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Exclusive

Bachelor in Paradise’s Joe Amabile Says He Was 'Blindsided' When Kendall Long Dumped Him

Paul Hebert/ABC

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Fans enamored by the quirky connection between “Grocery Store Joe” Amabile and taxidermy-loving Kendall Long were shocked when she ended things on Monday’s episode of Bachelor in Paradise.

“I was planning on leaving as a couple,” Amabile, 31, tells PEOPLE. “I was blindsided. I was very upset about it because I still had really strong feelings for her.”

Despite the fact that he brought up an engagement before Long, 26, dumped him, Amabile says he was just “joking” about proposing at the end of the show.

“Being engaged wasn’t something I was planning to do to do at the end of it,” he says. “I would have felt that would have been forced. I didn’t think we were there yet, though I did feel we were there to leave as a couple.”

RELATED: Former Bachelorette Contestant Clay Harbour Is Dating Bachelor In Paradise’s Angela Amezcua

Ultimately, Amabile says thinks he knows why Long may have ended things. “I think the idea of me always scared her,” he explains. “We are polar opposites, totally different people. I’m not like anybody she’s ever dated and vice versa. I think she was probably just scared that it was real.”

Long admits to PEOPLE that her strong feelings scared her. “I kept running away from the fact that I was falling for him,” she says. “I went into Paradise thinking you need to date, you need to be open-minded, you need to experience people. So I thought I can’t cling to one person the entire time.”

Continues Long: “I also had so much fear about getting hurt. My fear was thinking, okay it’s great on Paradise, but it freaked me out to think I would invest myself in him and then it would break apart after the romantic beach vacation was over.”

RELATED VIDEO: Wells Adams Says There’s One Final Bachelor in Paradise Couple That’s ‘Shocking’

Still, Long teases that we might not have heard the last of Kendall and Joe.

“I felt an immediate regret as soon as Joe walked away,” she says. “On the plane leaving I was like, what the hell did I just do? I wanted to run after him, and I didn’t. And that is something I do regret. But where Joe and I ended on the beach is definitely not the end of our story. There’s a lot that happens on the reunion!”

The Bachelor in Paradise finale and reunion show air Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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