The Bachelor Winter Games couple talks the challenges of being in a long distance relationship, but how they're making it work

By Brianne Tracy
February 22, 2018 10:24 PM

Dean Unglert got down on one knee during The Bachelor Winter Games: World Tells All special, but it wasn’t for the reason viewers might have expected.

While it looked like Unglert, 26, was going to propose to girlfriend Lesley Murphy, 30, when he presented her with a little black box, he surprised everyone by revealing that there was a key to his home — rather than an engagement ring — inside. But Murphy, who is a travel blogger for a living and lives out of her suitcase, wasn’t quite as shocked.

“I had a good feeling about it,” Murphy tells PEOPLE of the surprise. “I went into this whole thing with a very open mind and had no clue what to expect. I was super excited to come out dating this one. He’s such a gem and such a catch and we’ll see where it goes.”

Credit: ABC

Though Murphy now has a place to call home, she says that she and Unglert have a lot more traveling in store.

“I’m most excited about traveling all over the world with this one and seeing if he can keep up,” she jokes.

“We’ve got plans to travel a little bit in the next couple of weeks,” Unglert adds. “It’s exciting to start this next chapter where we don’t necessarily have to hide anything. We’ve done a pretty poor job of that, but it’ll be fun to be able to not only build a romantic relationship. I think that it’s nice to know that our relationship is more than just romance, it’s friendship as well.”

The couple was able to spend 15 days on the road together after filming was finished for the show, which is where they first started dating, but they were long distance the rest of the time.

“It hasn’t been easy, especially coming from the show where we lived together in a beautiful environment for a couple of weeks to basically being long distance and having to rely on FaceTime and text messages,” Murphy says. “Long distance is never easy but the good thing about me living out of a suitcase is that I can be anywhere at anytime, and I think that his lifestyle allows for him to come travel with me as well.”

“I had the time of my life in Vermont — even though it was so rocky afterwards, it was well worth the hardship,” Murphy continues, which makes Unglert ask, “What was rocky?”

“I think just real life,” Murphy says. “Real life was rocky. We lived together in Vermont and so I saw him breakfast, lunch and dinner and then coming off the shows, it turned into this long distance thing where we were on the phone. That’s hard. We had to get used to that and learn how to deal with that and here we are.”

Unglert says they’ve “argued a little bit” along the way, but that they’re “getting better everyday” and adds that the fact they had to keep their relationship a secret until after the show aired was a challenge.

“I think it’s very debilitating to a relationship to not be able to be as vocal as you want to and to kind of ‘hide it,’ ” he says. “But it’s nice to start living normally.”


Throughout her journey on Winter Games, Murphy has been open about her recent double mastectomy and she says she’s “so glad” that she shared story.

“I’m huge into early detection and screenings and I got to thank this one because I don’t think when we met he had any clue what he was walking into,” Murphy says. “I think my experience is what any woman who just came out of such a big surgery would hope for, something like a double mastectomy when you have no idea how to even tell a future whoever about. His response was the best I could have ever hoped for.”

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Of course, Unglert has always been supportive of her.

“I think anyone who isn’t fine with something like that is out of their mind,” he says. “What Lesley had to go through this year was incredibly difficult, but to see her come out with such positivity and optimism about everything is great. It’s not easy, it’ll never get easier, but she’s a trooper.”