Tayshia Adams and Zac Clark from 'The Bachelorette'

Zac Says Tayshia "Raised The Bar" As The Bachelorette For This Important Reason

ABC/Kwaku Alston, ABC/Craig Sjodin

With Tayshia Adams' season of The Bachelorette officially over and the news of her engagement to Zac Clark finally out in the open, the couple is now tasked with answering tons of lingering questions fans have. They already hit the big ones within the first few hours after their proposal aired on TV. (Yes, they're still engaged after filming. Yes, they're moving in together. No, they're not planning a wedding anytime soon.) But it's the little details about their love, like Tayshia and Zac's quotes about communication, that will really make Bachelor Nation swoon.

Season 16 will go down in Bachelorette history — not just for filming during the coronavirus pandemic or having a leading lady switcheroo between Clare Crawley and Tayshia — but also for airing candid conversations about important topics like race, mental health, and substance use disorder, to name a few. It's something the Bachelor franchise (which will have its first Black Bachelor in 2021) hasn't exactly been known for in the past.

Below, Tayshia and Zac discuss the importance of talking about those "big topics" with one another, how communication plays a role in their relationship, and what's next for them.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

ABC/Craig Sjodin

Elite Daily: Can you pinpoint the moment you knew each other was "the one"?

Tayshia Adams: I don't think it was a specific moment. I think it was a couple of moments that he really won my heart over. Aside from him interacting with my family and that going so well, I think it also has to be our hometown date. I think he was just so thoughtful and kind and loving that day. I really did start to see a life with him in New York. So that kind of sold me.

Zac Clark: For me, there [were] a lot of really special moments, obviously early on, on our first 1-on-1, the Ferris wheel, that whole experience of being above the desert, just me and her, was really cool. Then there was a moment that took place in the Fantasy Suites, which has nothing to do with what people think happens in the Fantasy Suites. We had this amazing conversation and Tayshia fell asleep in my arms at probably about 4 a.m., and I didn't feel like I needed to keep her up. I didn't feel like we had to talk about a bunch more things. It was just this peaceful moment and it felt like everything was right.

I'm not a person to just sweep things under the rug. I'd rather talk about it head-on.

ED: Tayshia, this season was full of important conversations — touching on race, mental health, substance use disorders, and religion. Did you go into this journey with a plan to have these deep discussions?

TA: I think it's a testament to both of us, honestly — the men and myself. I do want to know the answers to those tough questions, because that's real life. That's something that is a part of you. It's going to be a conversation we're going to have down the road, and I'm not a person to just sweep things under the rug. I'd rather talk about it head-on.

Also, those are real conversations that a lot of people do struggle with on the daily. So it's nothing to be ashamed of. If I can comfort you and bond over that with you, then I'm there for it. And honestly, I was looking for a partner, so those real conversations need to be had.

ED: Do you think the conversations that were had this season will have a lasting impact on the Bachelor franchise?

ZC: I don't know much about the history of the Bachelor franchise, but what I can tell you is that anyone who watched Tayshia this season, and the way she led and the way she created this environment for men to share openly and honestly with her, that's a big deal. I don't think she gives herself enough credit. I think the bar has been raised and I think it's pretty high now.

The other thing I'll say is that the other men on the show really rose up to the challenge and brought some deep and meaningful conversations to the table. So I think for me, as someone who doesn't know as much about this world, it's starts with the lead, and that was Tayshia this season. She took on a lot and I'm just super proud to be sitting next to her.

There's no conversation that's off the table for us.

ED: Speaking of those heavy conversations, fans saw one guy go home in the finale after a conversation about religious beliefs. Are you two on the same page in that respect?

TA: I feel like Zac and I have always had open communication. I don't think we've ever really shied away from talking about big topics. He shared his views and his beliefs with me — that's actually another Fantasy Suite conversation [we had]. That was the first time we really dove into what that would look like. And that aligns for us.

ZC: We've prayed together and we don't shy away from that. It's something that is a part of our relationship and will continue to be a part of our relationship. That fundamental belief allows us to talk about anything, whether it's my drug addiction or her divorce or my divorce — whatever it is. There's no conversation that's off the table for us.

ED: I know you two have said you're not in a rush to get married right away, but when the time comes, are you considering a televised wedding for all of Bachelor Nation to watch?

TA: I have not given that any thought yet, being that it's our first day off the television screen, but —

ZC: They do that?

TA: He knows nothing about this world, which I love. I feel like we will talk about that when the time comes, just depending where we're at in life. But who knows? Never say never.