Why Arie Says He's Expecting "Backlash" For His Final 'Bachelor' Choice

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Arie has made it very clear from the beginning of his season of The Bachelor that he wants to end his season with a fiancée, and that he is ready and willing to get down on one knee at the end of the show. With the season finale almost upon us, that proposal will either be for Becca K., or Lauren B. And, signs point to the likelihood that the woman he ends up with at the end of the whole saga is Lauren B. But are they just dating, or has Arie stuck to his determination to find a wife, and not just a girlfriend? Are Arie and Lauren engaged after The Bachelor? (This post contains possible SPOILERS, so proceed with caution.)

Don't think I've written Becca off for no reason, though. The first sign of trouble for Becca's journey began with Caroline's confrontation with Arie during The Women Tell All. During the taping, Caroline questioned Arie's decisions during the finale. "I was heartbroken with the way things went down and I was really upset with him for the way he handled things," she told Bachelor alum Ashely I. in an interview for Access Hollywood following the taping. "And, like Arie said, he had to follow his heart and go with his gut and I don't disagree with that. I get it ... The friend in me needed to be like, 'Hey, f*ck you.' I needed to say it and I'm just furious, honestly."

But who is the friend that Caroline is defending? Some Instagram snooping reveals that Caroline and Becca K. are BFFs, causing fans to believe that Arie proposes to Lauren in the finale.

But, there have been reports that suggest that Arie proposed to one woman during the finale, only to change his mind after filming had wrapped and left to chase after his runner-up, who agreed to take him back. Though the Us Weekly report doesn't specify which woman he proposes to initially (if you really want to know, Reality Steve has an idea), and which he is currently with, Caroline's anger at Arie seems to suggest that he calls off his engagement to Becca in order to pursue things with Lauren. With cameras there to capture the whole event, of course.

But just because Arie and Lauren may end up together doesn't necessarily mean that they are engaged. Are there signs that Arie got down on one knee a second time? The situation is actually a bit unclear. The Us Weekly report claims only that Arie is "in a relationship" with his runner up, and that the couple are taking things slowly. A quote from what the magazine labels an "insider" shares that Arie and his runner up "don't want to jump into anything." This language seems to suggest that though the couple are happy together, the might not have rushed into a proposal. Maybe a good idea, considering Arie allegedly had already proposed to someone else.

But Daily Mail had a different take, reporting that Arie allegedly proposed to Lauren on February 24, 2018 at the Monarch Beach resort. So maybe the couple is preparing for a long engagement as their way of taking things slow, following in the footsteps of many Bachelor/ette couples, from JoJo and Jordan to Kaitlyn and Shawn.

Regardless of whether the couple is engaged, or just seeing where their relationship goes, it does seem pretty likely that they are together and happy. Lauren's Instagram is filled with cute couple shots of their time together on The Bachelor, and while Becca's Instagram had a few pics with Arie, her more recent posts of her time on the show have been solo shots. This seems to confirm the theory that Becca transitions from love to heartbreak, while Lauren emerges from her initial heartbreak to Arie's true choice.

And though some fans will surely be excited to see Arie and Lauren happy together (if they are), many others will be shocked at this surprising alleged turn, or even angry with Arie for reportedly breaking someone's heart in such a public way. Arie himself seems to recognize that he will soon face a lot of backlash for his choices. "I know people are going to be hard on [me],” Arie said in an interview with People about the finale. “I made a mistake. And I’m prepared for the backlash. But all I can say is I had to follow my heart.” Lauren is also seemingly steeling herself for criticism, recently posting a picture herself flipping her hair on Instagram with the caption "Shakin' off the haters."

But in the end, it doesn't really matter what the public thinks, as long as the final couple is happy. “[My decision] might not be the most popular,” Arie told People. “But for me it’s so worth it.”

We'll see if the fans agree.