“I’m so excited for this next step,” Lauren Zima tells PEOPLE

By Aili Nahas
September 07, 2019 11:30 AM
(L-R) Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima
Randy Shropshire/Getty Images

Broadcast journalist Lauren Zima has landed a big promotion — and her boyfriend Chris Harrison couldn’t be more supportive!

The longtime contributor for ETOnline, who is dating the Bachelor host, has been promoted to a full-time correspondent at Entertainment Tonight.

“I’m so excited for this next step,” Zima tells PEOPLE. “My job is my passion and the next phase means doing more of what I love.”

Zima, who started at ET in 2015 as a senior producer and on-camera talent, also hosts ETOnline’s YouTube show Roses and Rose, a popular Bachelor Nation recap show. She began dating Harrison, whom she met through interviews, last year.

“Chris has been incredibly supportive of my career,” says Zima who made her official red carpet debut with Harrison in January. “He’s been my sounding board and the kind of guy who stops what he’s doing to take my call if I need advice, personally or professionally. We work hard to be each other’s biggest champions and celebrate our accomplishments.”

Now, Zima says she’s looking forward to her new role — and to celebrate with her man.

“Basically, he’s taking me to a steak dinner and he’s bringing the wine,” Zima says. “A really good bottle!”

RELATED: Bachelor Host Chris Harrison Beams While Making Red Carpet Debut with Girlfriend Lauren Zima

The exciting news came one week after Harrison and Zima celebrated their one-year anniversary.

“In this year I’ve leaned on you, laughed with you and fallen in love with you for the incredible man that you are,” Zima wrote on Instagram, alongside a black and white photo of the couple sharing a kiss.

“Thank you for adding to my life with your positivity, perspective and patience, and for supporting me in becoming exactly who I want to be. Thank you for being a source of joy, and for knowing that life is good when love is easy,” she added. “Oh, and big thanks for the copious amounts of wine. ❤️”

Harrison and Zima’s paths naturally crossed because of their careers. After appearing as a reoccurring guest on Entertainment Tonight‘s Bachelor segments, Harrison previously told PEOPLE 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.

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