Juan Pablo Galavis can't be someone he's not.
The soccer player stunned Bachelor viewers when he opted not to propose in the season finale. Upset, his first runner-up, Clare Crawley, snapped, "I would never want my children having a father like you."
After witnessing her hostility, Galavis is confident he made the right call. "It was very tough for me to say goodbye to Clare, but she made it easier with her reaction. She was expecting me to propose, I get it, but you don't have to come at me like that," he says. "It was childish. She disappointed me."
When assistant district attorney Andi Dorfman quit during the prior episode, it was easier to accept. He wishes Crawley would have behaved in a similar fashion. "Like with Andi, we don't have to talk about what happened or didn't happen," Galavis tells People in its March 24 cover story. "Just go."
It was Nikki Ferrell who received the final rose—but not a diamond ring. "You go on [The Bachelor] thinking if there is the connection, you propose," Galavis explains. "But I don't feel there's a need to propose to somebody if I don't feel 100 percent. I didn't know Nikki. I want to know more, a lot more."
Ferrell, a 27-year-old pediatric nurse, fully supports her 32-year-old boyfriend's decision to wait.
"Had he gotten down on one knee, I absolutely would have said yes. But having a ring on my finger wouldn't stop us from breaking up," she says of Galavis, who has a 5-year-old daughter. "What's going to keep us together is having a real relationship. I'd rather have him propose when he feels it's right."
Galavis still lives in Miami, Fla., while Ferrell remains in Kanas City, Mo. "It's our start now," the Venezuelan star says of their romance. "We can get to know each other fully. We're not in a rush."