Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertson
03/13/2012 at 06:30 AM EDT
It's been a turbulent season
for Bachelor Ben Flajnik.
The Sonoma winemaker, 29, told PEOPLE in January that going into this season he had "one thing in mind – to stay open and honest with myself."
Little did Flajnik know that he, like The Bachelor
's millions of viewers, would later watch on TV the catty, spiteful and downright mean behavior amongst the contestants – namely Ford model Courtney Robertson
, 28. Robertson and effervescent, down-to-earth business development manager Lindzi Cox
, 27, were Flajnik's final two
potential mates out of 25 women.
"I'm not sure how this is going to end," an exasperated Flajnik said at the beginning of Monday's finale, which was filmed in Zermatt, Switzerland.
For weeks, viewers watched frontrunner Robertson's vixen-like antics
, including hurling sharp insults at her fellow contestants and boasting about getting a rose from Flajnik. Many hoped that playful and lighthearted Cox – who confessed her love to Flajnik – would win him over. But with Cox standing hopefully before him – the majestic Matterhorn mountain in the background – Flajnik said he was "in love with someone else."
That someone was Robertson. Despite being warned about the behavior that was going on when he wasn't around, Flajnik asked for the model's hand in marriage.
"What a journey," Flajnik said to Robertson. "It's been an incredible road getting to this point with you. But I promised myself that I wouldn't get down on one knee again unless I was certain it was forever, and I want to tell you that you are my forever. You are my forever. And I have waited a really, really long time – a really, really long time to tell you that I'm in love with you more than you'll ever know and that this whole experience and journey has been worth it every step of the way."
Robertson nervously giggled, trying to fight back tears as Flajnik spoke.
"So, with all of that said," he continued, kneeling down, "Courtney, will you marry me?"
"Oh, my God," Robertson said with a gasp as he presented her with the Neil Lane platinum and diamond engagement ring.
"Yes, of course I will," she said, smiling as he placed the sparkler on her finger. "I love you so much. Oh my gosh, Ben. Beautiful. I love it. I will love you forever."
"I will love you forever," Flajnik replied. "I am so happy right now. You have no idea."
They exchanged kisses and "I love yous" before Robertson declared, "Oh my God, this ring is heavy!"