Flajnik defends his decision to propose to Robertson and says, "The Bachelor will not define me"

By Monica Rizzo
Updated March 13, 2012 03:30 PM
Credit: Ralph Freso/ABC

Ben Flajnik’s decision to propose to controversial contestant Courtney Robertson on The Bachelor‘s season finale shocked and upset many of the franchise’s millions of fans. But Ben isn’t going to lose sleep over that.

After addressing the trouble in their relationship on the After The Final Rose special, Ben hopes “people will get a better understanding of who we are and why we’re still together,” he tells PEOPLE exclusively.

Ben admits he saw signs of Courtney’s catty behavior – “like when she would skip back after getting a rose,” he says – but when he talked to the other women about it, he didn’t get a straight answer.

“I asked for specific examples and [they said], ‘She’s weird,’ or ‘She’s different.’ That wasn’t reason enough.”

Ben says there were “really sweet moments that we had together” that kept him interested.

Plus, he adds, “She was one of the only girls on the show that questioned the experience and that’s what I found attractive about her – and I still do. Courtney was always like, ‘I’ve only been on two dates with you, why should I bring you home? My family is really important to me.’ It was like finally, someone who asks the right questions instead of [saying], ‘My family is going to love you and it’s going to be wonderful and we could be married for the rest of our lives.’ ”

Despite acknowledging that the two split for several weeks after cameras stopped rolling, Ben says he’s confident he and Robertson, who are still engaged, “will be fine.”

“Maybe someday people will get behind us, but for now we work really well together,” he says. “The Bachelor will not define me as a person. This will be a blip in a few years.”