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Shantel VanSanten and Victor Webster got engaged last month 

By Christina Dugan and Ally Mauch
March 05, 2021 03:20 PM
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Shantel VanSanten
Credit: Shantel VanSanten/Instagram

Shantel VanSanten has found her happily ever after.

The actress, 35, got engaged to boyfriend Victor Webster on Feb. 9. The pair dated for four years after first meeting on the set of a Hallmark movie, Love Blossoms, in 2017. Now, they're ready to "begin forever." 

"It was the most perfect, wonderful day of my entire life," VanSanten tells PEOPLE of Webster's proposal. "And I can't wait to marry my best friend."

"Relationships aren't easy — you have to fight for it, you have to work at it," the For All Mankind star adds. "We've done that and we've put in the work and now feel settled. I'm excited that we get to begin forever together." 

VanSanten says the secret to the success of her relationship with Webster, 48, is that they "balance each other out."

"He has this childlike wonder when it comes to adventuring and exploring and pushing the limits and getting me to sit on the top of a 500 foot waterfall in Bali, to jump out of helicopters," explains the One Tree Hill alum. "There's just such a zest for life, and I would say I'm a little bit more of a homebody. I'm not as social as he is."

"He's the head and I'm the heart," the actress continues. "And when it comes to making decisions, we can be fire and fire, but in the end, the way that we both come to the table with different things has allowed me to grow and to see a different perspective in life."

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As for their wedding plans, VanSanten says she and Webster are currently navigating how to have a ceremony that includes their families in Texas and Minnesota, as well as their friends in California. 

"We have lots of ideas we're tossing about," she says, noting that they may do a series of smaller weddings in each place. 

"Who knows where we'll land, but we're such adventurers and just love traveling together," she adds. "So I feel like that'll have to be some sort of part of it." 

Last summer, the couple took a road trip across the country to visit family, and VanSanten says they're thinking of recreating it to celebrate their nuptials. 

"If you can go on a 42-day road trip with your partner and not kill one another, I think we're good," she jokes, adding that her lasting romance with the Days of Our Lives alum is still a "total surprise" to her. 

"I would never have known it was going to be him," she says. "That's the biggest surprise to me — I never had a picture for what I wanted in my life, and my heart has always been very open. But I remember meeting him and now looking back on our journey to where we are now, and it's a total surprise. I love him more and more with every breath." 

New episodes of For All Mankind drop Fridays on Apple TV+.