Craig Sjodin/ABC
Kaitlyn Bristowe
June 16, 2015 07:00 AM

Kaitlyn Bristowe is the Bachelorette! She charmed her way into the hearts of the Bachelor Nation – and nearly the Bachelor himself, Chris Soules, on season 19 of The Bachelor. Now Kaitlyn has begun her own journey to love.

Enter Nick. Talk about uncomfortable. He just walked right into the lion’s den, and I could feel the tension through the TV. It was actually pretty tough for me to watch because I really saw with my own eyes how much the guys cared. Joshua was so sweet when he questioned Nick calling me a “cool chick.” He is such a good, ol’ fashioned country boy. I never ever meant to be disrespectful to Joshua or any of the other guys by having Nick stay. I just had to follow my heart, and my heart told me to give Nick a chance.

It’s also such a strange world where it’s okay for me to “explore my options” while the guys are only there for me. Actually in this case NOT all of them were there for me and they TOO explored options. (If you recall there were two Bachelorettes!) And I am so sorry that a lot of people see a problem with this. But there was an attraction with Nick, and I had to pursue it. I was still getting to know these guys, it didn’t feel too late, and this was something I just had to do.

Citi Field is one of the coolest spots I’ve been to. It was so much fun to hold a cocktail party and rose ceremony there. I knew the guys would be as stoked as I was, and I think we all needed it. Running around the bases was a perfect way to start my night. At that point, I was unaware of JJ’s behavior in the house, and I think he just needed to recharge the batteries and rethink why he was there. I was excited to spend some time with Shawn B., but it was so tough hearing him question my decision to bring Nick into the group. It’s hard when you have such a strong connection but are still getting to know someone. And yes what Shawn and I had was strong, but it was still so early. My biggest fear was ruining something I had with someone like Shawn. My conversation with Joshua wasn’t what I wanted it to be. We weren’t really moving forward in our relationship, and I wanted to!

All in all, it was a hard night, with a number of tough conversations, but I knew who I needed to say goodbye to. Nick had nothing to do with that choice; my decision would have still been the same regardless of Nick’s arrival. Those three guys who went home are great guys, but I knew they were not the right fit for me. And I’m sure they know I wasn’t right for them either. It really does go both ways.

San Antonio! I’ve always wanted to go to Texas! And picking up Ben H. in that 1950 Ford pick-up felt badass. I knew he probably wanted to drive, but there was no way I was letting him. That truck was too great to pass up the driver’s seat! I definitely made sure I matched my red cowboy boots to the red truck. When in Texas, do as the Texans do: Drive trucks, wear cowboy boots, and two-step!!! Dancing is something I have done all my life, but two-stepping, as Ben said, was for the bar on a Friday night. Thank goodness for Debbie – we needed her. Ben and I struggled, but we also laughed and had A LOT of fun while learning. Ben is a very patient man (he’s also pretty easy on the eyes), which was nice in this situation. This date made us so happy and relaxed. The couples who entered the competition were happily married couples who don’t go do these fantasy Bachelorette-style dates, they just tear up the dance floor! It felt great to join them in their environment. I noticed that no one was on their phone, no one cared about how they looked, everyone was genuinely happy and in the moment dancing with their partners. By the time we were immersed in the competition, we forgot about all the pressure and let loose. Did you see us out there? Ben had that dip down. RIP dance floor, cuz we KILLED IT.

Later that night, Ben had a tough time opening up about his last relationship. I don’t want to force anyone to talk about the past, but if we want to move forward, which we did, it was something we needed to talk about. I like to know where guys come from and why they are who they are. With Ben being only 26, I was curious to know about his dating past and if he was really reading for marriage. What I learned is that Ben is a very mature 26. The guy is marriage material. That’s a fact.

The Bachelorette suitors
Felicia Graham/ABC

Ayyy ayyy ay ayyyyy. How fun was the mariachi date? I wanted to see who could get creative, have fun and put a little heart into some lyrics. I had no Idea what little Sebastian was singing because I don’t speak Spanish but I do know that he was putting his heart into it. It was beautiful. Not only can that kid sing, he’s a smooth talker, too! The guys were definitely taking notes. Sebastian has so much game, I think he would make a great Bachelor. Check back in about 2025!

When it came time to perform, the guys really brought it. Justin got it going, and the poor guy could barely move in those tight pants. I think he was genuinely afraid he was going to bust right out of those things, Incredible Hulk-style: “You wouldn’t like me when I perform mariachi!” JJ was, well, awful. Ian was, well, just as bad. Tanner had a couple good one-liners, and he even made fun of my fat man laugh, which is always the way to my heart. Then, it was Nick’s turn. Nick’s bold move to serenade me from the balcony was funny … and smart. I loved it, and so did the crowd. Everyone just had such a great time – well, everyone except Ian. He puts way too much pressure on himself. I’m not sure why he has a tough time just letting loose. How can you take yourself seriously in those outfits anyhow?

After the date was over, we went to a beautiful ranch. I love stuff like that, like that old Western feel. Let’s talk about Joshua. Can I just go on a rant about Joshua for a second? The guy let me completely butcher his hair. It takes one helluva guy to put up with that. And I just felt terrible. Yes, I went to cosmetology school for three years, and I had every intention of giving Joshua a sweet new ‘do. However, those terrible clippers did me in! Not only were they crap clippers, but they stopped working altogether when I got around to the other side of his head. What was I supposed to do? Joshua, I’m truly sorry for making you look so ridiculous, but you took it like a champ.

As for the rest of the night, it was rough. I know Joshua was just trying to help, but it really did end up making for a disastrous ending to an otherwise great night. I know Joshua’s thoughts and intentions were coming from a good place, but it threw me off because from what I had heard, the majority of the guys were actually okay with Nick’s return. (By the way, is there really such a thing as “man’s intuition?” Yeah, I don’t think so!) Only one or two of the guys expressed their concerns to me. To be honest, part of me thought about not even handing out a rose that night. But, in the end, I decided to give the rose to Nick. We had a great day together, and I needed him to know I was happy he was there. Yes, some of the other guys were upset, but I have learned that I can’t please everyone. I wish I could, but I just can’t.

The next day was my one on one with Shawn B. Actually, can we drop the “B.” now? The other Shawn showed up the first night in a “car pool,” never to be seen again. So it’s official: Shawn is just Shawn.

I had been waiting for this one this date since the first night when I gave Shawn the first impression rose. I wanted to have a nice relaxing day with Shawn. We got to go kayaking out on the river walk, which I don’t think has ever been done before. It was so peaceful – and necessary – for us to talk, laugh and just enjoy one another’s company. Shawn is a gentleman with a good heart. He wanted to stand up for Joshua because that was his friend, and he knew how upset Joshua was the next morning for causing any kind of problem. I really do think that spoke to Shawn’s character.

That night was an ideal hangout for me. Log cabin, bonfire, lanterns, wine and a handsome man. Hearing Shawn talk about his accident made me want to just throw my arms around him, cry and tell him how happy I was that he was there in that moment with me. Watching him let his guard down was the reason I couldn’t hold back, and I had to tell him I was falling, too. There was a natural chemistry between us, and it was unlike anything I had felt before. And if that couldn’t have felt more romantic, we then hopped into a canoe and rowed out to the middle of a pond. I couldn’t wait to surprise Shawn with fireworks. It was the perfect way to end it. I will never forget that night.

Just when things were looking up, Ian stepped in and threw me for a loop. Oh Ian!! Logically, I knew what being the Bachelorette would entail, but in reality it was tougher navigating the guys’ feelings than I ever could have predicted. And I certainly never could have anticipated a guy feeling the need to insult my looks like Ian choose to do. Ouch. And I’m shallow? As a woman – no, as a person – that is hurtful to hear. And completely unnecessary. I understood Ian’s frustration; after all I’ve been in his shoes. But it was a hurtful, unwarranted comment. And this coming from a man who felt the need to explain that he has no trouble getting women to sleep with him back home.

Honestly, the more I got to know Ian, the more arrogant I realized he was. Yes, he’s very intelligent, and I respect his opinions. I also believe in honest and open communication. But the accusatory way in which he confronted me was downright nasty and designed to hurt me. And it did hurt me. How did I handle him that night? Well, check out next week’s episode to find out!

Let’s end this week’s blog with a little discussion about kissing. Yes, I kissed a lot of guys. I was trying to compartmentalize these different relationships, and I was just dating these guys how I ordinarily would. And, if I’m dating someone and I like them, I kiss them. It’s challenging to be in my position, asking everyone to understand my decisions, my mistakes and my journey. Everyone is different, and I would rather be disliked for who I am than liked for who I am not. It is too exhausting to try and make everyone happy or pretend. I hope everyone can understand that and try to be forgiving as they watch how all of this unfolds.

XOXO,
Kaitlyn

RELATED VIDEO: The Bachelor Dudes Think Kaitlyn Is Kissing Just the Right Amount!

The Bachelorette airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.

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