Dean Unglert and Caelynn Miller-Keyes
The former Bachelor in Paradise star, 30, described Miller-Keyes, 26, as "the most suffocating" of all the girls he's dated during Sunday's episode of his iHeartRadio podcast, Help! I Suck at Dating, which he hosts with Jared Haibon.
He noted that he didn't see that as a bad thing, saying, "I actually kind of enjoy it, so it's kind of nice."
In an interview with Us Weekly, Unglert acknowledged that the comment "sounds bad" but said he used the word "suffocating" because he and Haibon, 32, were trying to "find common ground" with a listener who sent in a question about feeling that way in their own relationship.
"It's a horrible word, don't get me wrong," he said. "It's the wrong adjective to use to describe anyone in a relationship. I was simply saying that in past experiences, I would hate to be suffocated, but with Caelynn, although my instinct is to say, 'Don't suffocate me,' in reality, I'm like, 'You can suffocate me because I enjoy spending time with you' sort of thing."
Unglert, who met Miller-Keyes on season 6 of Bachelor in Paradise in 2019, also addressed a previous episode of the podcast in which he revealed that he doesn't like saying "I love you" to Miller-Keyes, so the pair have come up with other ways to express their love.
"She calls me Maka, but that's, like, something that I made up and then she ran with it," he said last month. "I just hate saying the L-word word, so I was like, 'Let's make up a different word, so we don't have to say that to each other all the time.'"
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However, the Bachelorette alum told Us that he does say "I love you" to her.
"I am in the camp of I'd rather show Caelynn that I love her rather than say that I love her," he said. "Talk is cheap more or less, you know, anyone can say anything, but what it boils down to in my eyes is action over words."
He continued, "We've done those little psychology tests where it's like, 'What's your apology style? What is your love language?' And all these things. … My love language is acts of service 'cause I like to see action behind the words. And then my apology style was, like, take accountability. I think words can mean anything, but actions can mean one thing. I would rather show Caelynn that I love her consistently and constantly all the time, rather than say a word that people throw around like it doesn't mean anything nowadays."
Unglert also said his feelings about the word "love" is something he's addressing in therapy.
"That's something I'm working on too," he said. "There's definitely, like, a mental impasse that I have to work through [in] therapy and all that kind of stuff that I would love to get past. I've got a jaded relationship with the word love. There's no question about it. But I mean, I do love Caelynn and she knows that."