Becca Kufrin vied for Arie Luyendyk Jr.s heart on season 8 of The Bachelor. Now, she’s on her own journey to find love on the latest season of The Bachelorette — and she’s blogging about it exclusively for PEOPLE!
Becca Kufrin vied for Arie Luyendyk Jr.s heart on season 8 of The Bachelor. Now, she’s on her own journey to find love on the latest season of The Bachelorette — and she’s blogging about it exclusively for PEOPLE! Follow Becca on Twitter at @thebkoof
Another week of dates, doubt and drama in the books and it is only getting started! The week started off on such a high when I had my closest girlfriends stop by for some much-needed girl time. Sure, spending most of your time with attractive men who are all catches is great… but you can imagine how all that testosterone can overwhelm a gal.
It had always been the plan to involve my besties from Arie’s season on a date, and with everything that was revealed about Tia and Colton’s past, this turned out to be perfect timing. This was a conversation I wanted to have in person with Tia and if it came down to it, I was prepared to say goodbye to Colton. My friends come first no matter what. But aside from Colton, I was looking forward to everyone’s opinion about each of these guys for this date, because who can you trust more than your girls? Kendall, Seinne, Bekah, Caroline and Tia all bring something different to the table and I knew they were ready to ask the right questions over some R&R.
When the guys showed up at the spa they had no idea what they were about to get into. But they were in for a real treat… and by treat, I mean treating me and my girls. I had been looking forward to this date for a long time, but when it finally came time to introduce them to my friends, I was pretty anxious. I knew that most of my emotions and attention was going to be pulled into making sure everything was okay with Tia. However, it didn’t take long for that anxiety to ease a little because I did what no Bachelorette should ever do: forget someone’s name. Yes, I forgot Jason’s name. And then I curled up and died a little. I am asked constantly how I remember everyone’s names and up until this point had NEVER done that. Listen, I adore Jason! I blame it on my personal anxieties heading into that day. Jason, it wasn’t you… it was me!
These guys really jumped into their roles like pros. From donning their linen uniforms to exploring their nail techniques, they were really giving my girls the royal treatment. Jordan knew the proper cuticle care, Jason gave the best massages, and Jean Blanc knew just how to work that metal head scratcher. More importantly, the engagement with my friends was really awesome to see. I loved how everyone seemed to be getting along and I think my girls were really impressed. I hadn’t wanted to immediately pull Tia and make the Colton/Tia history the center of attention on the date, so once I felt like everyone had had a good time I knew it was time to pull Tia aside. This was the moment that I would make the decision to move forward with Colton or move on from him. After speaking with Tia, I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders. I felt like I truly had her blessing to continue things with Colton, but more importantly, she assured me that she was okay and encouraged me to have an open mind and open heart.
RELATED VIDEO: Tia Booth Sets the Record Straight About Her History with The Bachelorette‘s Colton Underwood
After a day full of robes, slippers and spa treatments (a dream day, if you ask me) I was really looking forward to a relaxing, enjoyable evening to match. But as we know, I’m usually proven wrong when I project those thoughts and this night was no different.
I loved that Jean Blanc was always putting us first and took the initiative to talk to me out the gate. I had no idea that the other guys were starting to become annoyed with this. I usually don’t really care too much about that stuff, it’s small and not real drama. But if I knew then what I know now, I would not have been so open to Jean Blanc’s big gestures. You’ll have to check back in with me next week to see just what I’m talking about.
But let’s get into the real tea spilled during this after party: David warned me about Jordan’s Tinder success in reaching 4,000 matches. Now, we don’t have concrete proof of this statement, but if it is true, I think we can all agree the real success is that Jordan doesn’t have carpal tunnel! Clearly there was a lot of animosity between Jordan and David. I knew they weren’t fans of one another, but watching the show back I realized I missed A LOT. After confronting Jordan about it, I wanted to keep things light hearted. And that trend kept going when he told me he’s like a golden retriever. Good thing I’m a dog person, right? Honestly, watching the drama that I missed play out between the guys is very telling, but don’t worry — I caught onto the full extent of this pretty soon and took matters into my own hands.
After talking, dancing and kissing Jason, I felt like our relationship was really starting to take off. I found his attentiveness and confidence really charming. I love the way he seemed to be able to laugh and brush off the little things. I even gave him a hall pass to forget my name a few times, which he still has yet to cash in on. I walked away from our time together knowing in my heart I would never forget his name again.
After chatting through everything with Tia that afternoon, I felt confident in finally being able to confront Colton with my feelings. I was ready to move forward with him if he was. We really connected that night and were able to finally start our relationship. What couldn’t take off running for a couple of weeks was finally off to a full sprint. I felt like we really reignited the spark that we had the first night and so I decided to give him the rose that night.
Coming off of the high from last night, I felt like I had finally hit my stride. My first one on one with Blake had gone so well and really set the bar high. I hoped that my date with Chris would go just as well. Chris first caught my attention with his gospel choir coming out of the limo on the first night, so I thought that a date at Capitol Records would be perfect for him. As we walked through the studio, we couldn’t help but be in awe of all of the musical talent that had passed through those very same halls. Everyone from Stevie Nicks to Nat King Cole to Sam Smith has graced that building with their hearts, souls and lungs, and it felt really special to share that moment with Chris.
Having the opportunity to sit beside (apologies for my vocals), sing and write with legendary Richard Marx was unreal. The main takeaway was just write what’s in your heart and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. I could tell Chris was feeling a bit uncomfortable with the fact that he was being asked to open up so early on, but I only hoped that he felt comfortable enough with me to do so. After taking a moment in the hallway, Chris was able to share with me what was really going on in his head. We were able to relax and express what we were feeling for one another. Once Chris stood up and read what was on his paper, I was floored at how sweet and open he was. It’s like he truly laid his heart out on the page. The way Chris and I connected earlier that day continued into the evening when he proceeded to open up to me about his family and challenges growing up. I started to really understand why being so vulnerable can be really hard for him. Hearing about his dad’s abandonment was heartbreaking, and I don’t blame him for being so guarded. But sharing that evening together, those walls started to come down a little and I knew it was the beginning of something special.
The moment Chris Harrison came to my hotel, I had no idea what to expect — but I knew something must be wrong. When I heard what had happened to David I was so scared for him. Being able to talk to him right away made me feel much better. No matter what kind of time David needed to heal, I was ready to give it to him. Drama with Jordan aside, I really enjoyed our time together and hoped that his recovery would be easy and painless.
Going into the last group date of the week, I was pretty excited for football. Sure, everyone who knows me knows that I am the world’s least athletic person ever to exist — but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy other people’s athleticism! There was just something about being out on the field, in the sunshine and my jersey with all the guys that made me feel like a kid again — except this time I was allowed to date boys. Having Malissa and Dena from the Fantasy Football League was crazy impressive. I mean, these women are tough. They put my dates through some of the most rigorous training sessions I’ve ever seen. What you didn’t see was that I added my own high-pressure drills that consisted of summersaulting down the field and finished in a headstand contest. That day, I was looking for a teammate and my MVP — Most Valuable Partner — so I wasn’t about to take it easy on them.
Watching the guys play, I was fully entertained. Some guys quickly stood out … and some guys fell behind. Clay excelled in everything. Christian, Garrett and Blake really showed off their skills too and were really leading their teams. But then there was Lincoln. Now, if I’m being honest, I don’t think Lincoln had ever even watched a game of football in his life. He was even hitting his own teammates at one point! But I had to sympathize, because I’d probably do the same thing.
Clay ended up scoring the final touchdown but unfortunately broke his wrist in the process. I was terrified what this would mean for Clay and his future career. I felt terrible for even putting him on this date. He was so positive and calm through the moments when he was leaving the field, and that continued to prove his strength of character. But seeing a guy hauled away in an ambulance is something I never want to see again.
I went into the afterparty with a heavy heart knowing that David and Clay were injured. I decided to not focus on the negatives and give the remaining guys the best version of me. Garrett kept me on my toes when he taught he how to “tackle,” though all I could worry about was not being black-boxed in my short dress. Once again, he kept me laughing with his humor and huge smile. My relationship with Leo was starting to take a turn in the right direction as he continued to show me so many different sides to him. That night we even talked about raising a family. My relationship with Blake was established early on. Watching back how hard it was for him on this date was difficult. I was in a similar position on Arie’s season when I had the first one-on-one, and it’s not easy. But it’s something Blake and I seemed to talk through as a team and I left that evening knowing our spark was still very much alive.
I was really looking forward to seeing Clay that evening, so when he surprised everyone by turning up I was elated. My time with him that night was really special and felt totally different from our moments prior. It was the first time where I really felt a flame ignite and I could see a future with Clay. It was a no brainer that he’d get the group date rose. Sticking it on his cast and seeing his sweet face light up made everything we went through that afternoon worth it.
Going into the cocktail party, I had so much hope since each date had really advanced my relationships with each of these guys. I knew David was still resting up, but I was looking forward to spending time with each guy and furthering that foundation. I felt like nothing could get in the way of my relationships. But I quickly realized I was wrong when Clay pulled me aside. It was truly the most heartbroken I had been on this journey to this point. I knew that Clay making the decision to leave and focus on his health was absolutely the best choice for him. But I was devastated because it was finally starting to feel like Clay and I could have a really amazing future. I still think about Clay and hope that he is well. He deserves the most amazing love story, I wish I could have given it to him myself.
Check in next week to see how the rest of the cocktail party unfolds, and how I handle the upset of one man leaving my life and another reentering in the most dramatic return. It’s also time to pick up and head out of L.A. for good… next stop Park City, Utah! But things take a chilled turn when I am left to question the intentions of one man that leaves me wanting to walk away from it all. Trust me, you won’t want to miss it.
Hey guys, I’m back! Sorry to leave you hanging mid-cocktail party, but man, this was a crazy evening. After saying goodbye to Clay, this particular cocktail party was pretty emotional. I didn’t want to let that take over the evening, so when Blake pulled me aside to talk, I knew he’d bring a smile to my face. Our conversation came at the perfect time. Blake helped me remember that just because Clay leaving was heartbreaking, I still had really strong relationships left to explore. With me, it’s the little things that add up, so knowing I could count on Blake wanting to name a girl “Stevie” (after Stevie Nicks, of course) really made our time cute and personal. Now I know you’re questioning the golden briefs. But Jordan’s undie status had been such a topic of conversation at the last cocktail party that I figured he could use a pair that was fitting to his style! The golden undies not only brought us laughs but spawned a new nickname: Captain Underpants. The best part of my evening came as a surprise when David made his return to the mansion. I was so happy to see that he was in better health and spirits, but didn’t want to push it. I decided then and there to give him the rose so he could continue to rest up. No rose ceremony is ever easy, and while I still felt like this journey was beginning to work for me, I knew deep down that these goodbyes and decisions would become more difficult. It was tough saying goodbye to Mike and Ryan. They’re two guys who any girl would be lucky to be with, I just knew they weren’t meant for me.
It felt like the perfect time to switch gears and head to the great outdoors… Utah! Here’s what I discovered about Park City: I love it. It has a humble, small-town appeal with unique charm — much like Garrett, and that’s exactly why I chose him for the first date of the week. Since the first night, I knew Garrett was a man who loved the outdoors. He reminded me a bit of my Dad, who had always found passion and faith in nature. I wanted someone who could appreciate the setting and all that Utah had to offer. Together we explored the town, played dress up, and photographed all of our adventures. I picked up on Garrett’s energy and he made me feel so lively in a way I’d never felt in a relationship before. As if my heart wasn’t racing enough, there was just one last thing to experience that only Park City could offer: bobsledding! Valerie Fleming and Shauna Rohbock showed us just what it felt like to be in a fast-paced, committed relationship on and off the track. Riding in that bobsled was the most exhilarating thing I’d ever done. We couldn’t see where we were going or when to expect turns, we just had to go with the flow…just like love!
That night Garrett opened up about his past relationship and being married for a short time. At first this information scared me a little and I questioned if Garrett was ready for another relationship. If he wasn’t, would he be able to be vocal enough to tell me if he saw any red flags in ours? Once we talked it through, I understood his loyalty and felt like he really did do his best to fight for his love. I understood where he was coming from — his past relationship resembled what Arie and I had. I didn’t want to put a divorce against him because we all have a history. I just wanted to make sure we continued to be vocal and move at a pace that worked for us. I had one more surprise planned, and the look on Garrett’s face when we walked into Granger Smith’s show was priceless. Finishing the night dancing in each other’s arms was magical. I couldn’t have felt more excited for the future with Garrett and what the rest of what Utah would bring.
When I started this whole journey as Bachelorette I was super excited to plan a variety of fun and romantic dates. But there was one date idea that I was obsessed with since day one: becoming lumberjacks! I grew up in the land of Paul Bunyan, flannel shirts and fresh pine. I wanted to give these guys a taste of Minnesota and thought, What better way than a lumberjack challenge? The 13 guys on the date were all strong, fit and looked sexy holding an axe — but not everyone was able to handle it. Let’s just say I don’t see Jean Blanc or Chris having a future as a lumberjack. But the most surprising skills came out of Jordan and John! Who knew the software engineer from San Francisco had such skills? John really took the competition by storm when he scaled the tree and earned the golden axe trophy. I was very impressed.
The afterparty at Highway Distillery was one of the coolest locations yet. It had such a cozy but masculine energy to it that I knew the guys would love. As we settled in for the night and the conversations started, I found myself having the best time. I was really starting to build solid foundations with these guys and was praying the group date drama streak was finally over. But once again, I was horribly wrong — although I was able to enjoy the evening with most guys before it all erupted. Jordan once again pulled me aside to talk in style. I was not expecting him to still be wearing those golden undies, but was nonetheless flattered? I couldn’t contain my laughter when he tried to go in for that kiss, but I had to hand it to him — the guy was dedicated and definitely kept a smile on my face. The night took a turn for the worst when Jean pulled me aside for a second time. Now, don’t get me wrong. My relationship with Jean had always been fine and I was enjoying getting to know him, but lately I could feel the intensity he was bringing to each date and afterparty. All I wanted was for him to be able to relax and enjoy our natural pace.
When he told me that he was falling in love with me, I felt the weight of those words hit me like a ton of bricks. I hadn’t heard those words since Arie. I didn’t feel ready and just felt in my heart that I wouldn’t be able to get there with him. I didn’t feel like it was right to keep him around any longer if we weren’t on the same page. But when he rescinded his words and asked to take a step back, I knew it was time for him to leave. How could he say that without actually meaning it?! I didn’t expect all the emotions to hit me as hard as they did. I felt confused, used and frustrated. I couldn’t understand why someone would say something just because they simply thought it was what I wanted in that moment. I had been very upfront about how important honesty was to me during this journey, and I didn’t get it from Jean in that moment. Once Jean left, I didn’t have anything left in me to give that night. I wasn’t in the right headspace to continue my time with the guys, which is ultimately why I confronted them and decided not to give out a rose that night.
Waking up the following morning, I still felt pretty off. I had been looking forward to my date with Wills all week and really didn’t want to let my fear and frustration consume my thoughts. I wanted to be able to give Wills my full attention. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to shake it, but the second I saw him walking over the snowcapped hills towards me, he put the smile right back on my face. Jumping on the snowmobiles, I couldn’t wait to get lost in the landscape. Coming up the crest of the mountain, it really took my breath away. I don’t think I’d ever been in a more beautiful setting in my life. It was the serenity and calm I needed after such an emotional evening, but really, it was Wills who pulled me back. I’m looking for a partner in life who is able to support me when things get challenging, and sitting with him by that fire made me feel like I had a safe place to land.
At dinner that night I wanted to really focus on Wills’ past history to determine what our future could look like. He was able to open up on a much deeper level than ever before and he was able to relate to previous heartbreak leaving you blindsided. I was slowly realizing that Wills and I had a lot of things in common, from relationships to our families, and I felt a unique magnetic bond growing with him that I hadn’t felt with anyone else. From what started out as a really tough day for me, Wills turned into one of the best dates of my life.
Looking ahead to the rose ceremony, I knew I had gained a lot of perspective from my dates in Utah. I had some really solid relationships forming and I knew that another cocktail party wasn’t needed to figure out which relationships weren’t progressing. Saying goodbye to Christon and Nick was tough because they were two guys that I had been excited about in those first few weeks. But I knew I had to continue to follow my heart and listen to my gut. I was developing real feelings for many of the men on this journey with me. Unfortunately, it wasn’t with Christon or Nick, but they are both wonderful men who I have no doubt will find a perfect match for them.
Leaving Utah, I felt confident in my relationships. Returning to nature is always what I need to get myself focused, and I was relieved I found that in Utah. Because next up on this wild ride, we were not slowing down. I knew I needed not only a great outdoorsman, but a man who can be the life of the party and keep me on my toes. Where better than Sin City to put these relationships to the test and gamble on love? Las Vegas, here I come! From staying in the most beautiful suite at the Aria to singing beside stage legend Wayne Newton, Vegas doesn’t disappoint. As for my relationships? Well folks, it’s finally time for the infamous two-on-one. I have to say, it is by far the most intense and dramatic date yet. Oh, one more thing… I finally hear the word “love” from someone who means it, and it’s bigger and better than I ever expected. Las Vegas would have everything I needed to see who has what it takes to keep me falling…
There’s no better place than Vegas to take a chance and gamble on love. I was ready to get past the trust issues from last week and dive into this one, ready and open to whatever it would bring. Surprising the guys in their penthouse Aria suite was so worth it! After laying eyes on it, I knew I had to be the one to welcome them to their lavish, swanky new home for the week. Those guys would be livin’ large! I was so excited for this week — not only would I be spending my birthday with these guys, but Vegas is one of my absolute favorite cities and I knew it just had to bring me some lady luck.
I kicked off the week with my first one-on-one date with Colton. Colton and I initially started off much slower than my other relationships. But once we put his history with Tia behind us, I was eager to develop what we had started. I was excited to spend uninterrupted time with him to really see where this relationship could go. Instead of the typical Vegas scene, we got out of Sin City and headed into the desert for none other than camel riding. I mean, why not step it up a notch from traditional horseback? Even though he always seemed so poised and well-spoken, I wanted to see if Colton could unwind and get down and dirty. The date started out shaky, mainly because those camels weren’t the smoothest of rides, and man, did they stink! Not the best setting for a romantic date, but a really cool experience.
After trotting around on the camels, I was ready to get closer to Colton…and sure enough we found ourselves our own little hot tub in the desert! Looking back, the only thing I’d change about this date would be the temperature of the hot tub water on a hot desert day — everything else was perfect leading into our dinner. Later that evening, Colton opened up to me about the only time he’d been in love. To hear that he equates the word and feeling of “love” with pain pulled at my heartstrings — but it was also something that I could relate to so well. We’ve both felt pain in our previous relationships, and that’s what ultimately brought us together. I was starting to feel something really real between us and hoped that he was ready to let himself fall again. Our connection and chemistry was finally catching up to where I imagined it could be, and handing him the rose that evening was another step forward to something great.
The following day I woke up anticipating the group date with so much excitement I could barely contain myself. You know that scene in Empire Records when they keep going, “It’s Rex Manning day!”? Well that was me, but with Wayne Newton. It would be a date that was once-in-this-lifetime and one that I hoped these guys would truly appreciate. Before they arrived, I had the opportunity to sit down with Mr. Las Vegas himself, Wayne Newton, and his lovely wife Kathleen. These two are the epitome of a team and exemplify everything I was looking for in a lasting love. They are two of the kindest, most generous people I’ve ever met, and the way that they looked and spoke of one another was something so special to witness. I was over-the-moon with the fact that my guys were about to meet this power couple and I hoped that they would see all of the amazing qualities between Wayne and Kathleen that I saw. I knew going into this date that the guys would be ending it by performing in front of a live audience, but it was a secret I wanted to hold out on a little bit longer. After Wayne gave us insight about song-writing and performing, my favorite takeaway was that a song is always slightly different depending on the person you are performing for. When he asked my guys to write lyrics to “Danke Schoen” based upon our memories, I was keen to hear what they’d remember on their end… and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a little nervous to hear some of it. After all, I did put them through some wild dates!
Seeing those men clean up and slip into those tuxedos took my breath away, but as handsome as they looked, those suits could not cover up their nerves. But I was shocked once these men hit the spotlight! Each guy gave the performance their all and left everything on the stage. I loved listening to some of the memories they shared and watching them take stabs at themselves. I loved when Connor joked about throwing the picture frame, and when Leo and Chris both took charge in getting me and the crowd involved. I really enjoyed the extra effort and it made this date as lighthearted and fun as it was supposed to be. But with that being said… I don’t plan on taking any of them to karaoke anytime soon.
This was one of the most fun and feel-good group dates we’d had yet, and I wanted to continue that feeling into the after party. The night started off so strong in my conversations. Most of them surprised me with reading their full song lyrics — Garrett even wrote some of his down on a flask that he purchased on our first date in Park City for me. Jason and I danced and yelled over the railing of the empty arena like in Titanic. But the best surprise of the night was when Blake took me outside, away from everyone else. He always found moments to steal me away, and that was something I really appreciated. The moments when it could be just us, even if it’s a group date or a cocktail party. This time was the best though, because it happened right around midnight, the eve of my 28th birthday. I expected him to be the first person to wish me a happy birthday, but instead he shared that he was falling in love with me. After last week, I wasn’t sure how I would feel hearing these words again, but my heart just leaped. I knew that it felt right this time and it was exciting and meaningful. I knew in that moment that I was falling hard for him as well. It was something that I had known since our first date together, so to hear this man, who literally and figuratively got me back on the horse, tell me he was falling in love meant that this journey was truly working for me again.
Ending the afterparty that night was actually pretty disappointing. I didn’t understand why Chris hadn’t found an opportunity to come talk to me when all of the other guys had. Every time I went back to where the men were sitting, he seemed to just sit back and quite frankly didn’t show any interest. I know that these nights can get to be very long, and trust me, it’s very difficult to try and find time when so many other people are involved — but you can always make it work if you truly want it. When I sat down with them for the last time I could feel the tension radiating from Chris. Watching this back now and being able to see so much more, I wish I had known then everything I know now. Even though this threw me off, I still had so much more to think about before going into my two-on-one the next day.
After what happened with Jean Blanc the week prior, I knew that if I had any questions or concerns regarding these men, the best thing to do was act on it. That’s why I knew it was time for the two-on-on edate. Both David and Jordan had me questioning if they were ready for the kind of relationship I was looking for — and they had issues with one another, which raised red flags for me. The constant conflict between the two had been weighing on me and I decided that it was time to figure out who I had a future with. Starting a two-on-one is not easy, especially when that day is your birthday. How I ultimately envisioned ringing in my birthday included a pool, maybe sipping bottomless mimosas with my only worry being if I had enough sunscreen on. Instead, it was spent wondering if these guys would be able to get over their own issues and start focusing on our relationships. Up to this point every time I sat down with David, it had been to talk about Jordan. Every time I sat down with Jordan, it was because he had to defend himself to the accusations that David made about him. After picking the guys up and off-road Jeeping (which by the way, is incredibly fun and made me feel like a total bad a—) it was time to really dive into conversations with each of them.
I had a feeling that the second I was alone with David he would start talking about Jordan, and unfortunately, I wasn’t wrong. When David told me that Jordan mentioned that he’d be settling with me, so many negative emotions came flooding to me. I felt once again like I was a second choice, or not good enough: something I’d been fearful of when I started this journey. If Jordan really said those things, then we’d have a major problem. And if David was lying about that, then we’d have another major problem. After confronting Jordan, he was quick to defend his character and finally able to give me more insight into who he is, his background and family life. It was a side that I had never seen of him and left me wanting to give him more time. After sitting down with both guys and feeling like I was mediating a bunch of elementary school boys, I felt beyond frustrated and knew that it was finally time to say goodbye to David. With Jordan, I still had so many unanswered questions that I had to dig deeper into, but wasn’t quite ready to give out that rose.
Sitting down for dinner, I knew it was make-or-break time with Jordan. He’d been someone to turn to when I was down and needed to smile, but I had to know if there was more there between us. Could we have a conversation that was deep and meaningful that would give me a better idea of who he was? I wasn’t sure, but I was open to finding out. That evening alone with Jordan did end up giving me more insight into who he was. I knew quickly he wasn’t for me, but I honestly appreciate Jordan for being 100 percent unique. He was very right in saying that. Jordan proved to me that while he is funny, he can actually open up and be caring when the time is right. Ending the night watching the fireworks all alone, all I could think about was the guys back at the suite, and I wondered what was going through their minds as the watched the display as well.
I had already said goodbye to two men before the cocktail party and there was just one more tough goodbye ahead of me that evening. Because of that, my conversations with everyone would be crucial to make sure I was making the right decision. I pulled Chris aside immediately because I wanted to just get clarity on what was going on the other night of the afterparty. Plus, there was one new piece of information I obtained since that night. While on my two-on-one, it was brought to my attention that Chris was questioning if he should even be here and that I had to “prove” myself to him. This piece of information rubbed me the wrong way, because I wanted a teammate and someone who was willing to meet me half way. So to potentially have Chris jump ship when one thing didn’t go his way didn’t sit well with me. Why would I have to prove myself to him when he had just as much of an opportunity to talk to me as any of the other guys did? I wasn’t looking for someone with one foot in, one foot out and to pack up and leave when the going got tough.
When I first sat down with Chris, he uttered the words “You owe me,” and that irked me to no ends. To me, a relationship shouldn’t be about keeping tabs or owing the other person. I didn’t feel like I owed him anything when there wasn’t even any action taken prior to the rose ceremony. I had some really solid relationships that had been established, so I didn’t need one person questioning if they should stay or go. I decided to take a break from that conversation in particular because I was getting worked up and still had an entire night to go through with everyone else. When I left to talk with Wills, I was excited to spend my time with a man who I knew I had solid foundation with. Then Chris interrupted again. The standoff between Chris and Wills was cringeworthy and you could cut that tension with a knife. Chris insisted he wanted to be here and continue this relationship, but I was confused. Could I trust his intentions? Once the rest of the cocktail party continued, I felt like I hit my rhythm again. The remaining conversations went really well and the guys helped pick me right back up. Leo gave me the ultimate massage, John surprised me with a chicken nugget birthday cake and Wills and I discovered that our families used the same endearing catchphrases growing up.
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Overall, the evening cocktail party was great besides the one-rose cloud hanging over my head. After all of my conversations and really thinking about my emotions, I knew what I had to do. I decided to give Chris that final rose because I felt he truly was trying, and I knew that being in his position probably wasn’t easy and he deserved another week. After all, our one-on-one meant a lot to me, so I wanted to see if we could get back on track. Saying goodbye to John that night wasn’t easy. He was one of the
most kind, thoughtful and attentive men I have ever met. I just knew that relationship just wasn’t progressing romantically like the others. I’ll never forget John and will forever dream of that chicken nugget cake.
It’s safe to say that my 28th year is already off to a very interesting start, and I can’t wait for you all to see how the next few weeks continue. But it’s time to cash in our winnings from Vegas and travel to the historic and beautiful city of Richmond Virginia! And as the saying goes, Virginia is for lovers, and trust me — it doesn’t disappoint. Most of my relationships continue to progress, but things are about to take another shocking turn when an unexpected visitor knocks on my door. The drama returns with another angry goodbye leading me to confront the men one last time. But through all of the tears and challenges, this journey doesn’t fail me. Keep watching to laugh with me, cry with me and fall hopelessly in love with me… and probably with more than one man. You really won’t want to miss a moment.
Starting this week in Richmond, Virginia, was the perfect setting for falling in love. After all, Virginia is for lovers and so I was eager to continue building on my already established relationships and hopefully advance the ones that needed a little push. I had never been to Richmond before but had heard really amazing things about it. I love a city that can mix old historical charm with a new swanky vibe, and honey, Richmond was it!
My first date of the week was a one-on-one and it was the kind of date that I love: exploring a new city. Since the first night at the mansion, Jason was someone that I felt a strong connection to. So strong that I felt safe waiting for a good time to give him a one-on-one because I felt so confident. But I was getting eager and impatient, so Virginia felt like the perfect time to finally have our date. Exploring the city with Jason made helped me picture what a future with us could be like, but he also made the perfect companion to trying new activities with. After spending several fun hours as tourists, visiting churches, making donuts and getting into a frosting war, I wasn’t quite sure how he would take the turn at the Poe Museum’s “unhappy hour.” But once we arrived, it was a blast. We definitely broke the rules with all of the laughter we brought to this dark hour, and we truly made the most of it. I couldn’t get enough of his energy and willingness to try quite literally anything that came his way, faux blood and all. But the next stop was the one I had been anticipating all day. Seeing the smile on Jason’s face when we he finally saw his three buds was priceless, and yes, a few man tears were even shed. We hung out for a while and enjoyed a few beers just like it was a normal weekend afternoon. I had always known Jason was a standup man with a really solid character, but hearing from the guys who have known him the longest was reassuring and reminded me that my intuition was spot on.
I felt so confident heading into dinner with Jason. I knew if we kept going the way we had been, I couldn’t imagine not giving out that rose at the end of the night. Jason always blew me away with how eloquent he was, but dinner that night Jason really dug deep and told me the hard times of his past. I had always seen the positive, upbeat side of him and now it all made sense where he got it from and seeing his parent’s strength. He made it so easy for me to open up about my dad’s death, and I told him things that I had never been able to tell anyone else. We connected on such a personal and emotional way that night and I knew then and there that I was totally falling for him. Needless to say, it was one of the easiest roses I’ve ever given out, and I couldn’t wait to explore our relationship further with him.
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Since we were smack dab in the middle of this historical city and where our country originated, I knew I had to incorporate the past somehow. What better way to spend a group date than to have the guys give a rousing debate? I keep saying I’m looking for a partner, and someone who will be 50/50 with me, and for this date’s purposes, my running mate! Colton really impressed me with his dog park date, and of course won brownie points for knowing my love of Corgis. Wills continued to make my heart warm and showed the audience the sweet side I love about him. But that’s where the debate took a turn it really didn’t have to. What started out with some clever opening statements quickly turned into Lincoln and Chris bickering back and forth like children. I didn’t want the Chris drama to seep its way from Vegas into this week, so I was really hoping all the guys could be adults and put the previous week behind them. However, hearing what was said between him and the guys behind closed doors made me put my guard up again. I was also really uncomfortable and embarrassed with the words coming out of Chris’ mouth in front of the Governor of Virginia and 200+ people. This wasn’t the debate that I was hoping for, it wasn’t business that needed to leave the group of guys, and I left feeling mortified and disappointed about what went down in front of what felt like the entire town of Richmond. But silver lining — I at least could see who was still in the race to win my heart.
Heading into the afterparty that night, I knew that the drama from earlier would need to be addressed. Having Chris not get along with others raised many red flags, so I cautiously started my evening with him and Lincoln. And what a rough start it was. Again, so much back and forth he said/he said, and the things I was hearing on both ends didn’t sit well with me. After both of those conversations, I was feeling exhausted and reeling from the wealth of information I had received. Was Chris truly scaring the guys? Was Lincoln exaggerating when he told me some of the other men wouldn’t share a room with Chris? I had no idea, which is why I knew I had to confront the issue head-on and ask the right questions and not let anything slip by me. This was my future we’re talking about, and I wasn’t about to have another guy pull one over on me. When Garrett finally came to interrupt it was a breath of fresh air, but I knew before giving him all of my attention, I needed to take a few moments alone to collect myself. After catching my breath, I was ready to put my energy into the men who I felt were ready to enjoy the evening and continue to develop our relationship. Garrett opened up more by sharing his full opening statement with me — it was so sweet and vulnerable. Colton snuck me up to the top of the tower, which was exhilarating and spooky at the same time since I’m pretty sure that venue was haunted. Lastly, Wills told me that he was falling in love with me. I had really missed Wills from our one-on-one time in Park City and it was the perfect way to finish the evening. Even though the night started out rocky, I got back on track right away with the men who I felt like I had healthy, growing relationships with.
My date with Leo started a little slow. I was hesitant after the group date and really wanted to make sure I was asking each and every guy here the right questions. Leo was someone who I felt budding feelings for and who continually surprised me with each conversation we had. However, it had been moving more slowly in comparison to other relationships. This date would really put to the test if we could match our relationship with the other strong ones around me. Exploring Virginia from the sky was breathtaking but also kind of scary. That plane was the smallest I had ever been in and we definitely felt every bump and drop, the ups and the downs. Just like a relationship. After sitting down and confronting the drama from the night before, Leo was so patient and gentle with me. He made me feel okay with taking things slow and we talked about the gravity of an engagement and how important that is to the both of us. Up until that point, I wasn’t quite sure how ready Leo was to commit in a relationship, so to hear him say that he would only get down on one knee if he knew the person was the right one helped me realize that just maybe he and I could get there. Once that conversation was over I knew that it was time to liven things up, so nothing like a good shuck to get things going. Leo was the most fun guy to dig for oysters with, and what better way to spark the romance than with some fresh, cold ones from the Chesapeake Bay. After all, they are known as an aphrodisiac. Even though the water was FREEZING, Leo was such a champ finding them in that sand. It’s honestly something I would love to do again… just maybe in some warmer water!
Playing off of the open conversation that we had that day, Leo continued to carry that vulnerability into the evening. He talked about his family life and father, and how he feels like a slight disappointment to his dad by not going further in baseball. All I could see were all of these amazing sides and qualities that Leo exuded, and I only wanted him to see how amazing he was through my eyes. This softer, more sensitive side to Leo made it all the more meaningful giving him that rose. I had one last surprise for him, and I have to be honest walking into that concert hall — even I was taken aback by how big and explosive that audience was! Richmond, it was so awesome sharing that moment with you all. But it was ending the night, dancing in Leo’s arms to Morgan Evans that made the evening totally perfect. Well… perfect for at least an hour before I returned home to my hotel room.
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I was so ready to fall into bed after such an amazing night. Little did I know I would have a surprise visitor knocking at my door that quickly gave me all kinds of dreaded déjà vu. After my ex showed up in Peru last year, I never wanted to get another strange knock on my door. My heart dropped, and I felt like it would crash through the floor as I slowly opened up to see who would be standing there. Seeing Chris on the other side was unexpected. I wasn’t quite sure what he had to say that couldn’t wait until the next rose ceremony, but of course I was willing to hear him out. After talking for a few minutes, I felt like I’d heard all of what I needed to hear. I felt like he was casting blame on everything and everyone around him and couldn’t admit that he was the cause of some of these problems. I knew in that moment Chris wouldn’t be the guy for me in the end, and that it was time to say goodbye to him. Seeing how clearly aggravated he was as he left just gave me all the clarity I needed in that I knew I made the right choice.
The next day I woke up feeling much more refreshed and clear-headed than I had the morning before. I already knew who in my heart I wanted to continue this journey with, and so canceling the cocktail party was the best decision for everyone. After this rose ceremony, there was only one week to go before visiting hometowns. My relationships with both Connor and Lincoln just weren’t at the place where I saw a future. Toasting with the final six men remaining was surreal, but I felt so elated. I knew that in the next week I would be making decisions that would truly would shape the future of this journey and my entire life. Check back in next week as I live out my 12-year old fantasy (please google Mary-Kate and Ashley’s Holiday in the Sun) as the men and I travel to the Bahamas! Things really heat up with unexpected swing dancing, an “I love you” that ends in tears, and a secret that could change everything. Give me that piña colada and some sunshine as I explore my relationships and make some major decisions before meeting my future in-laws. It’s a romantic getaway you won’t want to miss!
Thanks for reading,
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.