The Most Romantic Bachelor Nation Proposals, Ranked

- The Bachelor -
The Most Romantic Bachelor Nation Proposals, Ranked

Bachelor Nation is hardly new to a whirlwind romance. After all, the whole premise of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette is that the lead hopes to find love — and get engaged — after just a few months getting to know their potential spouse. On Bachelor in Paradise, that timeline is even shorter, with real-life filming taking place over just about three weeks. And some lasting relationships have come out of the franchise. But Clare Crowley and Dale Moss’s engagement seemed to happen even quicker than anything we’ve seen out of BIP.

Over just 12 days of filming (at least according to reports about exactly when the couple walked away from the show), these two somehow already knew that they’d found The One. They even seemed to know it before their first one-on-one date. Granted, they had the benefit of being able to Insta-stalk each other for months before they ever met, but many viewers still seem to doubt that they’ll make their love last. That said, when Dale got down on one knee, their romance seemed real — so I decided to see just how their proposal stacked up against some of the other most romantic moments in Bachelor Nation.

Join me on this ~journey~ as I compare their engagement to some of the other successful couples in the franchise to see if they also have what it takes.

#4: Clare and Dale

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Usually on The Bachelorette, the final guy doesn’t actually know he’s the final guy when he gets down on one knee. However, there was nothing “usual” about Clare and Dale’s relationship. After allegedly spending no more than two weeks together (and that’s generous), the South Dakota native was ready to put a ring on it — and the show’s lead was more than excited to accept.

When Chris Harrison made it crystal clear to Dale just what was expected of him if he and Clare really wanted to ride off into the sunset together, he seemed unsure at first, but by the time he donned his suit and tie, he was all in. And his soon-to-be fiancé couldn’t have looked more glowing when she first laid eyes on him as he walked towards her. Standing there in a bright white gown heavy with beaded details, she looked the very picture of a bride.

Once they were finally standing together by the podium, one last rose resting on top of it, they greeted each other with a kiss and a hug, another rarity that goes hand-in-hand with the fact that the final two contestants don’t usually know for sure how the proposal will go. Clare, on the other hand, has made her feelings perfectly obvious — but just in case she didn’t get her point across earlier, she continues to gush during this moment. “I can’t believe we’re standing here,” she admits. “There’s one rose.”

The other major change in procedure? Clare’s speech is up first this time. Typically, the suitor is the one pouring their heart out on camera, unsure if they’re about to be rejected or romanced. The last few episodes of Season 16, however, have made it clear that the new narrative is the Bachelorette herself being unsure if her final pick is on her same page. In that fashion, it’s up to her to make herself vulnerable first.

“From the moment that I knew that you were coming, like, I was so excited to meet you,” Clare tells Dale. “Then when you got here, it was like electricity for me because I knew that I had just met my husband. You embody everything that I want in a man. Everything, just like my dad had. You’re kind. You’re strong. You’re compassionate. And I just am so in love with the man that you are. You made me feel like everything that I’ve ever been through, the ups and downs and other relationships — like, it was all worth it because I've got you right now. And most importantly, you’ve shown me that you would never run away and never leave me. And I’ve never, ever had a man that would stay, and you continue to show up for me. And I promise you that I want to show up for you each and every single day. You make me so happy.”

It was Dale’s turn next — and he needed to take a deep breath to steady himself. He also needed to take a moment to reflect on just how strange their reality had become. “Yeah, it’s uh, it’s wild, right?” he asked. “That we’re here right now.” But he went on to deliver the same kind of epic declarations that the Bachelorette had, reassuring both her and the audience that he was on her same page after all. He promised her that he also knew they had something “special” the second he stepped out of the limo, and that there was no denying what they both immediately felt.

“I know without a shadow of a doubt that you would go to the end of the world for me, and I’ve never had that. And I’m so grateful for that,” Dale told Clare. “You talked about strength and compassion and how you saw that in me, similar to your father, and that meant everything. You know, I want to be here for you, I want to be strong. I want you to feel protected, and I want nothing more than to keep moving forward, to be there for you each and every day. And I’ve thought a lot about, you know, my mother, and what she would think about you, and she would absolutely love you. And all she’s ever wanted for me is someone who just loves me unconditionally who would be there for me no matter what. I mean, I know that I have that, and I love you.”

After Clare whispered it back and they kissed, he promised to make her happy each and every day — and he started that by dropping down to one knee. “I’m gonna do it,” he told her. “You’re doing it!” she squeaked back. “I’m doing it,” he repeated. “Yeah, do it,” she whispered. And then it was done. He officially popped the question, she said yes, they started kissing, Dale tried to stand up, and Clare shoved him back onto one knee so they could finish the exchange exactly as she’d pictured it.

“Put that ring on my finger,” she told him. “I’ve waited a lot of years for this.” In classic Dale fashion, he proved to be exactly the right man for her by effortlessly rolling with the punches. “I got it,” he promised. “That’ll do.”

Reasoning: These two had the benefit of knowing they were exactly on the same page (for the most part) when they exchanged a ring and a rose. That said, they were also on the same exact page about what they were looking for — qualities they recognized as shared with the parents they’d lost — and how love can bloom in an instant. They both felt that spark when they first met, and apparently that was enough.

Clare loses a point for literally pushing Dale onto his knees, but he regains that point by not at all being bothered by it (give him a sainthood, honestly). While I was absolutely blown away by just how compatible they really do seem to be, I’m giving them last place just because they’ve yet to prove themselves.

#3: Sean and Catherine

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Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici have shared one of the most enduring romances in Bachelor Nation. Not only did they go on to actually tie the knot and start a family (these two now share three adorable kids), Sean is also the only Bachelor to propose to and stay with his final pick. While Jason Mesnick and Arie Luyendyk Jr. are still with women they met on the show, neither Bachelor star realized who they really wanted to be with until they’d proposed to another woman. Sean got it right on his first try — and he and Catherine have been so sweet and silly together ever since.

But there was nothing to laugh about when he popped the question back in Season 17. Though Catherine initially had trouble believing that her engagement was really happening right before her eyes, Sean was nothing but serious about her. As soon as she walked up to him on that last day, he took the opportunity to tell her just how amazing she looked and impress upon her how much he treasured what they had.

“This has been such a crazy journey,” he told her, speaking first. “And there have been so many unexpected, wonderful moments with you. I knew from the very beginning that you were someone that I wanted to be around, I just had no idea that my feelings were going to turn into what they’ve turned into. You never cease to amaze me. You never do. I think the world of you, and I miss you every time we have to say goodbye. I miss you. I don’t want to say goodbye anymore.”

Taking one last deep breath, he let loose while his soon-to-be fiancé did her best to process what was happening. “Catherine, I want to spend the rest of my life telling you I love you and making you feel like you’re the most special, beautiful woman in the world,” he pledged. As she tried to catch her breath and not pass out, he knelt down and pulled out a ring. “Catherine, will you marry me?” he asked.

“Yes,” Catherine said — then gasped, almost as if she’d surprised herself with how fast her answer came. After that, all she could manage was a chorus of “oh my god” and “oh my gosh.” “This is for real?” she asked, as if she still couldn’t believe it. It’s probably for the best that she wasn’t expected to make a speech of her own, because we’re pretty sure she was completely unable to form full sentences at that point.

Reasoning: The fact that Catherine got so tongue-tied and breathless is unbearably sweet, but it also meant that we didn’t get any grand declarations from her. While I hate watching a contestant who is about to be dumped pour their heart out, I love seeing a soon-to-be engaged couple both express just how strongly they feel about each other. On a show where the power imbalance is so out of whack, it’s nice to see a little reciprocity at the proposal. For that reason, I have to give this couple third place.

#2: Rachel and Bryan

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Like Clare and and Dale, the Bachelorette on Season 13 had already narrowed her contestants down to one final pick by the final day of the journey. When Rachel Lindsay woke up, she knew she would only be meeting Bryan Abasolo, and she knew that, as long as he proposed, she’d be engaged by the end of the day. Bryan, however, wasn’t as up to date on the situation. He hadn’t been briefed about runner-up Peter Kraus heading home early, so when he showed up to declare his love, he wasn’t quite as confident that the feelings were mutual. However, that didn’t hold him back from going all in.

When he met up with Rachel with the wind whipping all around them, he started the moment off on the right foot by kissing her and telling her in Spanish that she was “spectacular” and “very pretty,” just like he did on night one. The moment had tough-as-nails Rachel going weak at the knees and looking radiant as he finally geared up to make his speech. He first brought his speech back to the very moment they met, then took her through the course of their relationship.

“When I first stepped out of that limo, I knew I was in for the ride of my life. When we first kissed, it was literally like a chemistry bomb had just exploded, and I just knew that first night with 100% certainty in my heart that we definitely could be something special. You are everything I could ever want in a woman, a wife, the mother of my children,” he told her. “I am completely, head-over-heels, totally, absolutely in love with you, and I just hope you feel the same.”

Luckily, she did. But she didn’t let on right away. Instead, she first talked about how her heart was more confused than ever in the final week of the competition. In the past, she’d been drawn to “complicated” relationships, seeking “damaged” connections so she always had an out when the pressure was on. She admitted that she’d been looking for cracks in their relationship so she’d have a similar excuse when she felt like she needed to run, but things were just too perfect between them. Their love challenged her — but it also helped her see her forever.

“I really, really had to do some soul-searching, deeper than I ever have before, to find the courage to challenge myself,” she admitted. “But this love has been so mature. It’s tested me in ways that I couldn’t have even imagined. And I always said that I would know that the person I’m supposed to be with would be someone I could never picture my life without, so right here, in this moment standing with you, I see my forever, and I see my future.”

The words moved Bryan so much — literally moved him — that he lurched forward to try and kiss her before she could even finish. She laughed before continuing, “I just want to tell you that I love you, and I’m in love with you, and I can’t imagine spending my life with anyone else.”

Rachel’s declaration prompted her man to say more, and after taking a quick moment to kiss her face off, he shared with her that he’s the best version of himself when they’re together. “You are so easy and effortless to love,” he told her. “I just want to love you for the rest of my life.”

When he got down on one knee, the Bachelorette literally jumped up and down in her excitement as she agreed to “be his reina forever” by marrying him. And in proper bow-to-your-queen fashion, he even pressed a kiss to her hand before he stood back up to take her in his arms once more.

Reasoning: Say what you will about Rachel crying her fake eyelashes off over Peter, her giddy excitement over Bryan calling her “spectacular” in Spanish made it clear just who always had her heart. The fact that the ultimate take-no-shit Bachelorette got so excited that she was bouncing on her feet over her man proves that there was never anyone else for her. And Bryan saying she was easy and effortless to love? Our hearts be still.

#1: Desiree and Chris

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Fans weren’t sure that Bachelorette Desiree Hartsock and Chris Siegfried would go the distance. After all, she was left heartbroken by another contestant — Brooks Forester — after he decided to leave the show early. When she picked Chris, some viewers were convinced she was just settling for her second choice and that their relationship would fall apart soon enough. But these two proved everyone wrong when they went on to tie the knot and welcome two adorable little ones. Looking back at their proposal, it’s clear just how strongly they felt about each other.

When Chris first met up with Des on the final day of the show, he didn’t know that he was the only man left standing — both in the competition and in the Bachelorette’s heart. Despite that, he was willing to put his feelings on the line. “We’re here … and I couldn’t be more happy to have this journey with you,” he told her, unsure whether she felt the same way. “I’m very thankful that we were able to create all those memories. I loved that time we had together in Germany where we danced like crazy, and I fell in love with you there.”

In a heart-stopping moment, he started to get down on one knee, only for Des to pull him back to his feet. “Don’t say—? OK,” he said. For a second, it seemed like he was resigning himself to rejection, but when the Bachelorette started talking, she immediately was overcome by her tears.

“The past couple of weeks in Antigua have been incredible,” she told him, apologizing for how emotional she already was, and he quickly assured her that it was OK even though he was bracing himself for a broken heart. “You know, I was torn apart by Brooks leaving. I loved him, and, you know, throughout the journey, I was torn between the two of you, and, um, I couldn’t see that the one thing I always needed was right in front of me.” Finally, Chris started to catch on — and he began to smile even as Des ducked her head to wipe away her tears once more. “You’ve been by my side from the very beginning,” she assured him.

Realizing now was the moment, he got back on one knee, and this time Des let him. When he asked if she would marry him, she promised him the answer was “yes, a thousand times.” Between passionate kisses, she admitted that she “wanted to grow old and grey and wrinkly” by his side. “We made it,” she told him.

Reasoning: I have to admit, this one is kind of a dark-horse moment. I certainly didn’t expect them to take the top spot in this ranking — but reliving this proposal is a reminder of how a successful relationship is just as much about the work you put into it as the love that you share.

Despite Bryan’s declaration to Rachel, love isn’t always easy, and the fact that both Chris and Des were able to find it with each other after the destruction Brooks left in his wake is singularly impressive. Des’s powerful, passionate emotions pushed this proposal over the top, as well as her admitting that she wanted to be grey and wrinkly together one day. Now that’s love.


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Images: ABC

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