Arie Professes His Love (Twice!) During The Bachelor Fantasy Suites — and Faces One Woman's Ex
The Bachelor concludes next Monday and Tuesday on ABC
Bachelor Nation, the end is near.
On Monday’s episode, Arie Luyendyk Jr. and his final three women head to Peru for the long-awaited Fantasy Suite dates.
DATE WITH KENDALL
First up is Kendall, who says she’s “falling” for Arie but knows she’s emotionally lagging behind the other two women. “If Arie proposed to me today, I’d probably say no,” she admits.
Kendall and Arie spend the day on dune buggies in the desert. Though she starts off by insisting she wouldn’t accept a Fantasy Suite invitation unless she felt confident and ready for a proposal, by the time the evening portion of the date rolls around, Kendall’s emotions have apparently progressed quite a bit. She tells him she’s falling in love with him, and he says it right back.
“I feel like I don’t want to move forward without knowing that there’s more than just the physical side — but after spending the day with you and talking with you tonight, I feel like you really made me so much more comfortable,” she says.
When they wake up in each other’s arms the next morning, suddenly Kendall is singing a very different tune — she’s hoping for a proposal and can “definitely” see herself getting engaged. Well, that was fast.
DATE WITH LAUREN
Up next is Lauren. They spend the day flying over the Nazca Lines, but she’s clearly in her head and it’s starting to bother Arie. “I see this incredible woman, but I only get to see glimpses of her,” he says.
She tells him she’s considered leaving because she has “deep-rooted trust issues” and can’t get over the fact that he’s still dating two other women. (Fair.) This upsets Arie, but that night, he decides to give her the ultimate reassurance: He drops the L word, completely unprompted.
“It’s just kind of crazy how quick and how hard I fell for you,” he says. “I just want to let you know that I do feel confident in all this, because I love you. And I would hate to lose you. It feels so good to say that.”
Lauren starts crying. She thinks this is Arie’s way of telling her he’s choosing her, because dropping “I love you” before the end is usually a notorious no-no in this franchise. (Ben Higgins learned this the hard way.)
“You honestly shocked me so much when I sat down here and you told me you loved me,” she says. “I was just so happy to hear that. And I just want you know that I love you, too.”
They wake up together the next morning, and now that they’ve broken the L-word seal, it’s like they just can’t stop. (Do all couples say “I love you” that much? Like, every other sentence? Does anyone? Asking for a friend.)
And as for Lauren? She pretty much thinks this is a done deal.
“I just can’t see Arie ending up with anyone else but me,” she says.
RELATED VIDEO: Caroline Goes After Arie at the Women Tell All — ‘I Know What You Did’
DATE WITH BECCA
Last but not least is Becca, whom Arie calls his “safest, most comfortable relationship.” They spend the day on a catamaran, and the whole time Becca is just counting down the minutes until she can tell Arie how she feels about him — even though she thinks he’s probably not going to say it back.
But surprise … he does.
“At this point, I just feel so confident with you and where I’m at with you,” she begins. “I’ve been dying to tell you that. I do. I do love you.”
“After the hometown date … you said, ‘I could see it with you,’ ” says Arie. “And when you said that, I thought about it and I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m definitely falling in love with this girl.’ And then today I was like, ‘No, I’m not falling. I am.’ ”
“I love you,” he whispers.
“I love you, too,” she whispers back. “Oh my God, say it one more time.”
And boy, does he. Like word vomit, over and over again.
“He just told me he loves me, and I am shocked,” Becca says later. “I did not think he would say that back, honestly. I’m so full and so happy and there’s just so much love, I feel like my heart is exploding. I want to hear it. I want him to keep saying it over and over and over!”
“To hear those three words from him, and to be able to say it as well, makes me feel so much more comfortable and just excited and open. I see my life partner and my husband and the father of my children. I see it so clearly. Nothing can get in the way at all.”
They spend the night together in a Fantasy Suite tent in the middle of the desert, and the next morning, Arie apparently has no qualms about the situation he’s gotten himself into.
“It felt so good to say ‘I love you,’ and to feel that love between us,” he says. “At this point, I don’t see my feelings changing for Becca. I see us at the end of all of this. And there’s a part of me that wants to end this now and propose here in the sand dunes. I’m so in love with this girl. She is literally perfect.”
Everyone watching, part deux:
BECCA’S EX RETURNS
It’s not uncommon for an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend to make a “surprise” appearance on this show, but this season it was particularly awkward. The day after her Fantasy Suite date with Arie, Becca’s ex, Ross — a guy she dated for seven years and broke up with about a year before going on The Bachelor — suddenly shows up on set in the middle of nowhere in Peru to “get her back.”
“I didn’t know anything about this show,” he insists. (Sure.) “I didn’t know it ended in a proposal until someone told me. Then I knew I had to do something.”
Before he even gets to Becca, Ross stops by Arie’s room to inform him of his plan.
“I know that the show ends in a proposal, and for as long as I thought about her, that’s my proposal to give her,” he says. “I mean, she’s the love of my life. I want to marry her. She’s been the only thing on my mind every single day for the last year. It’s been a little bit of a journey, but I’d have swam here if I had to. I came here to get her, because she’s the one for me.”
Arie tells Ross that he and Becca are “pretty far down the road” in their relationship but doesn’t make any attempt to stop him. Ross then shows up at Becca’s hotel room for one of the most uncomfortable televised confrontations of all time. She insists she wants nothing to do with his (very misguided) grand romantic gesture and sends him on his way.
“I feel like you live your life in a movie, and you think it’s going to work out like The Notebook,” she tells him. “This is like, you inserting yourself into my life, and that’s not your place. You are holding on to a shred of hope that we had years ago, so long ago. We have both changed so much. You don’t really know who I am anymore, and I don’t know who you are anymore. I can’t go back to that. I don’t want to go back to that.”
Heading into the rose ceremony, Arie finally admits that facing Kendall, Lauren and Becca at the same time is probably going to be pretty awkward.
“After sharing those overnight dates, it’s going to be hard to stand up in front of those three women, because we’ve each shared something so amazing and special,” he says. “It’s difficult to really put into words what I’m going to feel when I see them, but I know it’s not going to be easy. And I hope I make the right decision — for us, not just for me. For me and my partner moving forward.”
But before he even hands out the first rose, he pulls Kendall aside — which is exactly what he did with her last week. Except this time, it’s to say goodbye.
“We had an amazing night together, and I always have so much fun with you,” he tells her. “I know that next week is big. I’ve just been thinking a lot about us, and I just don’t know… I don’t think we can get there.”
To be perfectly honest, Kendall seems pretty relieved to hear this. Maybe it’s a defense mechanism, but she’s legitimately giggling as Arie sends her home. Perhaps she’s just at peace. She knows one day, her ukelele-strumming, taxidermy-collecting prince will come.
The Bachelor concludes next Monday and Tuesday on ABC.