Now that The Bachelorette has been back long enough to give everyone a chance to get to know the contestants better, I can definitively say that Dean is one of my frontrunners — and after seeing Monday's episode, it seems like he's one of Rachel's, too. More than ever, they made it obvious that they have a connection, and it's enough to make me wonder if they have a real future together. Are Dean and Rachel engaged after The Bachelorette? If they aren't, they need to be, because the signs are totally there.
All season long, Dean's slowly started to impress Rachel with his kindness... and I'm sure his tendency to stay out of whatever trouble happens to be brewing in the mansion at any given time helps, too. It's not just that he's attractive (and looks like Jesse McCartney, TBH), but he also seems to be the perfect match for Rachel in so many ways. He seems to be outgoing and positive like she is, and they definitely seem to share the same sense of humor. Those things are important in a relationship, especially one that's supposed to be lifelong.
And just in case you weren't convinced that Dean might be the one popping the question at the end of the season, their one-on-one date should do it for you.
Their time together was a total success — from drinking wine to Rachel adorably comforting him when he was afraid of riding in the blimp (I would have freaked out too; don't feel bad, Dean). There was chemistry, there was magic, and I can absolutely see them walking down the aisle someday. They've even talked about the tough stuff, like Dean losing his mom to cancer. That's a big deal this early on that they've already been so vulnerable together.
Sure, there's a pretty big age difference between them, since Dean is 26 while Rachel is 31. But if they really care about each other, that doesn't matter. And seeing Rachel light up when she talks about him?! That could be a really good sign, even this early on.
It's way too soon to tell definitively whether or not Dean and Rachel end up together after that final rose is given out, but right now, it's looking good. Fingers crossed!