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Lauren Burnham defends Arie Luyendyk Jr.:"I know he won't change his mind again," we're already planning our wedding and talking kids


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/07/2018 

Lauren Burnham's new fiance, Arie Luyendyk Jr., has faced scrutiny and criticism for changing his mind and proposing to two women during The Bachelor season, but she is proud of her man and stands beside him.

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"I totally respect his decision to follow his heart," Lauren told People. "I don't blame him for it, and I think it's made us stronger in the end."

Arie proposed marriage to The Bachelor winner, Becca Kufrin, during the final Rose Ceremony on Season 22 that filmed in Cusco, Peru, in November 2017.

After getting engaged, however, Arie realized that his heart truly belonged to his runner-up, Lauren, and so he blindsided and dumped Becca on-camera in early January and then begged Lauren to take him back days later.

"He texted me on New Year's Eve: 'I think this is maybe crossing the line, but I'd like to talk,'" Lauren revealed.

Once Arie made his feelings known for Lauren, she admits, "I did have some reservations. I was just afraid he would change his mind again."

RELATED LINK: ARIE LUYENDYK JR. WASN'T FORCED TO DUMP BECCA KUFRIN ON-CAMERA FOR 'THE BACHELOR,' ABC INSISTS

After speaking at length over the phone, Arie apparently received the confidence he needed to break up with Becca and resume dating Lauren, regardless of the backlash he'd likely face.

"I was just like, 'We need to do it, you need to take the risk if this means a lot to you and you need to follow your heart. If not, then we don't need to talk anymore,'" Lauren recalled People.

And ultimately, "It was worth risking getting hurt again to see where it could go," noted the 26-year-old sales representative from Virginia Beach. "We've had a lot of conversations about it, and I know he won't change his mind again."

And hopefully Lauren is right, because Arie proposed marriage to her on Tuesday night's live After the Final Rose broadcast. Arie wanted to pop the question on national television again because he said it's the move he should've made months ago.

"It makes things easier for me knowing that he was able to be with Becca outside of this experience and he still knew that wasn't what he wanted," Lauren said of Arie, who enjoyed several "happy couple visits" with Becca in and out of the country before breaking her heart.

"It gives me confidence in our relationship knowing that he truly wants to be with me and he took this huge risk to make it happen."

Since getting back together in mid-January, Arie and Lauren have apparently not spent more than one week apart.

"We tell each other we love each other 1,000 times a day," Arie shared with the magazine.

"She accepted the fact that I made a huge mistake, and in a crazy way I feel like we're better for it. It took all of this to get here, but I'd do it all over again."

So what's next for this happy couple? After they take a vacation -- probably out of the country to escape all of this chaos -- Lauren will be relocating from her current city of Dallas, TX.

"I'm moving to Scottsdale," Lauren revealed. "And we're both very excited about marriage and starting a family."

Arie said he wants two to four children -- and soon!

RELATED LINK: 'THE BACHELOR' COUPLES NOW: WHO DID 'THE BACHELOR' STARS AND THEIR BACHELORETTE PICKS ACTUALLY END UP WITH? (PHOTOS)

"If we get lucky, maybe we'd have twins!" Arie told People, adding that Lauren will also be switching careers once she gets settled into his place in Arizona.

"We plan on doing real estate together. We'll do some remodels. It'll be fun!"

Lauren also revealed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Tuesday night that she and Arie have already begun planning their wedding and some of the women from their The Bachelor season will be invited.

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