"From the beginning, Kaley [Cuoco] was crazy about Karl [Cook]," a source tells PEOPLE

By Aili Nahas and Stephanie Petit
December 04, 2017 11:32 AM

Kaley Cuoco is finally getting her happy ending.

On Thursday, The Big Bang Theory star got engaged to Karl Cook after nearly two years of dating. Her fiancé announced the couple’s engagement on Instagram, sharing a video of her joyous reaction to the proposal.

This exciting time comes just over two years after Cuoco went through a very public divorce from Ryan Sweeting. In September 2013 — just three months after they were first spotted together — Cuoco got engaged to the former tennis player. The couple tied the knot Dec. 31, 2013, at a fire-and-ice-themed wedding, but they decided to split 21 months later.

However, a source tells PEOPLE that the difficult breakup never made the 32-year-old actress give up hope that there was still someone special out there for her.

“From the beginning, Kaley was crazy about Karl,” the insider says. “They have so much in common and he makes her so happy. She went through such a tough time with her divorce from Ryan, but she never gave up on finding love again. She’s really a romantic!”

The source adds, “She can’t wait to get married — they’re both so excited and happy.”

Karl Cook and Kaley Cuoco
| Credit: Milla Cochran/startraks

Cuoco and Sweeting’s divorce was finalized in May 2016. In a candid interview with Cosmopolitan for its April 2016 issue, the actress said her divorce “changes the way I look at marriage, and that makes me sad,” — though she maintained it “does not change the way that I look at love.”

“I thought I’d have a baby by now!” she confessed. “You see your life going one way, and then it’s the direct opposite way. I’m waking up going, Oh my God, my life just flipped upside down.”

However, even then she wasn’t ruling out the possibility for romance.

“I cannot wait to be in love again,” she said. “I don’t feel like I am ready yet which is so different for me. I dive into everything.”

Ryan Sweeting and Kaley Cuoco
| Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty

Cuoco’s relationship with Cook took off almost instantly.

“Even when I was going through [my divorce], I was like, ‘Oh, I’m never going to love again’ — I can’t even pretend to say that, ’cause it’s not me,” she said during an appearance on CBS This Morning in May 2016. “It’s not my heart. I know that’s not me, and I know I will again. And I’ve actually never been happier.”

“I’m excited to see what the future holds,” she added. “I have to say, I’m happier than I’ve ever been. There are just special people in my life now, and the show is doing great and I’ve got my horses.”

Of her new beau, Cuoco said with a smile: “He’s special.”

“I think meeting people that are involved [in the same things as you] — I think that the horse connection is special. He’s special,” she said, noting the fact that they both share a love of horses (the actress has been riding for years, and has several horses of her own) and animals in general. (Cuoco later revealed that the two actually met at a horse show, gushing that she “finally found my horse guy.”)

Cuoco reiterated how important their common interests are during an interview with PEOPLE in August 2016.

“When you share something so special, some sort of connection — for us, it’s horses, but anything two people share — you have that common goal and you know that you want the same things in life, day to day, and in the future,” she explained. “It just sets you on a better path. Having a lot in common is really important and we definitely have a lot in common. I think that that’s what makes us so strong and really happy.”