They’re the only Bachelor -- so far --to get married after becoming engaged on the ABC reality series and now Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici-Lowe are opening up about the secret to their lasting relationship!
ET’s Lauren Zima visited the pair -- who got engaged on the season 17 finale before tying the knot in 2014 -- at their Dallas, Texas, home, where they got candid about the ups and downs of meeting on TV, married life and being new parents.
“Part of our success comes from the fact that we're not the typical Bachelor couple,” Sean says. “We don't do a lot of the Bachelor reunions and go and meet up -- that's just not us. We live our own life and do our own thing, so we don’t really feel that pressure and that’s the way we like it.”<p>“We get along so well with the other couples that are successful -- so Bachelorette couples that have made it,” Catherine adds. “We all have something in common, which is that we just want to be normal [and] make our relationship work.”
Their plight to be as normal as possible means they still find it “bizarre” to reflect on how they met on a reality series. Sean confesses that once a week he asks, “Can you believe we met on a TV show?” while Catherine compares their love story to shopping.
“[It was] like I saw him on TV, was like, ‘I want him,’ then got him,” she reflects. “I didn’t think he would choose me in a million years. All the girls knew that, on paper, we don’t make any sense. I don’t even think I was cast for Sean. I think I was cast to be Filipino!”
Despite her doubts during filming, the pair hit it off over the course of just three dates and fell for each other. Catherine notes how the nature of the series forces couples to address their “non-negotiables” for a prospective relationship as fast as possible.
“Hard conversations that you would have with a significant other after six or nine months, you have on your first date,” she says. “’Do you want kids? Where do you want to live? Do you want to work after this?’ Whatever things don’t match, you can be like, ‘OK, I’m going to send her home this week because it doesn’t make sense.’”
In Catherine’s case, she made complete sense to Sean, who presented his final rose and popped the question on the season finale. However, the early stages of their engagement were difficult, with Sean signing onto Dancing With the Stars, which meant he was suddenly off rehearsing for up to 12 hours a day, while Catherine was left on her own. Catherine also had a challenging time adjusting after leaving her friends, family and career behind in Seattle to be with Sean in Los Angeles, before they moved to Dallas last year.
“Usually when you move into a city, you have a job, so you know people,” Catherine says. “Well, I didn't have a 9-to-5, so it was really us two together. I was living his life and with his friends, so I hadn't developed a group of friends that I could confide in. The first year of marriage was the hardest, but once you go through those hardships, you grow, understand each other better and understand what you need better. So, I got an amazing group of friends that I couldn't imagine my life without.”
“She made this tremendous sacrifice and she comes from a different family, a different way of doing things, a different way of handling conflict and a different way of living life,” Sean explains. “When you meld two worlds together, naturally there's going to be conflict, hard times and we definitely had some bumps along the way, where we thought, ‘This is much tougher than we thought it would be.’”
The fact that they had never lived together until they were husband and wife heightened conflict during their honeymoon phase, with frequent arguments erupting over Catherine being “super messy,” while Sean is “very neat.”
“We really had to understand our boundaries, what makes each other tick, what things we need to let go and what things are important to each other,” Catherine says.
“I was a typical dude,” Sean admits. “If she was upset about something, I would say, ‘If you just do this, that would fix the problem.’ Well, she's not looking for me to fix the problem -- she wants me to empathize. That only took me about two years to figure out!”
Catherine shares how during some of her low moments, she turned to Sean’s mom, who assured her that he would make up for their hard times. And he has! She tearfully describes how Sean tells her he loves her every day and has never said ‘No’ when she asks him to change a diaper or help out with their son, Samuel, who was born in July.
With hopes to adopt and eventually have five children, the pair is happier than ever and say they finally have, “every duck in its row.”
“I think we hit a sweet spot,” Sean says. “Samuel's now at the age where we have a good grasp or a good feel of division of labor. I'll wake up and take care of him in the morning, she takes over and then I take over. In the first few months, it’s a lot of trial-and-error and officially the mom has a lot more pressure and the baby physically needs to be with her. But we're in a good spot right now.”
In fact, with family life going swimmingly, the couple is launching their professional passion project, a furniture line named Home By Sean & Catherine Lowe, which Catherine describes as “sophisticated and comfortable – sophista-comfortable!”
“It’s been a passion project of ours because we're all about family and being at home and being comfortable, but still being sleek and stylish,” Sean says. “We just want things that look good, but also really comfortable.”
As for their own home furnishings, ET couldn’t help but notice one significant piece of décor hanging outside the couple’s bedroom -- the final rose that Sean handed Catherine on The Bachelor!
“It made sense to dry this one and make it permanent because it was accompanied by a ring and a proposal, so this is a really special thing,” Catherine. shares. “We don’t want to shy away from the fact that we got engaged and fell in love on The Bachelor, so that is the only red rose I will allow in my house!”
So, what advice would the pair give to others hoping to land the final rose on The Bachelor?
“You have to have a solid foundation when you go on and I think that was something that I am blessed to have had,” said Catherine. “[I was] like, ‘It would be awesome if he chooses me, we’ll have a cool life and I’ll love him and we will do all of these things. But if I go home, then it’s just not meant to be, and I’ll go home to a family who loves me and a job and life that I appreciated and respected.”
“Try to tame your crazy a little bit,” Sean offers up to prospective contestants. “If you want to go back to a normal life and go back to your job after the show, don’t act like a crazy monster because it’s going to be really difficult once those episodes start to air. Just tame it!”