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Bachelor Joey Graziadei Says Couples' Counseling Made a 'Huge Difference' for Him and Kelsey (Exclusive)

The tennis pro tells PEOPLE counseling "made a world of difference" for him and fiancée Kelsey Anderson, who he proposed to during Monday's 'Bachelor' finale

<p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/yurihasegawaphoto/">Yuri Hasegawa</a></p> Bachelor Joey Graziadei and Kelsey Anderson

Yuri Hasegawa

Bachelor Joey Graziadei and Kelsey Anderson

After getting engaged at the end of filming his season of The Bachelor, Joey Graziadei and Kelsey Anderson had to keep their relationship under wraps until the finale aired on Monday night.

During that time, which the junior project manager refers to as the “in-between period” to PEOPLE in this week’s issue, the show provided Joey, 28, and Kelsey, 25, with couples’ counseling to help them navigate communication.

“It's definitely not easy because we both do appreciate the physical touch,” Joey tells PEOPLE. “We communicate so much better when we're actually with each other in the same room. But the couples' counseling made a huge difference for us to not only be able to find better ways to communicate, but also learn how each of us communicate differently.”

<p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/yurihasegawaphoto/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">Yuri Hasegawa</a></p> Bachelor Joey Graziadei and Kelsey Anderson

Yuri Hasegawa

Bachelor Joey Graziadei and Kelsey Anderson

Related: The Bachelor's Kelsey A. Leaves Joey Graziadei Looking 'Like He’s About to Cry' During Talk After Fantasy Suites

The Philadelphia native says he and Kelsey “learned a lot about each other” from doing virtual counseling and believes “it's made a world of difference.”

“Even though this time has not been the easiest — because who would want to be apart from someone when they get engaged? — I think it's going to help us in the future,” Joey says.

While trying to stay quiet about their engagement, Joey and Kelsey saved each other in their phones under aliases. Kelsey used Faine C. for Joey. “It's fiancé spelled different,” she explains.

<p>Disney/Jan Thijs</p> Kelsey Anderon and Joey Graziadei on 'The Bachelor'

Disney/Jan Thijs

Kelsey Anderon and Joey Graziadei on 'The Bachelor'

Joey calls that “the worst name.”

“It's the dumbest one ever,” he continues. “Have you ever met with a name Faine in your life? Because there's no such person as a Faine.”

For more on The Bachelor, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, or subscribe here.

Now, Joey can shed his nickname. “I cannot wait to get to Monday and my name's actually Joey in her phone and not Faine C,” he says. “But our job is to keep this as locked up as possible, so we kept it behind closed doors.”

Joey sees his and Kelsey’s approach to love as “a relationship in reverse” because, at first, “you deal with a lot of getting to know someone on a really deep basis and then, when you're actually together, you start to learn the small things about each other that you usually learn in the beginning part of dating.”

As a result, Joey feels like he and Kelsey created a “really strong foundation.”

<p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/yurihasegawaphoto/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">Yuri Hasegawa</a></p> Bachelor Joey Graziadei and Kelsey Anderson

Yuri Hasegawa

Bachelor Joey Graziadei and Kelsey Anderson

“It's ideal, I think, at the end of the day,” he says. “It's just a little different.”

Kelsey admits that nerves kept her from opening up to Joey early on during filming.

“Our first conversation, I was really nervous, so it was hard for me to open up and really get to know him more,” she says. “But on our first group date we did a little workout together and, I was just like, ‘He's really cute. He's funny.’ He was cracking jokes with me. And, I was like, ‘OK, this is easy.’ And the more and more I got to know him, it got easier and easier.”

<p>Disney/John Fleenor</p> Kelsey Anderson and Joey Graziadei on 'The Bachelor'

Disney/John Fleenor

Kelsey Anderson and Joey Graziadei on 'The Bachelor'

Joey says he first realized Kelsey could be his forever person after the Mrs. Right pageant group date. “Mrs. Right, where she got her group date rose was where the connection really started,” he continues. “I think that was when we realized, ‘OK, there's something here that we're going to see through.’ And it just honestly got better every time after that.”

Joey sensed a connection when Kelsey first stepped out of the limo. “She's so beautiful,” Joey gushes. “When she walked out of them and I was like, "OK, I'm screwed right from the get-go.’ ”

Related: Bachelor Joey Graziadei Knows He Can Be a 'Sad Boy,' but He Wants Suitors to 'See All Sides of Me' (Exclusive)

Right after that, Kelsey handed Joey a voodoo doll as a nod to her New Orleans roots. Joey proceeded to carry that doll with him throughout filming. “I took it with me everywhere we went, because I had a pretty good idea that she was going to be around,” he says of Kelsey. “I had to make sure I held onto it.”

Now, Joey plans to hold onto what he has with Kelsey forever.

“That's the most important thing to hold onto,” he says. “She's the only person I was ever fully in love with. She's the only person I'll ever be fully in love with for the rest of my life because she deserves that.”

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Read the original article on People.