"Believe it or not, [I'm] actually very private normally with my relationships, and so... to be attacked on social media and just sometimes in the media, it was really hard individually and just together as a couple."
Bryan, a 37-year-old chiropractor from Miami, FL, proposed to Rachel during The Bachelorette finale, and the couple was quick to claim after the show wrapped that they were happily engaged and madly in love.
Rachel's final breakup with Peter Kraus on the show, however, was emotional and excruciating. Rachel didn't seem to want to let Peter go, but his hesitancy to potentially pop the question was a dealbreaker for her, as the Dallas attorney warned her suitors that she didn't want to leave The Bachelorette process with just a boyfriend.
Rachel was therefore criticized for choosing an engagement ring over true love. Her third-place finisher, Eric Bigger, even admitted to multiple media outlets that Bryan was Rachel's "rebound" and "consolation prize" -- comments he later apologized for. But Rachel continued to insist Bryan was her first choice.
Bryan, who was also criticized for being insincere and the player-type, told Dean that he kept his romance with Rachel strong and thriving despite the haters by "just being honest with one another about how it affected us," he said, although it wasn't always an easy task.
"For us, it was like, if we can get through this -- which was a lot in the beginning -- we can get through anything."
Bryan also said their continued commitment to each other is a "tribute" to their "maturity level."
"Just us knowing each other so well and knowing exactly what we want... not everybody is gonna like you 100 percent of the time," he told Dean. "You might think you do everything perfect, and somebody's still going to have a problem with it."
The couple has apparently just been working hard over the past few months on communication and being vulnerable with each other.
"If we see something out there that's negative or bashing us in any way, we'll talk about it," Bryan explained. "I just think it takes two people that have that level of respect for each other to not let those types of things affect you."