Samantha Steffen ‘In Love’ With Nick Peterson, Engagement Next For ‘Paradise’ Stars?

Bachelor in Paradise stars Samantha Steffen and Nick Peterson are still together three months after filming wrapped up on ABC’s summer reality show. While many fans did not expect the couple to last after the controversy that surrounded Samantha throughout the season, they both claim to be falling in love with each other and want to “settle down.”

In an interview with People, Samantha states that they have been dating for three months. She traveled to Nick’s hometown of Tampa, Florida, after filming wrapped up in June and he flew out to see her after the finale aired at the end the beginning of September. Samantha, 28, admits living on opposite coasts is tough, but they are making it work.

“We only had like two dates before we left Paradise, so it was really nice getting to spend time together off camera,” Samantha tells People. “I really got to know him, and I got to meet his family.”

How quickly after they met in Paradise did they fall in love? Steffen tells People that Nick told her at the end of July — a month after filming ended — that he was falling for her. That’s not a big surprise considering he admitted to texting her constantly for several months leading up to taping the show — they probably knew each other pretty well by the time they met in Mexico.

“Nick told me at the end of July that he was falling in love with me. I said the same thing. It’s a strong word, but I would not be dating him unless I felt serious about it. I really want to settle down.”

Although she didn’t mention if they have talked about getting engaged, she did say they are focused on their relationship and they always have a date planned so they can see each other — even if that means traveling coast to coast.

“It’s difficult being on opposite sides of the country but we always have a date planned to see each other and that makes it easier,” Samantha told People. “Nick is a great guy and I’m lucky to have him!”

Samantha and Nick did not appear on the live After Paradise special that aired after the September 7 season finale, prompting speculation that they had split. However, during a Periscope broadcast after the show, Nick explained that they couldn’t attend “due to a family situation.”

Since the show ended, they have been sharing pictures with fans whenever they get together. Between the Instagram pics and the interview with People, it looks like Samantha and Nick want everyone to know that the Joe Bailey drama is behind them.

Fans who want to see if the love connection is as good as they describe can meet Samantha and Nick at the grand opening of the 34 Below nightclub in Mooresville, North Carolina, on October 9.

Nick and Samantha aren’t the only Bachelor in Paradise stars who are still in a relationship three months after the show finished taping.

Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert, who got engaged on the Paradise finale, shared some big news on Instagram this week. Jade and her dog, Pippa, officially moved into Tanner’s beautiful Kansas City home on Monday.

Next on the list is a wedding, but they haven’t confirmed if they will do a TV wedding on the next season of Bachelor in Paradise or get married closer to home surrounded by friends and family. Host Chris Harrison tells the Huffington Post that he doesn’t think “Janner” will wait until June to tie the knot, so keep tabs on their Twitter accounts (@jadelizroper, @tannertolbert5) for the latest wedding news.

Do you think Samantha and Nick will go the distance and get engaged like their co-stars Jade and Tanner?

[Image: Nick Peterson / Instagram]