August 03, 2005 01:00 PM

Adam Mesh, who starred in the reality matchmaker show Average Joe, has gotten engaged to his girlfriend, Jessica Malca, PEOPLE reports.

“I wanted there to be an element of surprise,” says Mesh, 29, of his recent proposal to 24-year-old Malca. So Mesh brought her to a theater and arranged for a private screening of a film showing highlights of their time together before he popped the question.

Mesh, who starred in the original Average Joe and its sequel Average Joe: Adam Returns, met Malca after his relationship fizzled with Samantha Trenk, the winner of Adam Returns. Malca was literally the girl next door: She lived in the same apartment building. “My roommate (spotted her), and he was like, ‘That girl is so for you,'” Mesh told PEOPLE last year.

Mesh said at the time that after two failed TV romances: “It’s nice to be with a real girl who likes me for who I am. I’m really happy.”

Mesh and Malca plan to marry in Miami next May.

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