During the last rose ceremony in Peru on Monday night, Arie ended things with Lauren and proposed to Becca.
His feelings changed when he got back to the states, where he made the jaw-dropping confession that he was still thinking about Lauren quite a lot while he and Becca were engaged. He then broke up with her in unedited footage that aired on national television.
Then, on Tuesday’s After The Final Rose special, he asked an emphatic Lauren to marry him. "I’ve made some bad decisions but the best decision was running back to you,” he said. “I can’t imagine a life without you. … I truly believe you are my soulmate. I’m ready to face this life with you, and all that comes with it. The good, and the bad. I love you so much. I wanted to do this in front everyone because I want to show you that I should have done this a long time ago. Lauren Elizabeth Burnham, will you marry me?”
Getting to this point for Arie hasn’t been exactly easy on him, given what he had to do to Becca prior to proposing to Lauren. “There’s been a lot of guilt and a lot of shame,” he told PEOPLE exclusively. "I know it must have been extremely difficult for Becca. But I only had one foot in that relationship, and that wasn’t fair to her.”
When asked why he proposed in the first place, he said "I didn’t want to let anyone down. But I needed more time to make that decision. I made a huge mistake. I went with my head, and I shut down those feelings for Lauren. The relationship with Becca was great, but my heart wasn’t with her.”
Arie ended up asking for advice from people who have been through this experience before. “Immediately after the proposal, I just had this hole in my heart. I tried to concentrate on my relationship with Becca, and I really made a push to make it work. But I wasn’t getting over Lauren,” he says. “I leaned on former Bachelors and Bachelorettes, like Rachel (Lindsay), JoJo (Fletcher), Sean (Lowe) and asked them, ‘Is this normal?’ Everyone was like, ‘Yes, give it some time.’ I was very open with Becca about how I was feeling. It must not have been easy for her. But I knew that it was more than just missing someone. I had to take this risk.”
After all of this, everything came up roses (literally) for Becca, as it was just announced she will be the new Bachelorette! Even better, she says she holds no ill will toward Lauren about Arie's decision. “At the end of the day, we both just fell in love with the same guy and she can’t help that. The only person that I can fault in this is Arie and the way he handled it.”
How do you think Arie handled himself in this entire situation? Sound off in the comments!