In case you’re not caught up, Unglert was responsible for this season’s longest-running — and perhaps most heart-wrenching — love triangle. After weeks of jerking around Kristina Schulman and Danielle Lombard, Unglert ultimately chose to pursue a relationship with Lombard. A heartbroken Schulman left the show, so fans assumed that Unglert and Lombard would give things a shot. But — plot twist — on the season finale, Unglert decided that he still loved Schulman and broke things off with Lombard.
On Monday, the three reality stars appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to discuss their situation. The awkwardness certainly lingered, but it was also apparent that despite their painful history, Schulman still has feelings for Unglert — and vice versa.
“The first day in Paradise, [we both arrived] early on,” explained Schulman, 24. “So we started talking, and just hit it off. I had a date card and I took him, so it just felt immediate.”
Then Lombard arrived — and she also opted to use her date card with Unglert. So how much did she know about Unglert and Schulman’s situation?
“I knew that they had gone on a date on the show and I knew they had spent time together during the break, I just didn’t know the extent of their relationship,” said Lombard, 27. “Which is why when I got there, I talked to both the girls and Dean, and I’d pretty much confirmed that they weren’t in a committed relationship. Dean himself said that he wasn’t in a committed relationship and that he was willing to go on the date.”
But perhaps time does heal all wounds. When asked what she saw in Unglert, Schulman sang his praises.
“I think the first day I just saw how kind he was,” she said. “Raven and Alexis came out of the ocean and they were shivering and he just goes and grabs a towel and puts it over them. I was like, ‘You know what? That’s so sweet.’ I just kind of wasn’t used to seeing that from the guys I’ve dated. It was just kind.”
“Would you ever consider trying to rekindle this?” DeGeneres asked.
“Only if this guy learns from his mistakes,” said Schulman, turning to face Unglert with a shy smile.
“I think that I personally have a lot of growth to do,” said Unglert, 26. “But she’s amazing and I mean, I hope that we continue to talk and see where that might lead.”
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That said, looking back, Unglert admits that he made mistakes.
“I went into it with the moniker of just being open and honest about every little thing the entire time, and I see looking back that maybe I could’ve handled things much better,” he said. “I did handle things pretty poorly. But you do get in that kind of Bachelor bubble where things are expected to happen very, very quickly. The break [in filming] kind of helped put things back into perspective of wanting to maybe slow down [with Schulman] a little bit, and that’s kind of why I came back with that mentality.”
“[When Schulman left,] that was an incredibly tough night for me,” he continued. “I literally went to the producers the next morning, I was like, ‘I need to leave. I need to get out here.’ I was so broken up about it. Watching [it] back I just know that I need to learn from it [and] be better in relationships.”
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On Monday’s season finale, which was filmed two weeks ago, Unglert had the opportunity to address both Schulman and Lombard.
“I hope that both of you understand there was never an intention of malice,” he said. “There was never a point where I wanted to do either of you wrong. I understand that that happened. To watch those episodes on Mondays and Tuesdays, it really hurts.”
Ahead of the finale, Unglert opened up to PEOPLE about being put on blast during the reunion taping — and why he led both women on.
“I deserved to be put on the hot seat,” the Colorado native said. “In the moment of filming, I didn’t realize what an a—hole I was being. Watching it all play back, it makes me realize that I need to change a lot of things about myself before I can actually pursue a relationship. It sucks to come to that realization that what you’ve been doing is just not right. To see how deeply upset Danielle and Kristina both were, it hurt.”
“In the moment, while I was filming, I just wanted to be honest and open about everything — including my feelings for both of them,” he said. “That way, if Kristina knew how I felt about Danielle, it left the ball in her court to decide if she wanted to be around or not. On the other side of that, it’s kind of annoying how the editing kind of portrayed my relationship with Danielle — that it was purely physical and that there was objectification involved. There was a lot more emotion. While Kristina and I were definitely emotionally attached as well. There was just a lot more to it. But it all boiled down to what I was doing.”
“People ask me if I regret anything,” he continued. “Of course I made a lot of bad decisions while I was there, but I don’t necessarily regret it because had I not done it, I wouldn’t have been able to look back with the perspective of knowing what I did wrong.”
As for his Instagram shout-out last week?
“The picture that I posted with Kristina, the caption is an inside joke between us — it’s one of our favorite songs,” he revealed of the post, which was captioned “You were out of my league.”
“That was more in reference to her and less to everyone else,” he said. “She’s great. I think we both have a lot of improvement to do before we’re ready to come back onto anything.”