"I take some ownership with all of this," Bristowe writes of putting herself in a position to have awkward sit-downs with several suitors this week

By Kaitlyn Bristowe
Updated July 07, 2015 07:30 AM
Credit: Amanda Marsalis

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.

I can’t believe I’m writing my eighth blog! Time flies when you’re on an emotional roller coaster. That’s the saying, right?

Taking in all that Chris Harrison and I talked about, it really hit me just how serious these upcoming dates were. Their purpose wasn’t to just have a good time and see if there’s a connection. Their purpose was to figure out and know if I could see a forever with these guys. Not wonder if I could, but really sort through and make a decision. It was some heavy stuff, and I think the guys felt the pressure, too!

My date with Ben was exactly what I needed. It was a date that actually was very calming to me. It had been a difficult and challenging week, and the reality of just how serious these relationships were getting really began to settle in. I will admit I was in a MOOD that morning before seeing Ben. I was grumpy, I had cramps, I was tired, I was sick of doing my hair and makeup every day, I missed my family, I was exhausted and the list went on. I was being a little diva grumpy pants.

But, as soon as I saw Ben, I remembered why I liked him so much. He is a positive, humble and calm man. He was so comforting and was quick to reassure me it was okay that I wasn’t on my A-game. I didn’t want to just force a smile and act like I was okay, I couldn’t. I am an honest person, and that includes showing my emotions – good or bad. Looking back, it was a great test of our relationship. I wanted to see if Ben was someone who could pick me up when I was down, see my other sides and, at the end of the day, still like me just as much, if not more, than before.

Arriving to the island was breathtaking. (And how cute was our game of hide and seek?!) It was great knowing Ben saw that I was feeling down and took it as an opportunity to listen, understand and then distract me with some fun! That is something I need in a life partner, and that moment only solidified that Ben is someone that would be a great husband. Side note: I actually don’t like when people say husband or wife material. I cringed when I heard myself say that to Ben. Haha, I do think that, but there wasn’t a better way of putting it!

I always say that my biggest fear in a relationship is cheating, and people giving up. My grandparents were best friends in kindergarten and never loved anyone again. They began dating in fifth grade, and he was still holding her hand and smacking her butt in their 90s. That’s the kind of love I look for. You know what their secret was? Don’t give up. Fix things. My point in sharing this: I see Ben as the kind of guy who, 20, 30, 40 years from now, would still be working at our relationship and still be making me laugh.

I was BAFFLED when Ben told me his fear was to possibly be unlovable. I think all of the world would agree with me when I say that Ben is lovable. The fear of rejection I understand. I think everyone has that same fear – putting everything out there and allowing yourself to be vulnerable in love, then not getting that in return. That’s something no one ever wants to go through. But that is the risk you take in love. Being unlovable is something that should never cross Ben’s mind. And lovable is exactly how I saw him at the end of our date together.

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Leaving such a wonderful date with Ben made my upcoming date that much more challenging. Aside from the fact that three-on-one dates are right up there with two-on-one dates on the uncomfortable scale, why not just throw Shawn and Nick on the same one?! That date was difficult for me knowing that I wanted to be honest with Shawn about everything that had happened for me on this journey thus far, but I needed to wait for the right time. I wanted to just put it out there as soon as I saw Shawn. Trust is a big thing for him – and it is for me as well. I think trust and honesty should be a big thing for everyone. It’s the key to a successful, happy, healthy relationship. So going through my day knowing I wanted to tell Shawn what happened between Nick and me weighed heavily on me. Regardless of the thoughts racing through my mind, it was nice to just sit with Shawn and feel like we were finding our way to getting back on track.

When Nick came to get me, I knew I had to tell him about the guilt I was feeling. I didn’t want him to feel bad about it; I just wanted to be honest with him. I needed to let him know that I felt we moved too fast. I’ve learned through this experience that I am not very good at having difficult conversations. I smile when I feel awkward, and I worry too much I am going to hurt someone’s feelings. So it was tough for me to address certain situations. Which is exactly what I had to do Nick and with Joe. MAN OH MAN. One after another!!!

Joe is someone who can keep up with me, appreciates my humor and also has a soft side. But when Joe told me that he was in love with me, I knew in that moment that the feelings weren’t mutual. My heart was in a different place than Joe’s. And thinking of my chat with Chris Harrison, I knew that, if I wasn’t feeling it in those moments, I had to say goodbye. It may not have seemed fair to Joe at the time, but I knew that was the right thing to do. Joe’s reaction was a bit cold, but I understood it. If you tell someone you love them and those words aren’t returned, you don’t know what to say or do. You’re almost in shock. But I didn’t want Joe to shut down and say things like “it’s cool” because I know it’s not. I mean he called me man: “No worries, man.” It just hurt a bit because I did care about him. I just knew Joe wasn’t the one for me.

Leaving a hard conversation with Joe and going back to the two best friends wasn’t easy either. (Did you pick up my sarcasm there?) This day was full of challenges, and that wasn’t about to change. I knew I needed more time, and I wanted to send Nick back to the hotel and have a night with just Shawn. This was important because I needed to let Shawn know where I was at and what had happened, uninterrupted. My relationship with Shawn meant a lot at this point. Like I’ve said, you have to separate each relationship and this was one of those moments where I needed to separate this relationship and give it the attention it needed and deserved.

Each week when I blog, I feel like I say the same thing over and over, but I’m going to say it again because I want you to understand what I was feeling on this journey. It’s impossible to date and care for more than one person without making a mistake, breaking trust or hurting someone’s feelings. I had such an intense relationship with Shawn and, knowing trust means a lot to each of us along with honesty, I had to tell him what happened with Nick. He was already saying what a challenge this journey had been for him, and the last thing I would want would be for us to end up together at the end of this and then to tell him. That felt beyond dishonest and unfair. He deserved honesty in that moment, and I wanted to let him know I felt guilty because of how much I cared about him. And I just kept thinking that, if it were the other way around and I was in his shoes, I would want to know.

I know I would struggle with knowing, but I would appreciate the honesty and work to forgive. It meant a lot that Shawn took a minute to truly think about it. And it was comforting to know he realized that he wanted to get past it and that he wanted me out of this. In that moment I knew Shawn was the kind of man that would work to get through anything with me and not give up on love. He said we would fight through it and I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I also knew what we had.

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I know what you’re thinking: Why was Shawn the only one who deserved that honesty? Why had I only told Shawn? The choice to tell only him at that point was another difficult decision. But that was the point our relationship had reached. Each relationship moves at its own speed, and that was a place we had reached. Plus, he was someone who had a harder time because of his concerns with trust and taking into account how advanced our feelings were, it just felt like the right thing to do. But those feelings of his didn’t last long. It’s hard when you’re in the moment and want to forgive and forget. But then you go back to the hotel and have to marinate in those thoughts. Obviously Shawn was struggling with how he felt about it and having no cocktail party to discuss those thoughts with me prior to rose ceremony proved difficult.

I take some ownership with all of this. I am at fault for telling him I thought he was the one in San Antonio. Truthfully, while I did feel that at the time, I also had other relationships that were progressing and that I really wanted to explore. And I also needed to figure out how I felt without Shawn telling me he didn’t trust Nick and without Nick telling me he had zero respect for Shawn. That was partially why I wanted no cocktail party. This was a difficult choice I was making, and I wanted it to be my own. This was MY forever, and I had to be a bit selfish and sort things out for myself.

The choice to send Jared home was not easy. My nugget Jared. We got along so well and never had any bumps in the road. Our relationship kept moving forward, and that made it hard to let him go. We had just shared such a great day together, and we had no reservations. Nothing was really missing between us. It just wasn’t where the other relationships I had were. But Jared was a gentleman the whole time, even offering his jacket as we said goodbye. Watching now what Jared said in the limo – that he knew what we had was real – makes me smile. I’m glad he knew that was real, because it was, and I’m going to miss him too. He was a gentleman from the start, right to the very end.

I was ready to leave Killarney behind and take the next step in my journey. Arriving to Cork for my date with Nick was exciting. He is a very touchy, hands-on kind of guy if you didn’t notice – always kissing me and picking me up! So yes, that’s why I always say the connection is physical. But this date was nice. It was different. When we walked into that beautiful cathedral and it brought Nick back to his childhood, it was great to hear him open up about his past.

He grew up with a religious family and was in church often. It meant a lot to him to talk about that and to share those stories with me. You could tell they were happy memories of growing up. It was nice to see him light up when he was reminiscing. We lit a candle for a few people, and it just felt peaceful. I will admit, after the church, we were feeling very spiritual! It felt great to connect in that way. And how cute was the story about how his parents met! See? They met and were engaged within months and are still together!


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