America's most eligible Bachelor is officially off the market!
Ben Higgins proposed to flight attendant Lauren Bushnell with a 4.25 carat Neil Lane ring on the show's finale Monday night.
"Everything that happened led me to Lauren," Higgins tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week's cover story. "I couldn't be happier."
The business analyst, 27, fell hard for 26-year-old Bushnell on night one.
His feelings grew stronger even as he grew close to runner up, real estate developer JoJo Fletcher, 25, eventually telling both women he was in love with them.
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"I can't apologize for being honest or expressing what I thought was best to express at the time," says Higgins. "But I could never picture my life without Lauren."
As for Bushnell, who is moving into Higgins' Denver home this month, "It was all worth it. I appreciate him more every day."