Josh Murray tried his hand at reality love once -- proposing to Andi Dorfman at the end of season 10 of The Bachelorette -- but now, the former baseball pro seems to have found his happily ever after with Bachelor in Paradise co-star Amanda Stanton.
“I'm so in love right now,” Murray gushed to ET’s Lauren Zima on the set of BIP earlier this summer. “Amanda is an amazing woman. She is the best woman I've ever met in my entire life… She's beautiful not only on the outside, but it radiates on the inside, and that’s what I love the most about her.”
The 32-year-old former shortstop, who was picked in the second round of the 2002 MLB draft by the Milwaukee Brewers, said that his time with Stanton has made him “a better person in general.”
“She has a calming factor that helps out in tough situations that we had to take on during this entire journey,” he explained. “I think that's what couples should do. They shouldn't try to compete against one another, they're on the same team… It's so refreshing to know that there are people out there like her.”
Some of those “tough situations” on Bachelor in Paradise
included intense confrontations about passages in Dorfman’s tell-all memoir, which Murray dismissed as “fictional” and “ludicrous.”
However, he admitted to ET that he hasn’t actually read the entire book.
“Obviously I'm asked to do interviews and they show me excerpts and I'm like, ‘OK, I just learned something new about myself today,’” he said, admitting that some of Dorfman’s accusations may have contained “a little bit of truth, but it's twisted in such a way that it becomes the worst kind of lie possible.”
“People tried to bring it up here, but it just strengthened my relationship with Amanda because she always has my back,” he added. “I ended things quite a few times with Andi for a reason and I just hope she gets over everything and she can be happy herself.”
Also on BIP, Dorfman's other Bachelorette ex, new Bachelor Nick Viall, has said the claims in the book about himself are true.
Murray confessed that he “learned a ton” from his relationship with Dorfman, lessons that he hopes to carry into a new life with Stanton.
“I think most importantly I've learned what I don't want in a life partner and I really learned what I do want,” he explained. “When I'm with Amanda, it's a total 180 than it was before. She is just so genuine and so sweet. You just know when you're with her how much love she has and I trust her wholeheartedly.”
Murray said there was a “spark” the first moment he met Stanton, and she agreed, telling ET, “I'm in love with Josh, yeah. I feel like it was kind of like an instant thing for me.”
The 26-year-old esthetician is already a mother to two young girls, and Murray admitted that Stanton’s maternal nature is one of the things he loves most about her.
“I cannot wait to meet her kids,” he gushed. “I've been begging this whole time. I wish they would fly them out here but we're gonna try and set something up as soon as possible when I get back.”
“I love children and I'm excited because you can just tell when you speak with Amanda that she's such an amazing mother,” he added. “She talks about her kids all the time. She's excited to get back there to see them and so am I.”
In fact, Murray admitted that the two have already talked about possibly having more kids in the future!
“I can't wait. I want a big family, I've always wanted a big family,” he said. “She's already had two, and we talked about maybe maxing out at three more. Possible a whole basketball team.”
For her part, Stanton said she could tell that Murray is “gonna be a great dad” and that the two “bonded over wanting the same things.”
“He just makes me feel so special and I could tell how genuine he was, right off the bat,” she gushed. “We're kind of just on the same page with everything… Family's the most important thing to the both of us. We're just kind of looking for a simple life.”
And while Stanton said at the time that she’d still be confident in her relationship with Murray if he didn’t propose on the BIP finale, he was already talking engagement rings.
“We did talk about the ring,” he revealed. “One of our producers, Todd, his wife has a beautiful ring that [Amanda] loves: more oval-shaped, lots of diamonds of course.”
Find out if Murray pops the question on the two-night Bachelor in Paradise finale, airing Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.