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"I DM'd him," Lauren told Nick during a July 2019 episode of "The Viall Files" podcast, confirming she had made the first move. "I will say, I DM'd after a bit of a vibe."
After interacting in an "incredibly professional" atmosphere for years, Lauren reportedly revealed that Chris had given her "a different vibe" that was "fairly overt" at a craft services table, according to Us.
"He mentioned something about picking his kids up or something. He somehow brought up being single, I think," Lauren recalled.
"And then I said something like, 'I'm single now,' and he was like, 'Oh.' But I said it in a more eloquent way. God, I don't know. Somehow it was communicated... I opened the door and he walked through."
Lauren said Chris asked her out for drinks after she initiated conversation with a direct message on Instagram.
The couple then made their red carpet debut in January 2019 at Entertainment Weekly's pre-SAG Awards party.
Chris and Lauren went on to spark secret-marriage speculation in April 2021, when Chris posted an Instagram photo of Lauren wearing a beautiful seemingly-white dress in Dallas, TX.
"'I'd stop the world and melt with you' @laurenzima there's no one I'd rather celebrate love with and I'll be your plus one anytime," Chris captioned the image at the time.
ABC and Chris publicly declared in June that Chris' voluntary leave of absence from The Bachelor franchise would become a permanent one and he would not be returning as host for any future seasons.
Chris wrote in a June 8 statement on Instagram how he was "excited to start a new chapter" and "so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories," but multiple sources told E! News around that time Chris was "saddened" and "frustrated" about his The Bachelor departure and the show was his "whole life" and he really wanted to come back.