The Bachelor's Chris Harrison Reveals He's 'Postponing' First Valentine's Day with Lauren Zima
Will you accept this rose — at a later date?
“Sadly, my plans on our first Valentine’s Day are working,” he told PEOPLE, while surprising a group of ladies during their Galentine’s Day Bachelor viewing brunch with heart-shaped boxes of Lindt LINDOR chocolates. “I’m making a cameo on an ABC show and we’re actually shooting all Thursday night.”
“I have begged her and asked for forgiveness that we’re postponing,” added Harrison, 47. “We’re doing a belated Valentine’s on Saturday. I will be making up for it and doubling down and making sure it’s killer on Saturday night. I know how this goes. When they sent the schedule out and said we were shooting Thursday night, I figure it must have been a guy production coordinator that figured that out!”
Harrison and the entertainmentreporter made their red carpet debut at Entertainment Weekly‘s pre-Screen Actors Guild Awards party at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles on Jan. 26, but it turns out their love has been heating up since summer.
“Officially, we’ve set the date on six months,” he said. “People just didn’t know, but it was actually this summer.”
Although Harrison has been helping hopeless romantics find partners for well over a decade, he prefers the opposite when it comes to his own love life.
“I know what I do is public, as far as hosting and the shows I do, but I’m a pretty private guy [and] I’ll stay that way for the most part,” he said when asked about why he was hesitant to go public with his new relationship. “We came to the realization that we didn’t want to hide — we wanted to be able to date and enjoy life. When it got to the point where we were having to try to hide, we were like this is enough. We just wanted to live our lives.”
However, Harrison just couldn’t help but share the happy news with his Bachelor Nation family.
“Kaitlyn [Bristowe] has known about Lauren and I for a while,” he said about the Bachelorette alumna, who’s now dating another one of the show’s finest, Jason Tartick, following her split from fiancé Shawn Booth. “I confided in her a while ago. It’s funny, some of the Bachelor people knew and they were nice and didn’t say anything or out me.”
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Harrison and Zima’s paths naturally crossed because of their careers. After appearing as a reoccurring guest on Entertainment Tonight‘s Bachelor segments, Harrison said he came to find “she’s as much as a grinder as I am” and “loves, admires and respects” that about her.
“I have an off-switch and when I step away, I like to step away and she’s really good about that, too, where she doesn’t bring work home,” he said, adding their relationship just keeps getting “better and better and better” with time. “You have got to shut it down and life your life at some point. Believe it or not, we don’t talk Bachelor 24/7!”
“It’s been easy and I think that’s how it all starts,” he continued. “We started dating and, like any relationship, she made me happy. She was kind, nice, we got along, she blended in great with my friends, and just all those steps in the relationship where you start checking those boxes off and it gets better and better and better.”
Harrison was previously married to college sweetheart Gwen Harrison for 18 years.. The pair — who share two kids, Joshua and Taylor — announced their divorce in 2012.