Two days after the couple got engaged on the Monday, August 21, finale of the ABC show, they tackled Us’ inquiries about runner-up Joey Graziadei, how their families feel about their engagement, Charity’s upcoming stint on Dancing With the Stars and more. But first, why did Charity allow eliminated contestant Aaron Bryant to (briefly) rejoin her journey on the finale – and was she concerned about how finalists Dotun and Joey would react?
“I don’t think I was worried about Joey and Dotun’s reactions. I knew they would be confused. I mean, I was confused, but I think they were both very grounded and solid in where their connection was with me,” Charity told Us. “Obviously seeing Aaron come back was a surprise — that week was just so many emotions, so much was happening. … I think you hear me say at the end of the hometowns rose ceremony that I wish there was more time.”
Charity noted she wanted “just see” that there wasn’t anything she was “missing” from Aaron.
“And so I’m glad that I did kind of give him that opportunity — give ourselves that opportunity — and it just was, like, a confirming thing that initially I did just make the right choice at that point,” she added. “[I knew] I had very two solid connections [with Dotun and Joey].”
After sending Aaron home (again), Dotun and Joey met Charity’s parents and sister. Charity and Dotun’s families, meanwhile, met for the first time at the live After the Final Rose on Monday.
“They love each other! It’s been so fun. … They’re just cutting up together, which is what we imagine would happen,” Charity told Us, adding that there’s been “lots of FaceTimes” while the show was airing. “He’s become so close with my brother as I imagined would happen. So everyone is just getting along. We’re obviously excited for the future and can’t get over this whole engagement and what’s to come.”
Charity accepted a proposal from Dotun after admitting she was “torn” between him and Joey on the finale.
“I left [Dotun’s] last chance date and that was when I made that just executive decision of like, ‘This is it,’” she explained. “And as we know, I did have a very solid connection with Joey. So leading up to those moments, a lot of things were at play, different things were moving and shifting every single day.”
Despite the ups and downs overall, Charity called her first one-on-one date with Dotun “life-changing,” noting that their connection never “died down or shifted” during production. “Along the journey has been beautiful, but I made that solid clear decision at his last chance date.”
While sending Joey home, Charity told him (again) that she loved him. Dotun told Us that the lead “did such a good job” of preparing him for the episodes and keeping him “grounded and secure” in their romance.
“I was already secure, but just to have that extra layer there, I just couldn’t have asked for a better partner throughout all this,” he gushed. “And you understand how it can be difficult and why some of these relationships might not work when you watch it back, but we’re leaving this stage stronger than ever. I’m more in love with her than ever. So it was extremely helpful just by proxy of who she was.”
As for whether Charity still believes she was “in love” with Joey, she told Us: “I definitely was in a place where I did have so much love and was in love with him. But, obviously, once you see us depart, we just make that shift of like, ‘I’ll always have respect and love for you, but that doesn’t mean that you’re my person and I’m going to continue to be in love with you.’ So I think we’re just both in great places and obviously wishing him so much success and well wishes on his journey as the Bachelor.”
While Joey gears up to give out roses of his own as the season 28 lead, Charity will be on season 32 of Dancing With the Stars. In the past, Bachelor Nation couples have called it quits amid the pressures of joining the intense competition amid the early days of their romance, but Charity and Dotun told Us they aren’t worried.
“We both talked about it and it’s something that I didn’t really know was going to truly happen, but he, obviously, is so supportive of it, which I admire,” Charity said. ” And he’s my biggest fan, which is great to have that. So he will be here with me in L.A. as we take on this — we’ll be doing it together. He just won’t be the one dancing. I’ll be up there, [but] he’ll be along.”
She added that Dotun will “always be my priority,” which he cosigned.
“Since the announcement, she’s looked me in my eyes every day and been like, ‘Hey, I want you to know that this is my priority and that just what it’s going to be,’ and [she] has continued to give me that reassurance,” he said. “And I think I’m more excited than she is … I’m like, ‘Let’s do this!’” But I have no doubt in our ability to continue fostering our relationship and we’ll be together.”
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For more from Charity and Dotun, including what Dotun told Aaron when he returned and Charity’s opinions on Barbara Weber’s surprising cameo on the finale, listen to Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast.