The Bachelorette EXCLUSIVE! Rachel Lindsay opens up about how she knew Bryan Abasolo was “the one” despite her love for Peter Kraus. Subscribe now for an inside look at their plans to wed — and have many kids — only in PEOPLE!
In this week’s issue, the 32-year-old attorney from Dallas opens up about why she chose the Miami-based chiropractor and how it wasn’t a difficult choice.
“At the end, it was not tough for me,” Lindsay says of making her final decision. “Going through it, I felt Bryan was perfect for me. Obviously nobody’s perfect — but perfect for me. I still was running away from it. So there were times when I thought, ‘Okay, maybe it’s not him, maybe it’s someone else.’ I can’t say that the whole way through I was like, ‘Yes, it’s definitely Bryan,’ but I can definitely say that in the back of my mind, ‘I really thought it was you.’ “
She adds, “I really was scared of Bryan. I really, really was, and I really tried to fight it, and I think I talked about that. I was at this crossroads. I run to the situation that’s more difficult for me. It’s more of a challenge that I can fix. I’m a fixer, and I run away from the guy who is every single thing that I want because I just think that either I don’t deserve it. And for the first time, I stopped running away from it, and I was like, ‘Why can’t you have what you want?’ And that was Bryan.”
On Monday night’s final episode of The Bachelorette, America watched as Abasolo got down on one knee and proposed to his “soulmate.”
RELATED VIDEO: Rachel Lindsay Is Engaged to Bryan Abasolo
“Rachel, when I first stepped out of that limo I knew I was in for the ride of my life,” Abasolo, 37, said during the final rose ceremony in Spain. “When we first kissed it was literally like a chemistry bomb had just exploded and I just knew that first night with 100 percent certainty in my heart that we could definitely be something special. You are everything I could ever want in a woman, a wife, the mother of my children. I am completely head over heels totally and absolutely in love with you. I just hope you feel the same.”
After Lindsay expressed similar feelings, Abasolo said, “I am the best version of myself when I’m with you — you’re so easy and effortless to love. I want to love you for the rest of my life.”
- Watch People Cover Story – Bachelorette Finale: Rachel Lindsay, available now, on the new People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the PEN app on your favorite mobile or connected TV device.
Though the couple found their happily ever after in each other, the journey leading up to the proposal wasn’t always easy.
During his hometown date in Dallas, Abasolo could not seem to get off on the right foot when it came to winning over Lindsay’s family.
“I was very excited to introduce Bryan to my family, but I felt like my excitement wasn’t reciprocated by my family,” Lindsay said during the episode. “I’m irritated at this point. The energy is totally different than it was the other two days with Peter and Eric.”
“My gut is telling me Bryan is a charmer,” Lindsay’s sister said. “He’s direct and he’s open, but I don’t think there’s the sincerity factor in it. My guard was up.”
- For more on Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay’s engagement to Bryan Abasolo, including their thoughts on their big debut and plan for the future, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
“Trust me, she put me through the ringer the entire season,” Abasolo says.
RELATED VIDEO: ‘Bachelor’ Nation Reacts to ‘Bachelorette’ Rachel Lindsay’s Final Rose Pick
Lindsay adds, “I saw the potential in him. I just wanted to make sure that it was real because my family was like, ‘He’s so charming.’ I was like, ‘Well, so am I.’ I needed to make sure that he is the person he says he is.”
And now that they’ve gone public with their engagement, Abasolo is wasting no time showing off their love, sharing a lengthy, heartfelt tribute to Lindsay on Instagram.
At the end of the day, the duo realized they could not be more well-suited.
“We’re going to be together, and I’m going to wake up next to this woman for the rest of my life,” he tells PEOPLE. “That’s something that I’m going to cherish. We can’t focus on anything that anybody else says on the outside. Our life is our life.”
“Love is love for us,” adds Lindsay. “For us, we have to be strong for each other if this is going to work.”