Bret Michaels & Kristi Gibson Engagement More Likely Than Ever

08/24/2010 at 01:00 PM EDT

Bret Michaels & Kristi Gibson Engagement More Likely Than Ever
Bret Michaels and Kristi Gibson
Courtesy Kristi Gibson
Las Vegas doesn't have official odds on whether Bret Michaels and Kristi Gibson will finally get engaged. But Michaels says it's a better bet than ever.

The chances that he and his on-and-off girlfriend of 16 years will decide to marry are now about "50/50," the rocker told PEOPLE on Monday in Vegas. That's way up from the past few years – his VH1 Rock of Love days – when the odds were probably 1 in 100, he says.

"We've been talking a lot about getting engaged, and we'll see what happens," said Michaels, 47, who was in Sin City to co-host the 2010 Miss Universe Pageant. "We just want to make sure we're not doing it for anyone other than ourselves."

Michaels says he and Gibson, 39 – the mother of his two daughters, Raine, 10, and Jorja, 5 – grew closer than ever during his difficult recovery from a life-threatening brain hemorrhage this spring.

"Fate has a strange way of intervening in your life, and I think everything just kind of came together," he says. "Hopefully we'll get engaged. But if we don't, we'll still love and respect each other."

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