Rachel Lindsay Bryan Abasolo The Wendy Williams Show

The most recent season of The Bachelorette was one of its craziest, with controversy marring some of the men vying for Rachel Lindsay's love. After a dramatic finale, it was Bryan Abasolo that won Lindsay's heart, despite many fans thinking things would swing the other way with runner-up Peter Kraus winning out. Those fans and their criticisms made post-Bachlorette life a bit hard for both Lindsay and Abasolo, but the former Bachelorette also recently said the experience made their relationship stronger than ever:

When the show initially wrapped, it was really hard because we received a lot of criticism about the finale and my choice. People questioned my love and relationship with Bryan. So initially, it was very hard. But we really were just honest with each other and communicated about what we were feeling and how everything was affecting us. That communication was like the foundation of our relationship, and getting through that has made everything else so much easier. We really leaned on each other. We were really honest with each other, and getting over that hump allowed us to be even stronger. That's what's been the driving force of our relationship being so great and strong.

Rachel Lindsay and Bryan Abasolo had a lot of time to talk relationship elements out, as ABC orchestrated secret hangouts for the two while The Bachelorette was still airing, so that the couple could continue to be together following their engagement. While Lindsay didn't go into details about what the two were talking about in the time after the finale, it appears that the couple's honesty and openness led to a stronger bond, enough so that Lindsay told THR that Abasolo is her "best friend she's in love with at the same time." Considering The Bachelor and The Bachelorette have only 5 actual marriages between the show's combined 35 seasons (there are a couple more pending engagements), that's about the best a contestant can get out of this franchise. It's probably easier for Bachelorette stars to be honest after their worst moments have already aired.

Beyond cementing their true love, Rachel Lindsay indicated her and Abasolo's time following _The Bachelorette _has been exciting. Now, the two are being offered additional professional opportunities that neither ever thought possible, even as they're maintaining their already established careers, and Lindsay and Abasolo are taking steps to ensure they're prepared to move wherever life takes them next. That doesn't seem to be too much of a problem for Lindsay, as she stated that the easiest part of her post-TV life has been going through it with someone she loves:

Being engaged --- not that I didn't see it happening for me --- I just didn't see it being so easy and effortless. It started off as a fairytale, but the way that Bryan and I are with each other, it's like I found my best friend that I'm in love with at the same time and that's so hard to find, especially on TV. This is never the route I thought I would go to get what I have, but it's a beautiful thing and I'm so happy. I tell everyone, "Bryan's the easy part." Now we're trying to blend our lives together. But being with Bryan --- effortless. We're getting to do so many amazing things together, like a power couple, as best friends. As Bryan and Rachel, the engaged couple. I think that's so great! We both had professional careers before, and still. He's a chiropractor. I'm an attorney. Being on TV and all of that has given us a chance to pursue other avenues that we have as well, and we also get to do those things together. I have a platform I can use for women empowerment. I never would have had that opportunity had I not done this whole process a year ago.

The Bachelorette is currently in the offseason, but The Bachelor just kicked off Season 22 on New Year's Day, and a new episode is coming to ABC on Monday, January 8, at 8:00 p.m. ET. Those who missed last night's premiere might want to bookmark our midseason premiere guide, as not to miss another show coming back in 2018. Those still wishing to survey the aftermath of television in 2017 can visit our cancellation guide or our craziest live television moments of the year.

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