And the winner is… Jerome!
Fear not -- this is not a Bachelorette
spoiler, but Rachel Lindsay has dished some exclusive details on who she ends up with on the ABC reality series, including the chosen one’s secret code name.
“We call him ‘Jerome,’” the 32-year-old lawyer told ET’s Lauren Zima about the season 13 winner, who is now her fiancé. “It’s my code name [for him]. I use it all the time. I’m so used to saying it.”
“Even to his face, I’m like, ‘Hey Jerome!’” she continued. “He loves it, I love it, we get a kick out of it all the time. I can’t even say I was looking at him and thought Jerome -- it just came to me.”
There are two special people who do know Jerome’s true identity -- Lindsay confessed she has informed her mom and dad about her choice.
“I did tell my parents!” she revealed. “I don't know if that’s allowed, but they were like, ‘You better tell us!’ But not really anyone else because I don't want them to feel like they're in a spot where they're uncomfortable or have to lie about it.”
Bachelorette fans will meanwhile have to wait until the show’s finale in August to find out who Jerome is. Until then, Lindsay says it hasn't been too difficult to keep the secret.
“I'm a lawyer by nature, so I'm good at confidentiality and we’re just careful about how we move about in our relationship,” she said. “It’s hard, but I haven’t had to go through any crazy measures ... not sneaking around seeing each other or anything. [I see him] every couple of weeks.”
The pair meet up at secret locations to help keep the outcome of the show
hush hush, and Lindsay shared that her engagement ring is also being kept in a secret spot.
“I don't know where it is! They probably don’t want to tell me, because I will go looking for it. I miss it! It’s such a pretty ring. He did a good job.”
"Jerome" may have great taste in engagement bling, but Lindsay said her favorite quality about the hunk is “his strength.” She also explained that she had an overwhelming instinct that developed towards the end of the season.
“It's something I can't explain,” she said, adding that the contestant had “that X factor.” “It's not a word -- it's just a feeling. I felt it before and was running away from it, and I just decided to embrace the feelings that I had. Once the last few guys met my family, that's when I really started to embrace my feelings.”
Lindsay isn’t concerned with how viewers feel about her choice, noting that if she has ended up with someone who fans consider villainous, it’s because they don’t see the whole picture.
“I feel like I don't have to prove anything to anyone and I would remind people you're only getting a sneak peek,” she said. “I'm there for the whole show and I think over time, you'll see the same things I see in whoever I pick, whether you like him or you don't.”
And, while many reality TV romances don’t stand the test of time, Lindsay believes the couple’s “mature relationship,” will last, thanks to their efforts to “discuss everything” and remain “so open and honest with each other.”
For now, the pair -- who live in different states and have discussed moving for each other -- are taking it one Monday at a time!
“I would prefer that he didn’t watch [the show], but he needs to know everything that's going on so he can process everything,” Lindsay said. “That’s the kind of person he is -- he watches it all. I have to explain things on Mondays. Mondays are our most difficult time. We watch it, I explain it, talk about it and move on. It’s been great -- we don’t’ dwell on anything.”
“If you'd asked me years ago if I’d be doing reality TV, I would’ve said, ‘Oh my gosh, no,’ so I never know where life's going to take me,” she admitted. “I never want to say, ‘Never,’ but I don't have any plans to. We’ve talked about it because I know it's a possibility, [but] no, I'm not planning on doing Dancing With the Stars at the moment. I’m so focused on us right now and don't want to do anything that takes away from that.”
Watch Lindsay dish on her engagement in the video below.