July 24, 2018 11:06 AM

Jason Tartick fell hard for Bachelorette Becca Kufrin, and was convinced that he’d end up with her in the end.

The Buffalo, New York-born banker was sent packing in Monday night’s episode and did not get to enter the Fantasy Suite with Kufrin — and their split hit him hard.

Jason Tartick
Paul Hebert

“Getting over her was tough,” Tartick, 29, admits to PEOPLE. “We had such a strong connection.”

As far as that book he shared with Kufrin on their last date? “It was a story of our time together start to finish,” Tartick explains. “When we had moments together and funny stories, I used this book to compartmentalize what we had, everything from a name tag because she forgot my name, to where we ended up at the end and where it could have gone from there. It was a really good way to channel energy in the right direction.”

Still, Tartick says he accepted Kufrin’s decision and only went back to see her after she ended things in order to have a more satisfying goodbye.

“It had nothing to do with changing her mind or asking for her back,” he says. “Everything ended so abruptly. It just didn’t feel like the way it ended was the right way to close the door. We said a peaceful goodbye. And that will help us become friends down the road.”

Jason Tartick
Craig Sjodin/ABC

As for the future, Tartick says he’s “very single” and would be open to coming back to the franchise as the next Bachelor.

“Coming into The Bachelorette, I always led with a calculated mind and not an open heart,” he says. “Now, I’m able to start leading with my heart and not my head. And I’m in the best position to find who I’m looking for now.”

The Bachelorette: Men Tell All airs next Monday, followed by the season finale on Aug. 6, both at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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