Stating she preferred "passion" over "stability," Meredith Phillips chose former New York investment banker and current vagabond Ian McKee over Texas pharmaceutical salesman Matthew Hickl during last evening's finale of the second season of ABC's The Bachelorette.

Despite her statements during the early part of the two-hour finale in which Meredith professed her love for Matthew and told him that she hoped to end the show with an engagement ring from him, in the end she opted for the guarded and more reserved 29-year-old Ian.

After Matthew's visit with her parents and brother, Meredith proclaimed that "having Matthew meet my family, to me, makes me feel like the woman that I always knew I should be. And now I am."

But once Ian came to town, the 30-year-old make-up artist/model clearly changed her tune, as, upon arriving for the final rose ceremony Meredith told the 28-year-old Matt that "You are a wonderful man. You have been nothing but open and loving and taking care of me." "My family loves you. I love your family. There's nothing I don't love about you. But there's a but..." Then, gaining her composure, she broke the Texan's heart and said "The but is, I feel more strongly for someone else. I'm so sorry."

Handling his disappointment well, Matt remarked that "It's OK. I am blessed to have ever met you and to have you in my life for a moment. You're following your heart, and I respect you for that."

When Ian arrived, Meredith professed her love to the man who had previously vowed that if selected he would not propose during the series' conclusion. "Ian, I want to be with you, and I don't ever see myself without you," Meredith said. "And I am just absolutely, so, so in love with you, it's crazy. And I have never felt like this before."

Replied Ian, "The first day I walked out of that limo and met you, I knew. I worried that everything happened so fast. I was scared. But I trust my instincts that you're my girl." Then, dropping to one knee, he pulled out the ring that he had previously selected from the show's jewelers and added "Will you?" -- to which an ecstatic Meredith replied "Yes! Yes!"

The couple will made their first joint appearance during this evening's The Bachelor: After The Rose live broadcast on ABC.