of the dark and spoke about the breakup for the first time.
Speaking Out About Her Broken Heart
In 2021, Danica decided to step out of her comfort zone and appear on a television show that was all about pushing celebrities to their limits. She embarked on an adventure alongside survival expert Bear Grylls for the TV show Running Wild With Bear Grylls, and she opened up about what she had experienced over the past few years.
On the show, Danica spoke about her breakup with Aaron, stating that she had “learned a lot and as broken open as I was on the sad end, I have felt so much joy in so many more instances and so many more unlikely places than I ever have, so it’s like my heart got broken open to both ends of the spectrum.” She also decided to use this heartbreak to work on herself.
Finding Herself in Egypt
Although Danica had jumped from relationship to relationship after her divorce, it seemed as though she wanted to truly focus on loving herself after her breakup. She did this by taking herself on a trip to Egypt, where she took in the historical sites and truly reconnected with herself on a personal level. In an Instagram post during this vacation, she wrote “stop looking for a religious structure or person or home or a job or a city or a partner to make you feel better. Simply because it won’t work! I have tried!”
The trip seemed to be revolutionary for Danica, and she said on The Rachel Hollis Show in September 2020 that “The next guy has his work cut out for him because my intuition, my standards, my boundaries, my wants and needs are off the charts. Because I’ve gotten to know me so much more so it’s going to be so much more narrow and specific.” However, once again it didn’t take Danica long to find someone to fit the bill.
Launching a New Boyfriend on Instagram
As the world watched Danica’s ex Aaron Rodgers get engaged to Shailene Woodley, all eyes were on Danica to see where she’d find herself next. And while she seemed to enjoy finding herself in Egypt and learning about what she wanted from a relationship, less than a year after her split from Rodgers she announced her new boyfriend on Instagram.
Danica went Instagram official with her new boyfriend Carter Comstock in April 2021. She posted the above photo and captioned it: “Beach workouts are fun for one, but better with you.” However, everyone wanted to know more about this Carter. While fans could see from his online profiles that he is the co-founder of the meal-prep company Freshly, they wanted to know more about how they came to be together.
A Blind Date Gone Right
As more and more people wanted to learn the history of Danica’s new relationship, it became clear that the couple met due to their shared loves and passions. In fact, they were set up by the cofounders of the direct-to-consumer wellness brand Beam. As both Danica and Carter are investors in the brand, the owners decided to set them up on a blind date as they thought they’d make the perfect couple.
It soon became clear to them that their setup had gone well. A source told Us Weekly that Danica and Carter “took their relationship slow for four months and decided to be exclusive in April. She’s very happy.” For a while, Danica didn’t publicly comment on her new relationship – not outside of her Instagram captions, anyway – but after a while, she decided to gush about Carter in the press.
Fulfilling Her Vision of the Perfect Relationship
During an interview with Extra in April 2021, around four months after they started dating, Danica opened up about her new relationship and the man she had chosen to be with. She noted that Carter fulfilled her “grand vision” of what she wanted in a partner, and that “We both love to travel and we’re both super open-minded.” But that’s not all she had to say.
Danica went on to note that “I had this sort of grand vision for finding someone I could just sit on the couch with and, like, have a glass of wine and just literally come up with any topic at all, simple or complicated. … I just always imagined how great it would be to find someone to sit on the couch and talk with for hours, and that’s just what we do.” Of course, as their relationship progressed, Danica began to think more and more about the future.
Walking Down the Aisle Once Again?
Fans of Danica could see by her Instagram posts that she was smitten with Carter, and they began to wonder whether wedding bells and babies were on the horizon. And soon enough, Danica began to speak of these topics herself. She stated that “I mean, I love love. I’ve always said that [and] have always loved love. I love it for other people, too, and … if anyone wants to invite me to a wedding, I’ll go because I love weddings.”
When asked about what makes a good relationship, Danica also had some wise words to share. She confessed that “knowing yourself” is the secret to a happy and healthy relationship as “you know, the idea that you’re going to change someone is a pipe dream. Like, it’s just … someone has to want to change for themselves.” But shortly after Danica made these remarks, her love life came crashing down once again.
They Just Weren’t a Match Made in Heaven
In March 2022, fans of Danica couldn’t contain their disappointment when it was announced that she and Carter had broken up. This news seemed to come out of the blue, and it didn’t seem to match up with how they had been portraying their relationship on social media. However, Danica confirmed the news and stated that she was single once again.
She opened up to People about the breakup, noting that “We were together for a while, and unfortunately it didn’t work, but it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a really fun time and we didn’t do a lot of really amazing things. It doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with either of us. It’s just a matter of finding someone who you can stand the test of time with.” But now she’s single, what’s next for Danica?
Embracing Her Inner Hippie Chick
Since her relationship with Carter ended, fans have kept an eager eye on Danica’s Instagram page to see whether there’s another new boyfriend in the background. But so far, Danica seems to just be enjoying her time by herself. In fact, she’s embraced a new side to her – something she wrote about on social media when she posted the image below.
Danica wrote in June 2022 that “I’m a deep thinking hippie chick who loves to learn…… so what would you guys like me to do podcasts about?! Or, who would you like me to do them with?! Health, aliens, fitness, philosophy, entrepreneurs, food, space, scientist, anti-aging, travel….??????? Tell me what and who you’re curious about!” So, for the time being, Danica seems content to focus on a new branch of her career.
Will She Follow the Same Pattern?
Although followers love to see Danica focus on a new business venture, they’re also worried for the 40-year-old. From a young age, the former race car driver made no secret of the fact that she wanted to be a wife and a mother, but her failed relationships have left her single and childless so far. While nobody knows what’s around the corner, they are wondering what’s next for her.
But if her past is anything to go by, we don’t think it will be long before Danica has even more men lining up at her door looking to date her. And although she’s been unlikely in love so far, that’s not to say that the right man isn’t around the corner right now. We guess we’ll just wait and see.