With “The Bachelorette” Charity Lawson and fiancé Dotun Olubeko now free to share their love with the public following Monday’s finale, the couple revisited the nerve-racking moments leading up to their engagement that had Olubeko “clenching [his] teeth up until” Lawson indicated her choice to spend the rest of her life with him.
Prior to the pair’s engagement, Lawson and Olubeko’s final date was engulfed with anxiety and a sense of uncertainty as Lawson revealed the difficult decision of choosing between her strong connection with Olubeko and runner-up Joey Graziadei — a conversation that gave Olubeko a reality check.
“Up to that point, I just focused on our relationship, and I knew, without a doubt it was extremely strong, and if I had to rank it out, it’s gonna be hard to top because we’re so strong,” Olubeko told TheWrap following the finale. “I didn’t really pay much attention to any other relationships, but then she did bring that up — that it is a tough decision — and that was a kind of a gut check for me and the reality of, I might not end up with her the next day.”
Olubeko admitted that realization was “actually really tough to sit with” and made him “emotional” leading up to the final sequence of the show when Lawson would make her final choice.
“We had so many [interviews] and I was just crying throughout all of them, because you’re dealing with the feelings of getting what you want and being devastated,” Olubeko said. “[It was a] really, really tough last couple days, but obviously, just so worth it — I wouldn’t change a dang thing.”
Meanwhile, while Lawson admitted she was “torn” and “conflicted” about her decision, she knew at the last chance date that Olubeko “was going to be the one.”
“Dotun was someone that was very consistent throughout this whole journey for me, and I felt really at peace from Day 1, from our first one-on-one date [and] our first conversation, and then that trajectory only continued to grow,” Lawson told TheWrap. “I was also having strong feelings for another person at that time… But it really is like an internal feeling, and I knew that I would be regretful if I didn’t listen to that.
Adding that the biggest takeaway from her season is “following my gut and my intuition,” Lawson noted that “it just felt right with [Dotun], and I knew if I was to leave there that I would have never found the love that I have with him.”
During the engagement itself, while Lawson knew she would be choosing Olubeko as her final rose pick after sending Graziadei home, Olubeko wasn’t sure of her decision when he first walked up to see Lawson — even though Lawson whispered some assuring words to Olubeko that didn’t make the final cut.
“Obviously after I say goodbye to [Joey], I know Dotun is the last one and so when I first see him, he’s so nervous, and he’s not smiling at all,” Lawson said. “This isn’t shown, but he’s walking towards me and I literally whisper like, ‘Trust me… Like, it’s OK.’ And he still doesn’t smile… I’m like, ‘Alright, are you about to get cold feet?’ I was scared.”
“I just didn’t know!” Olubeko replied. “There’s so many twists and turns in this journey and I just wanted to keep a level head and not get my hopes up.”
While Olubeko noted that he had a “really stern and serious face throughout,” once Lawson made her choice clear by telling him she she could see a lifetime with him, Olubeko felt immediate relief.
“I just start cheesing ear to ear — that’s the confirmation I needed,” Olubeko said. “She gave me all the validation.”
“The Bachelorette” Season 20 is available to stream on Hulu.