After a couple days of doing press and having to listen to criticism Rachel cared more about receiving an engagement ring than choosing the guy she was truly in love with on The Bachelorette, Bryan took to Instagram to express his feelings on Wednesday.
"Little fun fact that no one got to see on TV....I gave @therachlindsay several gifts throughout our journey, this one specifically during the night time portion of our first one-on-one date in Rioja, Spain. It holds a special place in my heart because it was the same night she told me she was IN love w/ me," Bryan captioned several photos of Rachel wearing a white and red jersey with sweatpants after the proposal filmed.
"It was the night I knew I was the one #ifyoudontknowyoudontknow #weknew #thatsallthatmatters. Custom made University of Texas jersey #1 On back: Dr. Abs & Big Rach 'I will always have your back.'"
Based on what viewers saw on The Bachelorettefinale on Monday night, Rachel's first profession of love was to Peter. When she was saying goodbye to the handsome suitor in Rioja, they both had tears streaming down their faces and said, "I love you," to one another.
Bryan is insisting, however, that Rachel noted she was "in love" with him during their overnight Fantasy Suite date, which filmed days before Peter's departure. He's also claiming he knew he was "the one" at that point.
Although Rachel has claimed she eliminated Peter because they had "deep-rooted issues" that never came to light on The Bachelorette, critics believe she only picked Bryan because he was willing to propose, and Peter was not.
Peter had made it clear before his exit that his heart was not ready to pick out a ring and get engaged.
Once Rachel threatened to part ways with Peter, he revealed he would be willing to propose marriage to her the next day -- but only in fear of losing her and the love they shared.
Rachel felt at the time that if Peter did ultimately pop the question, it would be because she had forced him to. The Bachelorette star also worried Peter would grow resentful since he said proposing would be making a huge "sacrifice" on his end.
Because of Rachel's apparent focus on the perfect engagement, fans have said she let her perfect man get away.
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"I think the proposal became such a focal point because that's what happens at the end of the show, but that was not the reason... I decided not to choose Peter, that wasn't the reason," Rachel told Reality TV World on Tuesday.
"It's confusing to me why people think that I would settle on such an important decision just to get a ring on my finger. I'm 32, I was single, I've taken my time in this whole process because of how much it means to me, like, I didn't come and do all of this just to get a ring at the end of it, no. I don't understand why people keep saying that."