After a heart-wrenching elimination, Reid Rosenthal returned to Hawaii on the season finale of The Bachelorette at the last minute to try and win back the affection of Jillian Harris. And he thought it would work, he told host Chris Harrison on Tuesday’s “After the Final Rose” special.
But as more than ten million viewers witnessed, Harris let the 30-year-old Philadelphia realtor down gently, confessing that she was in love with somebody else — Chicago computer software consultant Ed Swiderski.
Even though two months have past since the finale was shot in Hawaii, Rosenthal confesses to PEOPLE that his feelings for Harris haven’t gone away. “When I saw her at the “After the Final Rose” special, feelings came back,” he tells PEOPLE. “But everything happens for a reason. That’s the way I think in life and just knowing that makes everything easier.”
So why did he return? “I thought I was the best guy for her,” he says. “I knew I wanted to spend tomorrow with her. I wasn’t 100 percent sure we’d get married in six months or a year if she’d said yes. But I thought our relationship was 15 times better than the other two guys.”
Ready to date again “pretty soon — immediately,” Rosenthal admits his modicum of celebrity has been a hit with women.
“It’s insane! I thought it was just in Philly but now I’m out in L.A. and I was hanging out by the pool minding my own business and every single person came up to me and they were taking pictures,” he says. “When come up, they are like, ‘We feel so bad.’ Two months have gone by, so I’m a little more detached from the experience than when I first got back.”
Reid, who says he was able to return the ring he bought for Harris, isn’t sure yet if he’d like to star on The Bachelor. “The upside is that you have 25 girls coming after you, which is never a bad thing. I trust the process at this point even though it is a little unnatural and puts you in a situation here you have to get to know somebody faster than you typically would,” he said. “The downside is it is a ton of work. Work doesn’t scare me but with real estate being so busy now, it’s gonna be hard for me to figure out how to keep my business and at the same time do that.”
As for Harris, Rosenthal says he has nothing but the best of wishes for her and Swiderski.
“If she’s happy, I’m happy for her,” Rosenthal says.
Tell us: Would you date Reid? Should he do The Bachelor?Hugh Dillon/WENN