Rapper and CSI: Cyber actor Shad "Bow Wow" Moss, 27, popped the question to Love and Hip Hop: New York's Erica Mena, 28, last September.
"I've known Erica for a long, long time," Moss told PEOPLE.
The pair worked together on various projects over the years before reuniting on his BET show, 106 and Park, last February, where they shared an on-camera kiss that set the relationship in motion.
"We noticed we had a lot in common and just took it day by day. You know how it goes, you text one day, then start texting every day," says Moss of their modern-day romance. "She's very smart, silly, knows how to hustle. And she's electrifying. Anytime you have all of that in a woman, what more could you want?"
That's why Moss says he proposed with a 20-carat solitaire stunner by celebrity jeweler Elliot Avianne after just six months of dating.
And thanks to 3-year-old daughter Shai from a previous relationship (Mena also has a son named King), "I wanted to be a better man than my father was," says Moss. "This relationship has definitely changed me as a person."
Now, while he's on hiatus from filming CSI, it's all about wedding planning, and whatever Mena wants.
"I let her spearhead the engagement pictures," Moss says of their desert shoot in Apple Valley, California, on Feb. 6. "They say it's best to just say 'yea' to everything!"
But that doesn't stop him from dreaming. The two plan to tie the knot this June.
"I've got images in my head of how it will be," says Moss. "I'm excited ... What we have is real genuine."