After JoJo Fletcher won viewers’ hearts as a fan favorite on Ben Higgins‘ season of The Bachelor, she’s now on her own journey to love on The Bachelorette. She is blogging exclusively about each and every rose ceremony for PEOPLE – check back each week and follow her on Twitter at @Joellefletcher!
This week was crucial for my relationships. Family is so important to me, and I know it’s just as important for these four guys. So going into this week I was really excited, but also really anxious of the unknown.
This time last season, I was blindsided by a number of events that took place, but it was also the moment that I found total clarity in my feelings for Ben. So heading into these hometown dates, I was hopeful that I would find that same clarity in my relationships with these four amazing men.
Time to pull out the winter coats because first I headed to Colorado to see my Chaser! I flew directly from Argentina to Denver, and I have to admit the first stop was something I’ve been craving since we left the States. So, since this hometown didn’t start until the next day, I had to fill my evening with something I knew would bring complete joy to my heart … Chipotle! It was the best meal I’d had in WEEKS. Are ya’ll tiered of hearing me talk about Chipotle yet? Okay, moving on! Colorado!
I’ve visited Colorado many times before, but something about this arrival (and knowing I was about to spend the day with someone I could spend the rest of my life with) made it feel like a whole new place. As I was driving to meet Chase, I started to envision spending Christmas there, or even raising a family
Knowing I would be meeting Chase’s mom and dad separately, and not fully understanding the relationship Chase had with his dad, I wasn’t sure of how to prepare. Meeting his dad was so amazing. I could see that the depth of conversation Chase and his father were having was new for them. It was definitely intense. I could see something starting to shift in Chase. Hearing Chase say that if it wasn’t for me being here they would never of had this conversation, I know that it actually did something really positive for their relationship. I was glad to have been a part of bringing them closer together because there is no doubt there is so much love between them.
Meeting the rest of Chase’s family was so much fun! They couldn’t have been more welcoming. I felt right at home. Also, what you didn’t see is that Chase and I taught the family our yoga moves from our first date. We had the entire family yab yumming! This hometown couldn’t have gone any better.
I knew Chase had a hard time opening up, but I can understand why it was so hard for him to do that. Love doesn’t have a universal definition and watching his conversation with his sister opened my eyes to that. Love is a feeling that most people associate with all positive things. But with Chase it has a lot more depth. Hearing him tell me at the end of the night that he was falling in love with me, I couldn’t help but feel so optimistic about our future.
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Chico, California where the heck is Chico, California?! I was about to find out!
For the record, I know that deer can’t fly but if you could have seen these babies go, you probably would have said the same thing. Pulling up to my date and seeing Jordan standing waiting for me, I lit up. I was so excited and ready to see where he grew up and what has made him the man that he is today.
Stepping back into high school was so fun! I myself have so many great memories from high school and we just laughed and reminisced about all the crazy things that happen when you’re 16 years old. I’ve always pictured Jordan to be such a stud and just assumed he must have been like this in high school, but from meeting his teachers and coaches I think, between us, he must have hit his peak in college, haha! But seeing all those photos on the wall, I still thought he was the cutest thing ever.
Watching back, I have no memory of that moment Jordan and I took on the steps before walking in. I was so nervous! But as soon as I stepped into their house, I was welcomed with an overwhelming about of love that made me feel right at home. It was just last week that Jordan had opened up to me about his brother, and I knew that this was a sensitive subject.
I know how many misconceptions there are out there about Jordan, but that night I couldn’t wait to tell his parents just how much I admire their son for the man that I know he really is. Watching back the bond between Jordan and his parents, and hearing him tell them how confident he was in our relationship was really heartwarming. And to be honest, made me feel silly when I watched myself still question him at the end of our amazing evening.
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Hayes family, here I come!
I was so excited to finally be in Florida for my hometown date with Robby. Last week he was the only one to receive a rose before the rose ceremony because I knew without a doubt that I was ready for this next step. And after everything I’d heard about his family, I couldn’t wait to meet them.
Robby could not have planned a more “Robbyeque” date. From the old school town to the horse and carriage ride, this was such a charming day. When it came to Robby, I always felt so secure with him, but the one thing I felt I needed to clarify was his ex. We had talked about it the week prior, but I felt like it was the only thing I wanted to make sure wasn’t an issue. I myself have been in his shoes before, so I wasn’t judging him or questioning the truth – I really just wanted to make sure he was ready, because I could really see a future with him.
Stepping into the Hayes house was like a flashback of walking back into my home last season. The energy and love that came from them was almost overflowing. I instantly felt like I was already a part of their family and like I had known them for years. This week of hometowns was so important to find clarity with these men, and everything about this family was giving me just that.
With that said, I made the choice to not share my feelings with any guys before the very end of my journey because I didn’t want to put anyone through what I went through with Ben. But sitting down with his mom in that moment, I couldn’t hold back. I just felt like, why not? Robby was the first to tell me he loved me, and I was excited to share the love I was starting to feel for Robby too. The look on his mom’s face after I told her I was falling in love shed all of my fears that is, until Robby’s ex came back into the conversation
I would be a hypocrite if I said it wasn’t possible to fall in love with someone shortly after a breakup, especially if this person is going to be your forever future. My apprehension went from, “Is he ready?” to “What are his real intentions?” I remember this moment so well my heart beating a million miles an hour and became paralyzed with fear and confusion. I believe in Robby, and I believe he had an honest soul but I’ve been blind to things before in my past relationships because of love. I couldn’t help but wonder if it was happening to me again. But I know first hand not to believe in what the tabloids and rumors on social media say. Watching this back I still standby my reaction, but also my faith in Robby. I decided to continue to trust and believe in our connection, and all I could do was pray I made the right choice.
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After such an emotional roller coaster in Florida I was so excited to return to my home state of Texas! Because of airline delays I flew into Texas the morning of our date, so if anyone was in the Austin airport that day they can blame me for any restroom lines! I ended up having to curl my hair and do all of my makeup in the airport bathroom (yes I was one of thoooose people). But hey! I had to look cute for my cowboy, right?!
Going into Luke’s hometown, something I was hoping I would reconnect on was that feeling I had on our first one-on-one. I felt like he and I had reached this emotional depth so much faster then any of my other guys. And to be honest I felt I had kind of lost this over the past few weeks.
Nonetheless, I felt like now was the time it would come back to us. Meeting Luke in his hometown square was so surreal! I absolutely loved it. What you didn’t see in the episode was a lot of familiar faces for Luke. Every corner we turned there was someone he embraced with a warm hug or a firm handshake. It was either his childhood teacher or his neighbor or his boss from his summer jobs in high school. Seeing how deep his roots were in this hometown community made me more and more excited to see him with his family.
Driving up to his family’s home was unbelievably beautiful! But seeing all those cars I knew something was up! I would be lying if I said I wasn’t totally nervous about walking into a huge party of Luke’s closest friends and family. He could have warned me! I remember shaking in those cute cowgirl boots he got me when I walked up. But just as quickly has those nerves had come they washed away. I felt so welcomed and right at home. This is the kind of future I dream about.
Watching back and hearing Luke speak about our relationship with his family I almost wish he could have been so open with me. Hearing him say he was falling in love with me in interview but not saying it to me at the end of our date killed me. I remember thinking, “If you’re so confident in a future, why aren’t you as confident in your feelings?” When I started to cry, it was because I was so terrified that this wasn’t feeling as right as I expected it to feel. And everything I saw for me and Luke’s future started to crumble in my mind.
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This rose ceremony was the absolute hardest one yet. I walked into that airplane hangar with such anxiety because I was about to send Luke home. I thought in the beginning of this journey – because of our first one-on-one and our connection – that he would be one of my final guys. But if this experience has taught me anything, it is that you really have to take each relationship day by day. Because you really don’t know how it will end up evolving.
I was ready to make this painful, but in my mind, right decision. That is, until Luke pulled me aside. I hate to leave you guys high and dry, but trust me you’ll want to pick back up where we left off. It’s emotional. It’s shocking. It’s everything.
And for all of you out there, thank you for always supporting me. You really have no idea how much it means to me to have such amazing fans. I couldn’t get through this without you. And there’s so much more to get through!
The Bachelorette airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.