The former Bachelor star, 30, and the political strategist, 39, chose to take the next step in their relationship while on a weekend getaway in Big Sur, California, to celebrate Underwood’s birthday last month.
“I’m extremely happy! 2021 was the most transformative year of my life,” the former reality star told People in a statement on Monday, February 28. “Starting 2022 off with my best friend, teammate and now fiancé is something I never thought was going to be possible.”
The former football player gushed over his future with Brown via social media on Monday, writing, “Life is going to be fun with you ♥️,” alongside a photo with his fiancé.
The Coming Out Colton star, who publicly came out as gay in April 2021, began seeing Brown the same year. Us Weekly confirmed their romance in November 2021, but Underwood chose to keep their relationship off camera while filming the Netflix series.
“I have been through that. I have done that,” he exclusively told Us in December 2021. “Even going into the show, that was one of the conversations with the production company. … I’m not in a space right now to really, like, put myself out there like that. I had a lot of self-discovery to do.”
He added: “Having a public relationship, for me, was not healthy. I just think right now I’m really sort of protecting and guarding what I have.”
Underwood was chosen as the Bachelor for season 23, which aired in 2019, and finished the season in a relationship with Cassie Randolph. The duo announced their split in May 2020.
Following their breakup, Randolph, 26, filed a restraining order against Underwood, who she claimed was stalking and harassing her. The case was dropped in November 2020.
The First Time: Finding Myself and Looking for Love on Reality TV author later apologized to the California native after addressing his sexuality 2021.
“I loved everything about her, and it’s hard for me to articulate exactly what my emotions were in going through that relationship with her because I obviously had an internal fight going on,” Underwood explained during a Good Morning America interview at the time. “I would just say that I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart. I’m sorry for any pain and emotional stress I caused. I wish that it wouldn’t have happened the way that it did. I wish that I had been courageous enough to fix myself before I broke anybody else.”
Before the Indiana native’s engagement made headlines, he exclusively told Us how he felt about his then-boyfriend.
“I’m happy, I’m in love and I’m in a good position,” he said in December 2021, confirming that his family had met Brown. “Everything as far as that goes has been pretty smooth.”
Randolph, for her part, is dating Brighton Reinhardt. The twosome were first linked in August 2020.
“We’re doing great. We were friends for a really long time before we started dating so I kind of feel like that helped us out just in so many different ways,” the speech and language therapist told Us in December 2021. “So we just have a lot of fun together. He’s like my best friend.”