updated 03/15/2011 AT 8:00 AM ET
•originally published 03/15/2011 AT 11:00 AM ET
I’m engaged to Emily Maynard!
It’s hard to describe how badly I’ve wanted to speak, type, text and even scream those words for the past few months. I’m engaged!
I can honestly say that I am happier than I’ve ever been in my entire life and I am hoping to provide the woman I love with that very same happiness. It’s been such a strange ordeal to try to “survive” so much speculation, so much scrutiny. Emily is an inherently kind woman and some of the things we’ve had to endure have tested our relationship but here we are – and we’ve made it! We are both looking at this as a brand new start to an already blossoming relationship … the future is in our hands!
The day that I proposed to Emily is one that will forever be etched into my mind. I remember seeing her at the top of the stairs at the vineyard. She literally took my breath away. I remember thinking to myself, “I’m looking at the woman I’m going to marry.” It was such a confident thought, one I had searched for my entire life. I’ve never been in that position before. Countless people throughout my life have told me, “When you know, you just know.” When I got to know Emily, I just knew. I knew I had fallen into love – and it’s a love I wanted to have forever.
I want to take a minute and thank all of you for your continued support throughout the season. I know there was so much controversy involved with bringing me back to be The Bachelor for a second time around. I actually understand why people were so upset. All I can say is thank you so very much for giving me a second chance. You helped change my life. I hope all of you realize what a profound statement that is … you helped change my life. I met the absolute woman of my dreams and, in a large part, it’s due to all of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
People are going to ask, “What’s next?” The short answer is: nothing (but everything). Emily and I are so excited to begin a very normal life with a very real relationship. No press, no media, no “exclusive” stories. We are looking forward to movie nights, cups of coffee together, hanging out with her beautiful daughter at the park and anything else that so many couples do on a daily basis. We are looking forward to life beginning together.
Thank you again, everybody. You have made me a very happy man!