The New York Post's Page Six published a paparazzo photo of Clare walking around her hometown in black yoga pants, a black tank top, a matching baseball hat, and sunglasses -- and a big diamond can be seen on her left hand's ring finger.
Clare was apparently taking a stroll for exercise given she was also sporting sneakers.
Per the show's usual format, the Night 1 cocktail party began with each of The Bachelorette bachelors individually exiting a limo and introducing themselves to Clare, who made no secret she was immediately taken with Dale.
"I knew it... I definitely feel like I just met my husband!" Clare gushed to The Bachelorette crew members as she attempted to compose herself after Dale's introduction ended and he walked away.
Clare's "I knew it" comment appeared to be a reference to her prior admission that she had researched her previously-announced group of bachelors online after March's outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic forced the start of the production of The Bachelorette season to suddenly be postponed for four months.
"Yeah!" a beaming Clare replied. "Every other guy [I] felt confident with, but with Dale everything else went dark around me! I don't even know what I just said -- did I sound okay? Did I say anything at all??"
"I felt it! I just know! I'm 39! Like you know these things! I know what I want, I know when I feel that feeling," Clare insisted.
"Um, you know there's [still] more [guys] to come?" Chris asked.
"I mean obviously I'd like to meet everybody, but man," Clare laughed.
Clare toldUs Weekly that meeting Dale was a "breathtaking" moment.
"It was one of those moments where you don't know it until you experience it, what exactly that feeling is. I still can't put it into words what that feeling is though. It was when your body has that kind of, like, a goosebumpy reaction to things; it just takes your breath away," Clare said.
Dale unsurprisingly received Clare's coveted First Impression Rose, but Blake Moynes managed to earn himself the first kiss of the season.
While reports swirled earlier this summer Clare had chatted with Dale and even FaceTimed with him prior to the start of The Bachelorette production in mid-July -- which would explain why she reportedly fell in love with him just 12 days of filming -- Clare confirmed in the premiere only one man had reached out to her and attempted conversation, and that man was Blake, a 29-year-old wildlife manager from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
"I know that there are these rules that we have to abide by, and it's out of respect for the process... but this season was just so unique in itself that I think everything kind of went out the window," Clare told Us.
"The reason he reached out was, I mean, warmed my heart. You could tell. The reason he did it was for my mom and I would never in a million years be mad at anybody who had that as their core reason for reaching out."
If that happened to be the case, Clare locked-in on Dale in unprecedented speed for a The Bachelor orThe Bachelorette season.
In one of The Bachelorette promos ABC recently released, Chris is shown sitting down with Clare and telling her, "Congratulations, you've just blown up The Bachelorette."
A source told Life & Style earlier this summer that Clare quit the show and even "refused to come out of her room" at one point to film dates with men once she became smitten with Dale.
Producers were reportedly therefore left "scrambling" and "frantic" once Clare quit in terms of how to proceed with the show. The Bachelorette producers therefore brought in The Bachelor alum Tayshia Adams to serve as Clare's replacement for the rest of Season 16.
(However, new The Bachelorette spoilers from Carbone shed a different light on the alleged turn of events that resulted in Tayshia taking over the show mid-season).
Chris, however, never confirmed in all of his pre-premiere press that Tayshia stepped into Clare's shoes and took over the leading role, even though Tayshia was photographed filming on the set this past summer.
The anticipation for the rest of Clare's season is high considering fans have had to wait so long for the franchise to return and Chris recently teased the season is "wild," "bizarre" and "unbelievably unexpected" with a "turbulent" and "tumultuous ending."
To read Clare spoilers, click here. And to read spoilers on Tayshia's portion of the show, click here.