Michael, a 38-year-old business owner from Ohio, went through similar tragedy given he had lost his late wife Laura Ritter-Allio to breast cancer in 2019. Laura's death left Michael with a young son James, who is now six years old.
Danielle confirmed she had dated "very unsuccessfully" and "nothing really stuck" before herBachelor in Paradise 8 appearance during a recent episode of the "Talking It Out with Bachelor Nation" podcast co-hosted by Mike Johnson and Bryan Abasolo.
Danielle admitted she almost tried to find something wrong with every man she had dated before Michael, essentially self-sabotaging potential romances.
"I've been in a lot of wrong relationships. I don't think I've ever been... [in a] good, safe, equal relationship," Danielle revealed, adding how she had made excuses for the men at the time and was accepting "the bare minimum."
"I dated way too many musicians -- it's Nashville," she said with a laugh.
But Danielle recalled how a shared sense of loss and lingering grief is what allowed her to connect so easily and quickly with Michael, while men in her past couldn't understand what she was going through.
"[Michael and I did] not feel that shame or, like, 'Oh my god, how could you say something like that?' [In my past], it was like, 'Well, you don't get it because you haven't been in a situation like this,'" Danielle explained.
"It's a really f-cking weird balance and thing to feel. There is so much nuance and layers to the grieving process, and every relationship is so different that you have with someone who has passed that it's just -- we really can't judge people, especially in these situations."
"Our losses are completely different. With cancer, there's more time... but there's literally nothing easy about death," Danielle shared.
Danielle said no one wants to have death and grief in common but she and Michael "just got each other."
"It was just great to sit with somebody who gets it and doesn't try to fix it, and just lets it live there. But what's also acknowledged in those moments is that loss doesn't define the person we are now, because we've both worked really hard to not be 'the girl who lost her fiance' or 'the guy who lost his wife,'" Danielle shared.
When Michael stepped foot on the Paradise beach, he made an early connection with Sierra Jackson.
But Michael determined before the second Rose Ceremony of the season that something was missing between them and his grief was preventing him from letting his walls down and truly investing himself in the relationship.
Sierra chose to quit the show after Michael dumped her because her heart was broken, and Michael wasn't interested in anyone else on the beach at that point.
However, Bachelor in Paradise bartender Wells Adams and the show's producers appeared to orchestrate Danielle's entrance just in time to save Michael, who appeared ecstatic and ready to fall in love again.
Michael affectionately called her "Dani" and revealed they had spoken via DMs on Instagram prior to filming the show, which prompted Sierra to question the pair's "little bit of history" in a Twitter post last month.
But Michael and Danielle claimed they were only friends and had never met in person before.
The day after Danielle arrived in Paradise, she and Michael went on a date, and they kissed and really hit it off. Danielle also opened Michael's eyes when she quoted the following lyric from the song "Stars" by Grace Potter: "I lit a fire with the love you left behind."
Michael thought his date with Danielle may be his last first date ever, and the pair became inseparable from that point forward.
Since then, Michael and Danielle have been shown growing closer to each other with each passing day in Paradise.
Michael went as far as to say Danielle is his "perfect match," adding that the blonde beauty made him "feel alive" again and opening his heart to her was "a massive win."