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TV’s first African-American ‘Bachelorette’ says she found what she wanted

The Bachelorette

8 to 10 p.m. Monday (moves to 7 p.m. Monday, beginning May 29)

WFAA/Channel 8

Posted 7:07am on Friday, May. 19, 2017

Spoiler alert! Well, maybe it’s more just a simple tease.

Rachel Lindsay, the Dallas attorney looking for love this season on “The Bachelorette,” says she found it. “I am so very much in love,” she declares, “and so very much engaged.”

Beyond that, of course, Rachel is stingy with the details — and who can rightly blame her?

If she reveals anything more than the fact that there’s a happily-ever-after ending on the way, she might ruin the experience for anyone eager to tune in for the entire journey.

The two-hour season premiere of “The Bachelorette” is at 8 p.m. Monday on ABC.

Rachel, 32, is making television history on this show. It’s the 13th season of “The Bachelorette,” but she’s the first African-American woman in the driver’s seat.

“I feel a sense of responsibility to step into this role and be the first,” she says. “I’m representing myself as an African-American woman on a platform that hasn’t been done before. So all eyes are going to be on me. They’re going to be judging me. And I do feel that pressure.

“But I accept the challenge and I’m more than happy to do it.”

We chatted with Rachel last week to find out a little more about what’s coming.

Q: You’re beautiful, funny and successful. You’re the total package. So why do you need to go on TV to make a love connection? Is it really that hard to find romance the conventional way?

A: Yes, it is hard out there. I actually was in a five-year relationship off and on. After that ended, I realized what I wanted for myself, so I was open to dating. But it’s very hard.

I find a lot of guys are either intimidated by me. They like the idea of me, but when it comes to dating me in reality they can’t handle it. I find that is a common thing with a lot of professional women.

I think a lot of women will be able to relate to that struggle when they hear me talk about that.

Q: On your first night as the Bachelorette, you were introduced to your 31 suitors. Did that boggle your mind? Thirty-one men, all vying for your attention?

A: I can’t complain about 31 men coming to see me, about dating them. That’s the positive side. It feels good to be in the driver’s seat. It’s good to be wanted in that way and by that many men.

But on the flip side, I’m dating 31 men! That could be a negative at the same time.

Q: What qualities were you looking for in a man?

I like a confident man. Not cocky, just confident and very self-aware. Direct. Knows who he is. Honest. A man who knows where he’s going. I love ambition.

A: And I want someone who wants what I want. I’m ready to start a family. I’m ready to get married. I want someone who’s on the same page.

Q: Is it going to be hard to keep the identity of your fiance under wraps until the season finale months from now?

A: It’s hard when you’re so excited about something and you can’t share it with everyone. But we just make sure that we communicate with each other all the time. That’s really all that we can do.

Q: What has this whole process been like for you — from becoming a fan favorite on “The Bachelor” last fall to having it all work out for you now on “The Bachelorette”?

A: Every morning I wake up and pinch myself. I keep asking, “Is this really happening? I don’t believe this.”

Just to have my co-workers have faith in me and sign me up (for “The Bachelor”), to me believing that I could find love during Nick’s season even though it didn’t work out and then here I am finishing up my own journey where it did work out for me. It’s crazy.

At times I feel like I don’t even deserve this, because I feel like I’m getting everything that I want. I am getting my happy ending. It’s just such a surreal experience. 

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