Former Bachelorette Georgia Love and her fiancé Lee Elliott might look like the picture of perfect happiness on Instagram, but things weren't always sunshine and roses for this cute couple.
While Lee and Georgia are now happily engaged - the pair announced their engagement last week with a cute Instagram reveal - Georgia has just opened up about the rocky start to love these two had.
Speaking to nutritionist and yoga teacher Lola Berry on her Fearlessly Failing podcast, Georgia revealed the first year of her relationship with Lee was "pretty f--ked", due to the trying personal circumstances the new couple found themselves in immediately after The Bachelorette had aired.
Just a few months before Georgia was approached by Channel 10 to star on the reality show, her mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given a worrying prognosis.
Despite concern for her mother, Georgia entered the show anyway and spent three months away from her family in the mansion, as she fell in love with Lee.
Then, after filming officially ended but before the show went to air, Georgia and Lee were forced to be kept apart, sharing just a few stolen moments together in secret so the outcome of the show was not ruined for viewers.
When the grand finale episode finally aired and the new couple were able to be together in public, Georgia got some devastating news - her mum had passed away.
And it was the combination of those two events - the intensity of the finale and her mother's sudden death - that put a strain on the couple's brand new relationship.
"Really, our relationship started on that day of the finale airing because it's the first time we're allowed to leave the house together. And then my mum died 24 hours later," Georgia told Lola on the podcast, which was recorded before Lee proposed.
Georgia said she and Lee started their relationship "in a really strange, public way with everyone watching you and having to do things like post on social media, because if we didn't people would think we'd broken up."
That pressure was combined with "this almighty grief on top of us, which could and has and does break relationships all the time," Georgia said.
"We had both of those things happen at once. So I don't shy away from saying the first year of our relationship was pretty f**ked. So we never got a honeymoon period at all.
"We went straight from being able to be together, to the depths of grief. So it's almost like we're having our honeymoon period now."
Because the podcast was recorded before Lee and Georgia got engaged, the Channel 10 journalist was asked about if she felt pressure from the public to tie the knot.
"We're really happy with where we're at. I don't mind if we're not planning a wedding yet. We know we're in a long term relationship and we want to be together forever. We're just doing it in our own time," Georgia said.
"We moved in together a year ago and it was like we were teenagers allowed to be together. Like 'Oh my God, there's nothing negative happening! This is all wonderful and fun!' So yeah, we're just taking our time. If we'd rushed things any more, it wouldn't have worked."
Her comments echo what Lee told Now To Love back in July, explaining that he was taking his time and "wanted to do it right".
"We are happy. And so much of our relationship happened so quickly and I want to do this right, and I want to do it properly, and I will," he said.
"But I'll do it in 'our' time," he added.
But Lee said that going through such intense experiences together has strengthened their relationship.
"[Georgia's mum] was her best friend and there are so many things in her life that her mum will not get to share with her and it's just so sad," he told Now To Love.
"Going through something like that helps strengthen any relationship, it brings you closer together," he added.
WATCH BELOW: All the couples who got together on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Story continues after video.
The couple announced their engagement last week and true to form, their Instagram posts included loads of cute puns, which the pair are renowned for sharing on social media.
"I liked it so I put a ring on it 💍 #feyonce," Lee wrote.
Georgia Love's full interview with Lola Berry on the Fearlessly Failing podcast is now available to listen on Acast.
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