"It was like, I don't just want a ring. It's a symbol of a commitment," Gabby said on the latest episode of the "Bachelor Happy Hour" podcast, co-hosted by Michelle Young and Becca Kufrin, in a joint interview with Rachel.
"And for me, I've dated all of them and I've never been at a point in my life where I'm ready to stay with all of them. But that's what an engagement meant to me."
Gabby said she wanted to get engaged to a man who's "done the work" in his life, someone who's "at a place" in his life where he's "ready to commit to someone forever."
"I do think timing is a lot. You have to work on yourself, you have to work and have everything in place for you to make somebody else your priority," Gabby explained.
"So when people are [saying], you know, the feedback from the audience, saying we fixate too much on an engagement, it's like, 'I understand if you're only thinking about surface-level stuff, but the big picture, that's why we're here."
Gabby spoke on Rachel's behalf and said, "We believe in the process, because there would truly be no stakes if I went in thinking, like, 'Well, I'll just get a boyfriend.' Like if I wanted a boyfriend, then I would've walked away with four or five of them."
Gabby insisted that she just wanted one man, one person to be engaged to.
She and Rachel also both had their hearts crushed by Clayton Echard on The Bachelor's 26th season earlier this year, when Clayton slept with and professed his love to both women before choosing Susie Evans as his winner.
"And it's not just because I'm materialistic, or because I want a ring, or because I think it's kind of buzz words or click bait for the show," Gabby said.
"That's the easiest way to define, you know, what we committed to, which is being the Bachelorettes. It's the most definitive way to explain to everybody else where I'm at in my life, which is ready to be engaged and ready to be married."
Michelle, who starred on The Bachelorette's eighteenth season in 2021, said Gabby and Rachel were not only ready for that, but they were also looking to see who else would be ready for that.
And Becca, who starred on The Bachelorette's fourteenth season in 2018, told her listeners that's the whole point of the show, is to weed out people who aren't ready or serious.
"That's half the battle, more than half the battle!" Gabby agreed.
"We know this," Rachel chimed in. "But I think when they see us say, 'I want engagement,' they're like, 'Oh, well you want the Neil Lane ring.' And while it's beautiful..."
"I do want it!" Gabby joked, as the girls agreed they all wanted a commitment more.
"It's amazing, it's beautiful, but that's not why me and Gabby are here," Rachel insisted. "We're here because we want someone to stand next to us through these difficult times and for someone to be supportive."
And Rachel claimed that if her winner, Tino Franco, chose not to propose marriage at the end of the process, she'd be okay with that.
"If, at the end of the day, Tino got down on one knee and was like, 'I can't give you this ring, but I want to commit to you for the rest of my life [and] I want to be with you,' that's all I was looking for," Rachel said.
But Tino did pop the question, and he and Rachel got engaged at her Final Rose Ceremony, which filmed on May 14, according to Reality Steve spoiler blogger Steve Carbone.
However, Rachel found out Tino had cheated on her in mid-July when The Bachelorette's nineteenth season premiered, and then the couple split in late August, around the time of The Men Tell All special.
But Michelle pointed out how Rachel and Gabby both wanted "a commitment," more than an engagement, and society "is very materialistic."
"I really think people fixated on both of you with the word 'engagement,'" Michelle reasoned. "You said, 'I want somebody who believes in me. I want somebody who's going to put in the work after."
Michelle explained that the two best friends just wanted to end up with loyal and respectful men.
"And so you using the word 'engagement' on the show, the audience, Bachelor Nation, is just like, 'Oh, they just want the ring!' No, no. You have to read between the lines. You truly feel like you haven't been chosen, and when you are saying, 'I want the engagement,' it's because you want somebody to verbally commit to you," Michelle said.
Gabby replied, "Absolutely. Right. That's what I thought, or kind of tried to express the whole time."
Viewers were skeptical of Rachel's sincerity and engagement intentions when she chose to dump Aven Jones, whom she clearly had very strong feelings for, in second place because he wasn't ready to propose marriage by the end of the show.
But Aven had made it very clear that he was falling in love with Rachel and wanted to spend his life with her after the show. Aven insisted that he wanted Rachel in his future and they would get engaged when the timing is right and perfect for them both.
After Rachel confirmed she's single again and confronted Tino on The Bachelorette: After the Final Rose, which aired on Tuesday night, Aven surprised the flight instructor and asked her out for a drink so they could "catch up."