“I didn’t want anything to do with ‘Tim from Big Brother’ or television or social media, and I really sort of checked out from the world for a little while.”
But he's since found healing, both through his return to our TV screens and with his new partner, the handsome and down-to-earth Adam Freeth.
So who is Tim's boyfriend, how did they meet and what was it about Adam that brought Tim out of his dark headspace?
We've broken down Tim's previous relationships, who his current partner is, and where he stands on his sexuality below.
What is Tim Dormer’s sexuality?
Tim, who enjoyed a brief flirtation with housemate Heidi Anderson during his stint in on Big Brother, touched on his sexuality during and after the show.
"I have always been fluid in my sexuality," Tim told WHO in 2016. "Even on Big Brother, I talked about my bisexuality and that I've always been about people, not the sexuality or gender.
"I've dated girls but have always been open to dating guys."
After going public with his then-boyfriend Ash Toweel in 2016, Tim said his attractions aren't constrained by gender.
"I've always been about finding the right person. It just so happens to be a man," he said of his relationship with Ash.
Who has Tim previously dated?
Tim met bar manager Ash Toweel at a party in 2014 - a year after he won Big Brother. The pair hit it off on a spontaneous break in Byron Bay in late 2014, and as their romance slowly unfolded, they kept it secret from the public.
In 2016, after two years of dating, Tim eventually announced his new relationship in an exclusive interview with our sister site WHO. "I've always been about finding the right person. It just so happens to be a man," Tim said.
At the time of their romance, Tim kept his relationship with Ash out of the spotlight because he grew up in NSW's Blue Mountains in a big family.
"There were so many people in our household of seven that you have to share everything and I hated sharing everything! I wanted all my own special things," he said.
Tim said he was proud to share his love story in the hopes that "other misfits" wouldn't give up on finding their own happily ever after.
During their six-year romance, Tim and Ash were open about having a non-monogamous relationship. In 2018, they were found on Tinder, where they shared a joint profile calling themselves a "friendly couple".
The lovebirds got engaged in June 2017 when Tim popped the question to Ash while on holidays in the United States.
However, Tim's romance with Ash wasn't meant to be and the pair went their separate ways in November 2020.
"I want to share my broken heart, a vulnerable change in my private life," Tim told fans on Instagram.
"This week Ash and I have parted ways," he continued. "My first ever love and long-term relationship, six years now he has been my partner along this journey."
Who is Tim Dormer’s current partner?
After breaking up with Ash in 2020, Tim's love life stayed out of the headlines until he debuted a new romance in April 2021.
Tim is now happily dating Adam Freeth - and one look at the 38-year-old's Instagram shows just how in love the couple are!
On Adam's birthday in July 2021, Tim took to social media to share a tender message to the love of his life.
"Happy Birthday Adam. You're kind, smart, sexy, strong and secure to challenge & bring out the best in me…everything I've been looking for!" Tim penned.
"Thanks for the perfect day exercising in the sun from rise to set. X."
Unsurprisingly, the happy couple also spent Mardi Gras together.
Tim shared a sweet snap of the pair kissing before the parade kicked off, captioned: "Happy Mardi Gras you misfits! Let's dance because we love 🌈✌🏻"
In April 2022, Adam shared a loved-up selfie of himself and Tim on a weekend getaway in Tamworth, in country NSW.
"Nonstop adventures with my favourite!" he captioned the post.
You can catch Tim on Big Brother from Monday-Thursday evenings at 7:30pm on Channel Seven and 7Plus
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This article first appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.