Bachelor winner Merel on Thomas: ‘We have no official relationship’

It must have been a relief when the reunion came online. What’s the first thing you and Thomas did?
‘At first I said we would go out on the terrace all day, but unfortunately life goes on. I was going to read that day and Thomas was going to work. In the evening we went out for dinner and he surprised me with a hotel stay. So for the first time out in the open in Amsterdam, it felt a bit like a first date again. ‘

Also read: This month in A&C: Chantal and Thomas van der Vlugt talk about libido

You have now been able to look back on everything, including Thomas’ dates with others. Did not make you a little jealous?
‘No, because in the Netherlands, the person you are dating can also date others, but you can not see it. And finally, after all those dates, he chose me. I just like that he built connections, took it so seriously and had fun with others, because then it was a well-considered choice.

How are you and the other girls doing now?
‘There is a club that I see almost every week and that I have really become friends with. They are Indigo, Isabella, Anna Noëlle, Ascha and Karen. I also talk regularly with other girls like Inge. And the Bachelor WhatsApp group is definitely still there! ‘

And between you and Maureen? You were able to talk about it all in Mexico, right?
‘Yes, the morning after the final. In the evening itself, we were both told by the production that we would not see each other. I immediately went to the hotel with Thomas while Maureen had a drink with the crew. I really wanted to say hello to both her and the crew because I had ties to them too, but I could not. I almost cried before I got in the car, and of course I was also very happy that I was going to a hotel with Thomas’.

And since then, you and Thomas have had to keep everything a secret. Wasn’t that a strain on your relationship?
‘It did not necessarily give you any pressure, but you are constantly on. You have to pay attention to everything. But it also ensures that your communication should be really good. We had to discuss everything with each other, because you can not talk about it with anyone else. ”

Who knew you were still together?
‘My best friend Britt and my dad and my roommates also found out about it at one point because I was so much away. Furthermore, we have kept quiet, also towards the girls from De Bachelor. They had found out who was in the final via the WhatsApp group with all the numbers. Of course, they knew that there would be a rose ceremony every other day, and then they kept track of when the messages reached everyone, that is, when the phones were turned on again. Very clever, but Maureen and I were still trying hard not to say anything. ‘

And you’ve never lost your mind?
‘No, not once. Bizarre what? At one point, friends sent something saying I would have been caught because I wanted the name Thomas with a heart in my phone and we wanted a relationship, but that was not true at all. Thomas was like James on my phone. So then I said, firstly, I would not be so stupid, and secondly, we are not in a relationship at all. I did not lie either, because we are not in a relationship. ”

New?
‘New. We date exclusively, of course, but we’ve only been together so long. First in Mexico and then secretly in the Netherlands. It can not be compared to real life and therefore we have decided to build it up slowly. He has not met my family yet, so I want to do well and comfortably and not be in a hurry. My friends insist on a meeting, so he has to get ready for that. ‘

Also read: Bachelor chat with Maureen: Was there sex on the 24-hour date?

Thomas also tells in C &’s ‘Oh oh libido’ that he has a hard time going one hundred percent after someone right away. So do you have it too?
‘Very. At least I did not let people in so easily, which is probably because I lost my mother at a young age. Then you are more careful about entering into relationships. Before that, I had not been in a serious relationship for almost seven years. Now when I go to it with someone, I want to be sure. One can never be completely sure, but the most important thing is to keep choosing each other consciously. We are on the right track. ‘

The interview with Chantal Janzen and Thomas van der Vlugt can be found in & C’s June issue ‘Oh oh libido’, which is now in stores. You can also order that number here.

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