“Don’t ruin—or rush—a good thing” seems to be Adam Gottschalk and Raven Gates‘ motto for making their relatively new relationship work. Remember, Bachelor in Paradise only finished filming eight weeks ago—it shouldn’t be shocking they want to take their time to be a normal couple. Even so, there will be fans who are bummed Adam and Raven didn’t get engaged on tonight’s Bachelor in Paradise finale. (And see, this is why we can’t have nice things—or Peter as The Bachelor.)
But aside from Adam not wanting to propose in front of a studio full of strangers, he also wants to be smart about an engagement. For one, that means actually living in the same city as Raven. It also means making sure she has the tools she needs to transfer her successful business (she’s a small boutique owner) to a large city like Dallas. That—and, as Raven points out, “hammering out the conversations that need to be had before you get engaged.”
So what is next for the couple? Were they under pressure to go through with a proposal tonight? And how did Adam really feel about meeting Raven’s parents without advance notice? After the finale taping, we caught up with the couple to find out all that and more.
How much pressure did you feel to have a proposal tonight?
Raven Gates: I didn’t feel any pressure. We’re on the same page and have really good communication.
Adam Gottschalk: There’s no pressure. We’re on a track where I think our engagement is going to be so much more magical than Derek and Taylor!
Raven: [Laughs] He promised me a really big ring!
Adam: Yeah, I had to swap numbers with Neil Lane to make sure that I got that taken care of.
If anything, you want to do this when the time is right for you. That’s nothing against Derek and Taylor, because obviously it was the right time for them, but each couple is different.
Raven: Yeah, Taylor and Derek hit it off right away. We had the shut down, so that’s an extra two weeks that we didn’t have. Adam came in later in the game, so they were a good three or four weeks ahead of us. Now, if we were three to four weeks with each other every single day and hammered out those conversations that need to be had before you get engaged, maybe we would have done it. Right now, we have to meet the parents. That’s where we’re at.
Adam, what was it like meeting Raven’s parents on the spot like that tonight? Did it freak you out?
Adam: No, not really. It was exciting and exhilarating more than anything because I love parents and parents love me, so I don’t have a problem with it. It just caught me off guard because logistically I don’t know how they made everything with her parents happen so fast so soon. It’s actually really nice because there’s never been a moment where I’ve dated somebody and she and I met each other’s parents in the same week. I think that’s special for both of us. I’m excited to finally put a face with the name, too.
You both mentioned moving in together in Dallas, where Adam currently lives. Is there a timetable you’re exploring?
Adam: It’s in the future, but the thing is with a good, thriving business [like Raven’s], it’s very hard to put an exact timetable together.
Raven: It’s very hard.
Adam: It’s hard to stop your lease and what you’re doing and move out of nowhere. I think it’s going to happen gradually in stages. She’ll travel for a week at a time, slowly taper down that, and she’ll always have an online presence because that’s where a lot of her business comes from.
Raven, it’s been refreshing to watch you talk about intimate details, like sex with Nick and what you needed from him on The Bachelor to opening up about sexual assault and consent on Paradise. What’s the response been?
Raven: I never intended to be a leader in all of these important issues, but I have gotten a lot of feedback from people around the country about everything you just said. I’m really careful with it, because I know the influence I have with it. But coming from a conservative state and a very small town, I wasn’t really worried about what people would say, but I was surprised they were so supportive. It was very funny; after my fantasy suite [with Nick], where I was very explicit about things that happened, I had people coming up to me in my store giving me hugs saying, “I’m so glad you said this; I struggle with it too.” Same with the sexual assault. I’ve had many people reach out and talk about it, and I’ve always encouraged women to get help and be your own leader. The response has been really good. I haven’t had anything negative, fingers crossed.
Adam, talk to me about the qualities—some of which I’m sure what we just touched on—that drew you to Raven.
Raven: I think I told Adam straight up that I’m a strong, independent woman!
Adam: She did. She really did!
Raven: Take it or leave it. [Laughs]
Adam: What really drew me to her was that aspect, and I think her time alone is just as important as our time together. To have somebody that can love themselves before loving somebody else is a very attractive trait, and it’s hard to find. I also think that it doesn’t hurt that the day after the fantasy suite, we were in our PJs lounging around the whole day. It was just so fun to do that with somebody and not feel like, “We have to get ready!” and “I have to look good all the time!” It’s literally just us enjoying each other’s presence.