"I’m getting to use my platform as the Bachelorette — on my season — to really make change through my experience," Hannah Brown tells PEOPLE
On Monday night’s episode of The Bachelorette, the former pageant queen finally sent Parker packing after having a heated argument about sex during their one-on-one date in Greece — a decision many fans have been waiting for while watching their contentious relationship play out week after week.
“Even though it was difficult in the moment and it has been difficult watching it back, there’s definitely a silver lining to the relationship I had with Luke P.,” Brown, 24, tells PEOPLE. “I grew a lot from that relationship. I think every time you go through a difficult relationship, you realize more and more about what you will and you won’t have in your next relationship — what you deserve and what you don’t deserve.”
Along with learning about herself, Brown says that having her “toxic relationship” with Parker, 24, play out in front of millions of viewers could be beneficial for people who have found themselves in similar circumstances.
“It was a very candid version of that for people to witness and to maybe see some similarities that they might have in their relationship and [ask], ‘Is this something that I’m dealing with and do I need to end this relationship?’ Or, ‘Have I been in a relationship that has hurt me before and has it caused insecurities in me now and what do I need to do to move forward?'” she says. “I am really thankful that I didn’t have to wait until after this season to use my platform. I’m getting to use my platform as the Bachelorette — on my season — to really make change through my experience. So definitely a silver lining. I’m glad if I can help anybody.”
During their last one-on-one date, Parker revealed that although he’s not a virgin, he has been abstinent for nearly four years and plans to wait until marriage to have sex again — and expected Brown to follow suit.
“I just want to make sure that you’re not going to be sexually intimate with the other relationships here,” he said on the show. “I totally have all the trust in the world in you, but at the same time, I just want to make sure we’re on the same page. Like, if you told me you’re going to have sex or you had sex with one or multiple of these guys, I would be wanting to go home, 100 percent.”
His comments infuriated Brown, and after a heated back-and-forth, she laid down the law.
“I have had sex,” she declared. “And Jesus still loves me. And from obviously how you feel, me f—ing in a windmill, you probably want to leave. And my husband would never say what you said to me.”
Parker’s time on the show seems to not be over yet, though. As seen in a sneak peek of next Monday’s episode, Parker makes a shocking return to interrupt Brown and her three remaining suitors — Tyler Cameron, Jed Wyatt and Peter Weber — at the rose ceremony.
“Hannah thought there was no way I would want to be with her anymore after the last thing she told me,” he says in the clip. “She’s sadly mistaken.”
Despite noticing “red flags,” Brown explained during an episode that aired in June why it was so hard for her to let Parker — who was the recipient of her first impression rose — go.
“Luke P. is still here because my heart wants him to be here,” she said. “My head doesn’t always want him to be here. It makes it really difficult to know what’s the best decision to make. We know we have crazy chemistry, but there are red flags, and I honestly haven’t had the time to explore our relationship the way that I feel like it needs to be explored.”
The Bachelorette airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.