Bachelor Pad's Michelle Money and Graham Bunn Going Strong
09/05/2011 AT 02:25 PM EDT
"Graham and I talk multiple times a day," Money told PEOPLE over the phone recently. "When I left the show, we both knew that he was going back to New York and I'm going back to Utah, and we live very different lives. We don't live close to each other by any stretch of the imagination, so we knew that it was kind of like, 'We'll see what happens.' And since then, we have definitely grown closer."
Money, who acknowledges that her official relationship status with her Bachelor Pad costar is "not definable," was attracted to the former The Bachelorette contestant immediately.
"Right when he walked in the door ... I was like, 'Okay, this is going to be a really fun experience,' " she says. "He's got these eyes that just kill you right when you see him. It's like, 'Okay, I'm done!' "
But for the single mom, who met Bunn for the first time when shooting began, the attraction extends beyond Bunn's physical assets.
"The unique thing about Graham is that he is not just hot, he is an incredible human being," says Money. "He's so much more than just beautiful on the outside. His heart is beautiful. His soul is beautiful. He's just a really incredible guy all around."
When Money signed on for the competition, she had no expectations of finding love with her partner. "My intention in going on the show was to win the money – end of story," she says. "I never in a million years thought that I would meet someone that I would want to continue seeing after the show was over. It was a really pleasant surprise."
This new Michelle Money, who shyly admitted to Bunn she had a crush on him during the third episode of Bachelor Pad, may seem like a far cry from the woman who aggressively pursued Brad Womack on the last season of The Bachelor.
"I went on The Bachelor to find love, and in order to find love in eight weeks, you have to really utilize your time with someone," she says of her more aggressive approach to flirting with Womack. "I took the approach of just taking advantage of every second I had with [Brad], whereas on Bachelor Pad, there was no goal at the end of the show to have a relationship."
Money also stands by her claim that she's been a victim of editing. "I'm not any different than I was in The Bachelor; they're just choosing to show different sides of me [now]," she says. "There was a sweeter side of me on The Bachelor; they just never showed it."