Bachelor Clayton Says He Feels 'Happiest I've Been' After 1 Woman Says 'I'm Falling in Love with You'

Clayton Echard also decided between Genevieve and Shanae during a two-on-one date on Monday's episode of The Bachelor

This post contains spoilers from Monday's episode of The Bachelor.

Clayton Echard spent Valentine's Day searching for love.

Monday's episode kicked off with the highly anticipated two-on-one date between Shanae and Genevieve. Clayton spoke with Genevieve first.

"The house has been a little awkward," the bartender, 26, confessed to him.

Still, Genevieve promised Clayton, 28, "I am all in."

The former NFL player appreciated hearing that. "It helps so much to hear that, those words," he said.

Genevieve told Clayton that if he ever had any questions about her or their relationship to come to her. The duo ended their chat with a kiss.

Then Clayton talked to Shanae, 29. "When we're together, we have a very good connection, we do," he told her. "But obviously there's been some tension. I know last we talked, you apologized to the group and I want to thank you for that, but I just want to know again since that point how things are going."

Clayton Shanae Genevieve the bachelor
ABC/Ricky Middlesworth; ABC/Pamela Littky; ABC/Ricky Middlesworth

Shanae said she overheard Genevieve talking before their date about how she wanted the recruiter to go home. "To me, it's just two-faced and it's a red flag," Shanae told Clayton.

Shanae proceeded to cry to Clayton about being single for the last five years and never having been in love. "It's sad," she told Clayton. To the cameras, however, Shanae admitted to faking those tears.

When Clayton reconvened with both ladies, he brought Shanae's accusation to Genevieve. "You did ask me to be honest with you, so I do have a question: Are you an actress and are you lying to me?" Clayton asked.

Genevieve did a double-take. "I'm not an actress. I'm not faking anything," she said. "I don't know, I think I've been as open as I can be and as honest as I can be. Is there anything that … any reason that that question is asked?"

Clayton said he needed to step away. Upon his return, Clayton declared, "The rose today is going to somebody who helped me see the truth." Then he gave the rose to Genevieve.

"Shanae, I just am so sorry but I cannot find it in my heart to give you this rose," he said.

"I'm 100 percent shocked, 100 percent like, what the f--- just happened?" Shanae — who, in last week's episode claimed she deserved an Oscar for her acting performance on the show — said in an on-camera interview. "He chose an actress over me. Weird. Like f--- that guy. I'm pissed. Literally blindsided."

Back at the hotel, the other women popped champagne and toasted to Shanae's departure. "Cheers to finally curing the herpes outbreak," Marlena said.

ROSE CEREMONY

"I'm really hoping that we've turned over a new leaf," Clayton told the group ahead of the cocktail party.

Sarah pulled Clayton first and he talked about the choice to send Shanae home. "Coming to that decision wasn't as easy as I thought it was going to be," he confessed. "Now I'm really happy because I feel like everyone else can breathe a sigh of relief."

The wealth management advisor, 23, felt, "I am falling for him pretty hard," she told the cameras.

Mara told Clayton she likes to feed people she cares about so she brought him some poutine to enjoy during their Toronto visit. But Eliza quickly cut into their conversation and that frustrated Mara, 32.

The entrepreneur wouldn't get more time with Clayton either, as host Jesse Palmer announced the end of the cocktail party.

At the rose ceremony, Mara found out Clayton wanted to keep her around, as he handed out a rose to her, as well as Sarah, Serene, Susie, Teddi and Eliza. That left Marlena, 30, and Hunter packing their bags to leave.

FIRST ONE-ON-ONE DATE

Clayton and his remaining suitors headed to Croatia and the Missouri native kicked off his time in Europe by taking Teddi, 24, on a date.

During the day, they explored the country, making a wish at a well and shopping at a local market. Afterward, over drinks, Teddi made a big confession to Clayton.

"So, I am a virign," the surgical unit nurse said. "My mom had a baby at a young age, she was in high school, and like, I feel like growing up there was a lot of pressure placed on me just 'cause she wanted to make sure I didn't make the same mistake."

Teddi The Bachelor
ABC/Ricky Middlesworth

But Teddi said she didn't necessarily plan to wait until she got married to have sex. "As I got older I realized that I kind of need to make decisions for myself," she continued. "And I am a sexual person and I enjoy that aspect of myself. I don't like that I like felt like I had this pressure to wait. And I think that's kind of where I came to the realization that I don't need to wait until marriage, but I am going to wait until the first time that I am in love."

Clayton asked Teddi whether she'd been in love since coming to that realization, and Teddi said she hadn't been.

"If you've never been in love then like, how do you know when you get to that point?" Clayton asked.

"I think it's just like feeling safe with the person that I'm with, feeling protected by them I can trust them," Teddi responded, adding, "I do feel really safe when I'm with you."

The response satisfied Clayton and he gave her a rose.

"I have never been in love but this does feel different and I could see myself falling in love with him," Teddi said in an on-camera interview. "I haven't felt this way ever."

RELATED VIDEO: Jesse Palmer Chats About Contestants 'Being There for the Right Reasons' and How to Navigate as a Lead

GROUP DATE

To Mara's dismay, she ended up on this week's group date with Serene, Rachel, Susie, Gabby, Eliza and Genevieve. This meant Sarah received her second one-on-one of the season.

"He's literally going for the youngest girl in the house who I couldn't imagine is actually ready to get engaged," Mara said in an on-camera interview.

Clayton brought the women to two armored Croatian knights who informed the group that they'd be competing in some knight-inspired challenges to be named a knight themselves.

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The women started with a physical challenge to push one another out of the ring with their shields. Then they enjoyed a Croatian knight's feast of pig's liver, pig's brains and fish eyes. It came down to Mara and Serene, 26, but the elementary school teacher ultimately down the most disgusting cuisine.

For the last challenge, the ladies had to get down on one knee and spill their hearts to Clayton. Mara brought it with a rhyming poem, yet the knights named Serene the ultimate winner.

At the afterparty, Sarah told Clayton how she felt about him. "I am falling for you so hard," she said. "And I'm terrified because I don't know what's going to happen."

Mara, however, expressed her discontent with the process to Clayton.

"I've been vulnerable, I've been sweet, cute, flirty. I've done literally everything that you say that you're looking for but to get the last rose on the last rose ceremony and to not get a one-on-one, it's hard to like still be giving that much because it is discouraging," she said. "I'm just a little surprised, you've been adamant about saying that you're looking for a wife, looking for children and long term. That's the plan, right? But the roses that are given out, the one-on-ones that are given out don't reflect that. And to see that somebody is getting a second one-on-one where I have yet to get my one…"

Mara's sentiment raised some questions for Clayton. "What is it specifically about these women that you know that they're not here for a marriage?" he asked Mara.

She clarified, "Some have been openly vocal about that and others it's just age," hinting at Sarah.

Mara Sarah The Bachelor
ABC/Ricky Middlesworth (2)

Clayton told Mara he appreciated her honesty. "I will do my due diligence and I will be paying attention more as we move farther in this process, so thank you," he said.

Rachel ultimately received the date rose.

When Clayton got home, he received a knock on the door and an unsigned letter asking him to meet the writer at the clock tower. Upon his arrival, Clayton didn't find Mara trying to get more time with him, but rather 28-year-old Susie.

"These last few weeks, seeing you form these connections, like I'm happy and I'm happy for you and everybody, but at the same time I think it made me put up walls that I didn't really know I was putting up," the wedding videographer began. "Because I think for the first time, I feel like it's really possible that I may get hurt in this. But before coming here tonight I promised myself to like be more vulnerable with you and so — oh my God, I'm so nervous — um, okay, even though I know there's like so much more to go and there's so much more to figure out I do feel as though I'm falling in love with you."

Susie's statement shocked Clayton. "I can't believe you just said that," he replied.

To the cameras, Clayton confessed, "This might be the happiest I've been since I've been on this journey. This is exactly what I'm here for is to find love. I could see myself falling in love with Susie."

SECOND ONE-ON-ONE DATE

Sarah opened up her date with Clayton by toasting to "what the future could hold for us."

But Clayton cut straight to the chase and asked about her intentions.

"It was brought to my attention last night by someone that people here may not be ready for what is that I'm looking for and that it's not possible for them to be engaged by the end of this journey — and you were the person that they were speaking of," he said.

Sarah called not being ready for marriage "kind of the opposite of what I've said."

"I absolutely see myself being able to be engaged at the end of this if that's what I want," Sarah continued. "That is why I'm here, that is 100 percent why I'm here and I wouldn't be here if I wasn't ready for that and I wouldn't be here if I didn't see that with you."

Confused, Clayton stepped away. When he returned to Sarah, he explained, "I have to be careful with navigating through all of this and I want to make sure I'm making the right decisions."

His decision resulted in extending Sarah a rose. "We established trust early and I had fears that giving you the second one-on-one was going to put a target on your back and I think it may have done that," Clayton said to Sarah. "I don't question your sincerity. This is a strong connection, and I can tell you're pouring in everything that you have into this. And that you're here for me and that you want what I'm after."

Clayton confirmed to the cameras that he felt "really good about my decision."

"After having the discussion," he said, "I know exactly where we stand."

The Bachelor airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.

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