'Bachelorette' Ashley Hebert and J.P.: '[We] felt it for weeks'
Of the experience on the show, Ashley says, "The show really brought us together. We confided in each other, we learned how to communicate, we dealt with jealousy, insecurity. We've been engaged for two months, but it feels like we've been together for years."
"We really feel like the hardest part is past. But we're just looking forward to starting our lives together," adds J.P.
When the subject of Ben comes up, Ashley admits to maybe not handling his proposal the best possible way.
"I know the whole thing is kind of a blur. Obviously going into it the last thing I wanted to do was hurt Ben. I remember trying to talk to him and feeling like I wasn't sure what to say and he got down on one knee and I had to pull him up," says Ashley. "It really was a whirlwind and it's hard to understand if you're not there in the moment, with all eyes on you and all the cameras on you. It's really hard for people to understand."
But she does say she knew pretty early on that J.P. was the guy for her and J.P. felt pretty sure of himself as well.
"My heart was pulling me in that direction for a long time," says Ashley. She also tells us about how she had told J.P. she loved him before the show was over.
"When you are about somebody so much, all you want to do is be honest with them and tell them how you feel. I was in a moment where I felt like I needed to let him know how I was feeling."
"It wasn't as blatantly obvious as my 'I'm madly in love with you,'" adds J.P. "It was much, much more subtle than that. It put my head in the right place ... I don't want to sound cocky at all, but I was confident after our Hong Kong date that I would be the last guy standing. I knew what Ashley and I had was special and there was no way she could have what she and I had with anybody else. I felt it for weeks."
As for all the other guys from the show, both Ashley and J.P. hope they can stay friends with many of them.
"It became a small fraternity. I'll definitely stay in touch with a bunch of them," says J.P. "I would say Mickey and William and Ames, there's a bunch of guys I'm going to pick up the phone and call."
"I'm open to being friends and staying in touch with all the guys," Ashley adds. "One thing I said in the beginning and I still stand by is I had such a respectable group of guys. I'm hoping we can all be friends after this."
"The Bachelorette" may be over for this summer, but "Bachelor Pad" premieres Monday, Aug. 8 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.