Gentlemen, this is the final rose of the season.
As of the most recent episode, Michelle Young had narrowed down her choices to Oregonian traveling nurse Brandon Jones and Sales Executive and Texan Nayte Olukoya. Though she had an incredibly strong connection with both men, on the Dec. 21 finale of ABC's The Bachelorette, Michelle said "yes" to a happily ever after with Nayte.
Brandon was the first to arrive to the beach to ask for Michelle's hand in marriage. "Michelle, from the first time I laid eyes on you, I want you to know that I truly saw you. From the first time that I talked to you, I knew that you were someone so unbelievably special," he said. "People always talk about love, you know, that they found the missing piece for them. Michelle, I found that with you. I found something so unbelievably special with you that I don't think I'll ever forget. And I don't think I'll ever find it again."
Although Michelle and Brandon clearly have chemistry, she ultimately has stronger feelings for Nayte and had to follow her heart and say a heartbreaking goodbye to the nurse.
"It's not that I don't love you, because I do. It's just that my heart is pushing me a different direction. I have to go with what I feel," Michelle explained through tears. "And it hurts so much to say because you are this unbelievable person. I need you to know how much I care about you and that just doesn't get turned off."
Though he was heartbroken, Brandon wished her the very best before leaving the beach. His last words to Michelle? "I hate goodbyes."
Then, it was Nayte's turn. Before getting down on one knee, he expressed his feelings for Michelle.
"The very first night I met you, I knew right then and there that we had a connection that I wanted to hold onto," he started. "The second night that we were together, we talked about running away together. And I'm standing in front of you right now, and the feelings are the same. I want to run away with you. I want to run away to forever with the woman that I've come to love."
He continued, "Through this journey, you've shared a lot of vulnerable sides of your past, and I know that you've felt unseen at times, and I want to let you know that I am completely prepared, willing and ready to make sure that you are always chosen first, seen, now, today, tomorrow and for the rest of our lives... I love you, Michelle."
Michelle admitted that it hasn't been a "smooth ride" for them, saying, "Walking into this, my fear was that I would not be loved as much as I love the other person."
"But... I'm also not willing to face that fear of walking away from this without you," she continued. "Because I have never felt a love like this before. And I love you with my entire heart. And don't ever want to think about waking up next to anyone besides you and doing life with anyone besides you. And, at the end, I wanted to be standing in front of my soulmate, and he is definitely standing right in front of me."
We're not crying, you are. Okay, we are too.
Though it was hard to say goodbye to Brandon, a season that ends with a trip to Neil Lane is a "win" in our book.
We could not be more excited for Michelle and Nayte. And don't worry, Bachelor Nation! A new season of The Bachelor is right around the corner, with Clayton Echard from Michelle's season of The Bachelorette as the leading man.
Clayton's journey to find love begins on Monday, Jan. 3 on ABC.