Michelle Money and Cody Sattler may have left paradise, but they're still very much in the honeymoon period of their relationship. The reality stars, who fell in love as contestants on ABC's Bachelor spin-off Bachelor in Paradise, are even more smitten now than they were when they filmed the finale back in June. "It's been so easy, and it's only gotten better since the show ended," personal trainer Sattler tells Us Weekly exclusively. "It's going in the right direction, I can tell you that!"
Money had looked for love on two previous Bachelor Nation shows — Brad Womack's second season of The Bachelor in 2011, and season two of Bachelor Pad later that same year — but it took going to paradise to find her perfect match. (Sattler was a contestant on Andi Dorfman's season of The Bachelorette in 2014.)
"For me, it was either three strikes and you're out, or third time's a charm," she tells Us. "I've been through a lot with the Bachelor franchise. I've had some amazing experiences and met incredible people, but I've never met anyone as amazing as Cody. I never thought someone like him existed. It's been such a beautiful surprise."
The lovebirds currently live in different states, but they talk and text "all day, every day," and they also make it a point to see each other in person every other weekend, Money says, adding that they just returned from a vacation with her family. "It was amazing. My family adores him."
That includes her 9-year-old daughter, Brielle. "She loves Cody," Money gushes. "We laugh nonstop. Cody is a big jungle gym for her — she climbs all over him. They're like two little kids." She adds of her beau: "He has such a positive, genuine, kind, loving spirit. Anyone who knows him will you tell you the same thing."
Sattler is similarly full of praise for her. "I love everything about this girl. She's just a down-to-earth woman. She's beautiful, she's a great mom — I just love how cool she is," he tells Us. "From the moment I met her, I just had this crazy connection with her. She gets me, I get her. It's like I found my best friend who is the most beautiful woman on the planet."
Sattler is so smitten, in fact, that he's planning a move from Arlington, Iowa, to Salt Lake City, Utah, to be with Michelle and Brielle full time. And then…wedding bells!
"I want to marry this girl. I wouldn't be moving to Salt Lake City if I didn't see that in the future," he tells Us. There's no timeline for that yet, but Sattler says it'll happen "sooner rather than later" if he has his way. "I can't wait to call this woman my wife," he raves. "I want to get married, and I can't think of a better person to spend my life with than Michelle." (At this, she interjects, "My heart is just melting over here! It feels so good hearing that from the man you love.")
So, might they say "I do" on TV, a la fellow Bachelor/Bachelorette alums Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici or Ashley Hebert and J.P. Rosenbaum? "We just talked about this!" Money tells Us. "It's so cool that people watched us fall in love, so I don't see why we wouldn't do something so people can continue the journey with us. I think it would be fun." Adds Sattler: "I would love for people to see what happens with us."
In any case, Money already has one of her bridesmaids picked out — Lacy Faddoul, who got engaged to Marcus Grodd on the season finale of Bachelor in Paradise. "We've already talked about it. We're so excited for one another," Money says. She adds, "Lacy and Marcus really fell in love pretty quickly — it was a beautiful thing to see firsthand."
Money's courtship with Sattler unfolded a little differently, but the end result was just as rewarding. Though she initially expressed reservations about committing to a full-on relationship, she changed her mind after one night in the Fantasy Suite.
"There's something about having that alone time with someone where you can really talk about your past and what makes you who you are," she explains. "I've been through a lot in my life, and I really wanted to open up to him. To be able to have the chance to do that without cameras and microphones made such a huge difference for both of us. It took everything to a new level."
Sattler, for his part, was all in from the very beginning. "I fell fast. I've only dated two girls seriously in my entire life, and I've been single for four years, so I knew exactly what I wanted," he tells Us. "I met Michelle and she just swept me off my feet. I've never met anyone like her. I keep saying if they could bottle how I feel and sell it, I'd be a billionaire. Everyone deserves to be this happy and this in love. It's just a crazy good feeling."
ABC recently announced that Bachelor in Paradise has been renewed for a second season.
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