TV

"We want to get married & live in the Eastern suburbs!" Laura on her exciting future with Matty J

Their love is here and it's real and they've got a lot of big plans!

By Bella Brennan
It's officially out in the open - The 2017 Bachelor Australia star Matty Johnson has delivered his very last rose in a heart-wrenching grand finale.
On a magic carpet in the Gulf of Thailand, Matty J professed his undying love to Laura Byrne.
"Every part of me right now is telling me this is the right decision. Laura is the most perfect woman I've ever met," an elated Matty beamed to host Osher Gunsberg before the big moment.
But before he did, Laura was bracing for the worst.
"It’s OK. Whatever it is, it’s OK. If you’re going to do it just do it," Laura said, thinking her heart was about to be broken.
"I've replayed this in my mind so many times and it's really hard to get the right words out. I think about you every single day. The only way I can describe how I feel towards you is... Laura, I love you!"
WATCH: A nervous Laura meets Matty's family. Post continues below!
"I love you too, I was so ready for you to break my heart! I wasn't expecting this," a teary Laura cried before embracing her boyfriend for their first official smooch as a couple.
"I wanted to give you this ring as a sign of how much I care about you," Matty said as he presented Laura with a stunning diamond sparkler from Larsen Jewellery.
So there it is! After months of spoilers, speculation and secret meet-ups, Laura Byrne and Matty J can finally share their sweet, sweet love with the nation.
In this exclusive winner's chat, a giddy Laura, 30, talks to Now To Love about falling head over heels in love on reality TV, why she has nothing but respect for runner-up Elise Stacy, and why she can't wait to make some beautiful Bachie babies...
How does it feel now your love is finally out in the open?
I’m excited, I’m nervous and I feel a little bit relieved it's finally all over!
How nerve wracking was that final rose ceremony? How did you feel leading up to it?
It’s actually pretty petrifying! That whole time in Thailand I genuinely had no idea what the outcome was going to be. Walking up there, you don’t know if you’re going to get a bullet or a blank. You prepare yourself for the worst, but you hope for the best which is a bittersweet thing to do.

What did you do mentally prepare yourself for the final rose ceremony, did you guys have anyone to speak to?
I talked a lot to my minder, the person who is with me in the hotel to make sure I don’t run away. So I had her to speak to a lot which was great but I kind of resigned to the fact that there was a very big possibility that it wasn’t going to be me, and I had to be OK with that.
A big part about caring about someone is that you want the best for them so I genuinely wanted him to be happy and I think that was the most prominent thing I had to keep reminding myself.
Even if it was me who was sad, I’d made that choice so it was a possibility.
How hard was Thailand knowing Elise was there, did you see each other?
We didn’t see each other at all. From the time that we left Australia, we didn’t see each other on the plane, we didn’t’ see each other in Thailand.
As much as I knew she was there, we didn’t speak. It was more difficult when I was doing my interviews and she was on a date. That’s when it hit home that I’m sitting there saying all these really nice things about this person that I want to be with and knowing full well that he’s still exploring his feelings with someone else, which is really quite difficult.
"I’m excited, I’m nervous and I feel a little bit relieved," Laura tells us.
Laura and Matty hit it off on the very first night.
What’s your relationship with Elise like now?
It’s actually really, really good. Elise and I were always friends in the house. We slept in the same room the whole time, so we were roommates. Of course towards the end it became not strange, it just became more difficult to support each other.
We’ve had time now to move past it. We saw each other today and it was really good.
How hard has it been watching Matty’s dates with his other girlfriends, especially Tara and Elise?
To be perfectly honest, during the whole process I was really aware Matty did have strong feelings for the other girls as well. That was never hidden from me. It’s not surprising but it is uncomfortably to watch.
Do you watch those scenes or do you have to leave the room?
[I watch] bits and pieces of it but I don’t torture myself over it.
At the same time I watch enough to not be ignorant to the fact he has connections with other people.
There’s been a lot of comparisons between you and George Love, is that a bit awkward?
Look, I’ve never met Georgia but I’m sure she’s an absolute legend. If that is what they’re going to say about me that’s negative, it’s not even negative!
I know that I’m not like Georgia and it doesn’t really phase me.
His first attempt at drawing Laura wasn't that successful.
What about the rogue report which claimed you and Matty already dated and had a secret pact to go all the way to the finale together?
Honestly, it’s just utter BS. We’d never spoken prior to the show. We’d never dated. I mean honestly, no one would put themselves through a reality TV show and watching their boyfriend make out with other chicks voluntarily – it’s not fun!
It’s just absolute crap!
But you and MJ did cross paths in a sauna at icebergs in Bondi, right?
Yeah, that’s where this has all stemmed from. I live in the Eastern suburbs and I go to Bondi Icebergs all the time. I was literally there one day and he was there and I was like, "Oh look! It’s the dude from Instagram." We didn’t speak, it was a complete sliding doors moment.
And now that has transpired into we dated for three months. It’s just crazy.
What do you imagine your future with Matty to be like?
Just being together and dating! Seeing how life pans out.
I know from the conversations we had, we want the same things. We both want to get married one day, we both want kids one day, we both want to live in the Eastern suburbs.
As far as those things are concerned, we’re both very much on the same page with what we want in our lives.
Relive Matty and Laura's road to romance! Post continues below...
What is it about Matty that you love and why do you guys work so well?
I found Matty to be so funny and our personalities just meshed. From the first time we spent time together it was so obvious there was a good, strong connection there.
And just to find that we did want the same things and we were on the same trajectory and path was so reassuring.
You’ve been keeping your romance under wraps for months, what will be the first thing you do as a normal couple?
We’ll probably hang out with our families! It’s such a strange experience to keep everything quiet. I haven’t spoken to anyone really! It will be nice to have conversations about it.
After weeks of pouring your heart out to Matty and him not being able to reply, how did it feel when he finally dropped the L bomb in Thailand?
Before I walked up to see him, I knew how I felt for him. I had wanted that throughout the whole process so it was amazing.
His final rose belongs to her!
Matty’s mum was pretty intense during the finale. How are you guys now?
I haven’t spoken to her since that day but in Thailand she was actually really wonderful.
Ellie is really sweet and so loving of Matty and wants him to be happy. I didn’t feel like she drilled me, I thought she was really supportive in wanting the best for him.
His brothers absolutely adore him and they were the ones who gave me a little bit more of a drilling.
Matty is copping a lot of backlash over sending Tara home, do you think it’s warranted?
Look, Tara’s an absolute legend. She’s so wonderful and I can completely understand why Australia is absolutely rooting for her.
I just think the thing that is sad is you don’t have to put people down to raise someone up. I can understand that people are upset at Tara but it doesn’t need to come at the defamation of Elise and me – the nastiness isn’t warranted.
"I found Matty to be so funny and our personalities just meshed."
There’s always backlash no matter who the Bachelor picks to be their number one, how do you prepare for that?
I don’t even know if you can prepare yourself for that. At the end of the day, you would hope that the people who watch this show watch it because they want him to be happy and they would appreciate that he’s chosen the person that makes him happy and therefore they’d eventually rally behind me.
We all have our favourites when we watch these shows but I think taking a bit more of a transcendent perspective at times helps.
Were you happy with your portrayal on the show?
I’m happy with everything that’s come across. I think there’s been a few people calling me boring or whatever but I would prefer to be boring than nasty so I’m quite happy to take that.
I stayed out of the drama, I’m happy [with my portrayal.]
What’s been the craziest untrue rumour you’ve read about yourself?
Oh god, there’s been so many I’ve stopped counting. I think the one that Matty and I had made a secret pact was pretty outlandish.
There was another one that said Elora and I had to be separated because we used to fight is absolutely outrageous – Elora and I never had a bad word to exchange to each other.
It’s been disappointing not to be able to clear them up but I guess it will be nice once tonight is over and to set the record straight on a few things.
WATCH: Laura and Matty's first message as a couple. Post continues below...
Matty gifted Laura with a stunning diamond ring by Larsen Jewellery. The bespoke piece is made in 18ct white gold and set with a stunning 1.30oct oval diamond.
With past Bachelor couples like Richie and Alex struggling to make it – how much pressure do you feel to go the distance with Matty?
Matty seems like he’s a pretty level-headed guy… it’s the start of a relationship and some of them work out and some of them don’t. I think the added pressure for it to work out is unnecessary because at the end of the day, you just have to be happy.
And if you’re happy together then that’s wonderful. And if you’re not, then that’s not your person and that’s OK.
One thing that will last forever is your star! How’s Mattura going?
I don’t know! I haven’t checked in on it for a while but I’m pretty sure he’s still ticking over considering he’ll be alive for the next 10 million years. I don’t think he’s going anywhere too soon!
Can you believe that you’ve fallen in love on a TV show, does that just blow your mind?
Yeah, totally! As much as I wanted to do it, I was a little bit skeptical that I would have the capacity to have those feelings for someone in that environment, because I did feel at the start like it was really manufactured.
But when you click with someone and you do meet someone that you just mesh with, those feelings are real and they’re not just the bi-product of being on a reality TV show. They’re very genuine!
Laura says their star Mattura is going strong!
They might have met on reality TV but Laura says their love is 100% real.
How did you end up on The Bachelor, were you approached or did you apply?
I had some friends and it really just started it off as a bit of a dare. I’d been single for a while and I had taken some time out for myself and then that dare became a monster and I ended up on a TV show!
You run your own jewellery design business, did you have to put that on hold or make any sacrifices to be on the show?
I’m actually really, really lucky. I’ve had my business for six years and it’s really self-sufficient. The fact that it is already successful gave me the opportunity to take time away from it without having to sacrifice it in its entirety.
I was incredibly lucky with that, my sister took over the reins a little bit on some things I couldn’t do and it was just business as per normal. I didn’t feel like I had to sacrifice a lot but I did sacrifice my family and my friends and my life, essentially, to see if this was going to be my person.
Will you and Matty ever collaborate on a his and hers jewellery line? Maybe you could make the ring for next year’s Bachie finals?
[Laughs] No, I would never! Not even with anyone. It was never a discussion we had in the house. I’m pretty protective of my business.
WATCH: Our body language expert predicted Laura would win! Post continues below...
Which girls will you be keeping in touch with and which contestants will you be bolting from if you bump into them at an event?
I’m really good friends with Flo, I absolutely adore Tara and Cobie… Those girls are people I’ll keep in my life for many years to come.
I guess the girls I don’t want to associate myself with are the girls that are filled with drama and who are really doing the social media traps at the moment. I’m not interested in that!
Looking back on your wild Bachie ride, what’s been the best and worst thing to come out of it?
The hardest part has been this period and trying to keep everything secret. There’s been times when it’s been hard and I haven’t been able to talk to people. There’s been times when I’ve felt really good and I haven’t been able to talk to people. It’s very unnatural to be in that situation.
The best thing? The friendships are amazing and these girls understand what we’ve been through because we did it together.
I’ve also gained a better perspective for what I want in my future as well. You spend that time in the house not being distracted by work, not being distracted by the fluff of life. You spend that time really focusing on what you want in a relationship.
The jewellery designer says she's done with reality TV and is looking forward to a normal life with her main man and three-legged rescue dog, Buster.
What’s life post-Bachie look like for you?
I’m back to work and it’s business as normal. I’m back with my dog Buster, who I missed!
Omg, Australia LOVES Buster. He’s the real star of this season!
I know right! Move over Matty. He’s lapping up his newfound fame. We got for walks in the park and people want photos, he just thinks he’s a stud.
So it’s just back to normal life then?
Yeah, I don’t feel like my life has changed and I don’t want to be anything – I don’t want to be a social celebrity. I just really, really love my job and I really love the friends and family I already have and I appreciate the experience for what it was.
No more reality TV?
No, I’m done!
A year after having his heart broken on national TV, it's love for Laura and Matty!

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