Charity Lawson and Dotun Olubeko mark the first monoracial Black couple in the franchise's history
Charity, 27, tells PEOPLE she didn’t think about that until after she and Dotun, 30, got engaged.
“Coming into this role as Bachelorette, you can't prepare for who you're going to meet because you clearly don't know. You also don't know what those connections are going to look like,” she says. “Once me and Dotun really started to solidify our connection and it became firm that this man very much could be my husband, I recognized the importance, but it really didn't truly hit both of us until end of proposal.”
Dotun says “it wasn't anything top of mind” for him either.
“It wasn't until the producer said at the end, they're like, ‘Y'all the first monoracial [Black couple], cheers!’ I was like, ‘Oh, shoot. We are,’” he says. “That came as a shock, and I think it's something that's really beautiful.”
“And it's a huge part to our love story,” the child and family therapist says. “I think that also just shows love is love, and we can't really put a label on that. It is important this type of love to be shown. Even when we see movies or we see TV shows, there is this narrative sometimes that with Black couples, that there's this ginormous struggle, or there's hurdles that you have to overcome in order to obtain one another or make this thing work, and that's the reality.”
Dotun agrees that “this love can't be put in a box.”
“We know nothing necessarily defines us, but we understand that's a huge part of our journey and we are extremely honored to have this position,” the integrative medicine specialist says.
Charity knows the “odds that are faced against us” as a Black couple in the real world, but she appreciates how The Bachelorette told their story.
“I am really grateful to this franchise for not taking anything away from me and Dotun's love story,” she says. “I am so excited for people to continue to keep up with us. I also hope for the viewers at home that look like us and viewers that don't look like us get inspiration or learn something.”
Dotun also hopes he and Charity can be role models. “We will continue to do our best to show what beautiful Black love can be like,” he says. “And we hope that the franchise also continues down that path.”
Charity and Dotun’s connection began as soon as he stepped out of the limo on the first night of filming.
“I had already met several of the men at that point, but when he got out [of the limo], I was like, ‘Oh, man. He is tall,’” she recalls. “But besides that, we had this incredible banter that just came so natural for us. I remember his speech of telling me how he got to this point in the journey of starting The Bachelorette. I was truly captivated just how he spoke to me. He had this presence that was so calming, but also extremely confident.”
Dotun remembers Charity’s engaged response to his “spiel.”
“She was just so present, so there, and looking in my eyes,” he says. “I started feeling all these positive feelings of just meeting this amazing person who looks like they listen and care about what's being said.”
One thing did surprise Dotun about Charity when they first met, though.
“I didn't realize how petite she was!” Dotun says. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, she's so petite.’ But more than anything, she just looked amazing. And she looked better in person than what I had seen on TV.”
Throughout the season, Charity thought Dotun might be too good to be true. But the fairy tale has continued after getting engaged.
“The fact that we weren't able to find anything really is a testament again to how this good thing really is just a good thing,” Dotun says. “That's continued since filming. This girl can do no wrong. She's just the cutest thing. I've only just grown to love her more.”
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