Former Bachelor Arie Luyendyk Jr. had a whirlwind of a year, since completing filming for the show in January. Luyendyk was one of the show’s most controversial stars after changing his mind after originally proposing to publicist Becca Kufrin. He quickly realized his heart was still with Lauren Burnham, the show’s runner-up. Luyendyk broke things off with Kufrin and immediately after became engaged to Burnham, shocking the nation and angering many fans. Now he is looking back on the chaos, relieved that things turned out the way they did, according to Today.
Luyendyk reflected upon the immense pressure of his starring role in the show, describing the weight of having so many people watching your most private and vulnerable moments. “As a person who doesn’t like to be the center of attention, this weight is very real. The experience is unlike anything else in this world. You make unforgettable memories and after months of your life are documented, you wait eagerly to see how the show turns out,” he said.
Luyendyk wishes that what the show depicted was closer to his actual experience. He compared watching the season back to watching the movie version of your favorite book. It wasn’t how he remembered and the most significant moments were left out. While he realizes he made a mistake in how he handled the ending of the show, he feels that every move he made came from the heart.
The reality star is happy with the decision he made and is now anxiously awaiting his first child with Burnham. However, it took many trials to get where he is today. For months after the show aired, the couple had to essentially go into hiding in order to avoid the public eye. They could not do normal things like go to the movies or to the grocery store. He was receiving so much backlash in the media that the two decided to go abroad for a while while things cooled off. Luyendyk now looks at that trip as one of his fondest memories of this past year.
“We were finally out in public and exploring the world together. I would catch myself looking at her when she wouldn’t see me and I would think to myself that being with her is the best decision I’ve ever made in my life,” he said.
The happy couple now lives together in Phoenix and is planning the last few details of their wedding which will take place January 12.