Rachel Lindsay vied for Nick Viall‘s heart on season 21 of The Bachelor, now she’s on her own journey to find love on the latest season of The Bachelorette — and she’s blogging about it exclusively for PEOPLE! Follow Rachel on Twitter at @TheRachLindsay!
Hi guys, welcome back to Big Rach’s blog!
It’s only been a couple weeks of dates, and I’ve already been both swept off my feet and tripped up by some of the drama. Honestly, though, I’m feeling 100 about this all working out. In fact, I have so many good guys left I was feeling a little overwhelmed trying to get to know them by myself, so I planned for some backup to come help me out with the dates this week.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s wrap up the cocktail party and talk about DeMario. The real reason I walked out to the driveway and agreed to hear what DeMario had to say is not because I had any intentions of welcoming him back into my group of guys; rather, I wanted the opportunity to hear what he had to say and put closure to it once and for all.
A small part of me appreciated his effort to come back and speak to me again after the dressing-down I gave him on the court. But when he couldn’t help but start in with excuses I knew this guy had a lot of learning to do before he was ready for any kind of real relationship. I hope he watches this back and learns from it.
Going back into the cocktail I was worried the night wouldn’t be able to pull out of the nosedive it had taken. Then I sat down with Alex and watched him solve a Rubik’s cube while charming me with conversation and realized I had some men, and possibly unicorns, here that are amazing; I was not going to let the foolish actions of DeMario continue to distract me from them.
As the night progressed, after my conversations with Blake and Lucas and seeing them concentrate on sabotaging each other more than building a connection with me, I knew there was no more room for Whabooms or ketogenic diets.
I also sent Jamey home because although he was smart, polite and an interesting guy, when that chemistry isn’t there you just can’t force it. He’s everything I would want on paper, but when he asked me to mess up his hair I honestly never saw a person more uncomfortable with me than in that moment. I don’t which one was wound up more tightly … Jamey or his hair.
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After the goodbyes it felt great to jump right into the dates the next day. First up was the group date with Ellen! She invited me on her show a few weeks prior and it was one of the coolest experiences of my life. From the moment I danced my way to her couch and started chatting with her I could tell this wasn’t just some promotional interview, Ellen was a serious Bachelorette fan who really wanted the juicy details so she could help a girl out! I have some serious celebs rooting for me, who knew?
But visiting the set of Ellen this time around wasn’t about me, it was about my guys. I think at this point in the journey we had moved on from introductions and guys were trying really hard to make a serious connection. But love isn’t always serious … for me love has a lot of spontaneity, belly laughs and impromptu dance-offs. I got full dose of that when Ellen introduced my dates and told them they’d be dancing for cash right off the bat. I assumed the guys would play along – but I had no idea that their shirts would be off in three seconds flat!
Things got more than skin deep when Ellen challenged them to a round of Never Have I Ever. In the span of a few minutes I learned Frederick kind of had a thing for older women, Alex was a serial monogamist and some of the guys aren’t as innocent as I thought. Ellen was really getting the dirt on them! And of course Alex won the trivia round — he’s as smart as he is handsome. That man is a Rubik’s cube that I’m having a great time trying to solve. Ladies, I repeat, we may have a unicorn in our midst.
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Things got a little more serious at the after party in Hudson Loft in downtown Los Angeles. I had some really great conversations that allowed me to go below the surface with the guys.
For example, Bryan talked to me about his parents’ 35-plus-year marriage, their example of love and how he wanted a relationship that emulated their marriage. Additionally, Alex, who has all the tall-dark-and-handsome looks, smarts and charm to serial date as many women as he wants shared with me just how slow and serious he takes relationships. As refreshing as it was to hear from a man this experience doesn’t lend itself to such a pace. So when he went right in for the kiss he took my breath away. It was a relief that he was able to push beyond his comfort zone and share a romantic moment with me.
Frederick’s kiss, on the other hand, sealed the deal in different way. I just couldn’t get the mischievous little Frederick out of my head and just see him for the grown man he was. I really wanted to be open to the possibility of what we had, but after our kiss and him telling me about the future he sees with me … I knew I didn’t feel the same way. I had to say goodbye right then and there.
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The one-on one-the next day was focused on a guy who I was attracted to physically and intellectually, but hadn’t shown me that fun side yet: Anthony. I saddled up in the midst of the glitz and glam of high-end stores on Rodeo Drive and waited for my cowboy. For never having ridden a horse, Anthony sure looked like a stud on top of that stallion. A lot of folks brag about rolling down Rodeo Drive in expensive cars, but nobody has done it on horseback! As Red and Ted, our horses, led the way from shop to shop, I really started to build a connection with Anthony.
Heading into the evening, I knew I had found that fun side I was looking for. I appreciated how candid Anthony was throughout Rodeo Drive and also during our dinner conversation. Obviously there was more to Anthony then meets the eye, and so I gave him the rose. Ending our night dancing under the stars was the perfect end to an amazing date.
For the last date of the week I picked up the guys from the mansion and let the squad take the wheel and plan the rest of the date. My friends mean everything to me, so if you want to me be my lover then you have to get along with my friends!
Per usual, the squad got the party started on the party bus when Kenny and the rest of the guys took turns showing me their dance moves and working the pole. I didn’t think things could get any dirtier until we walked in that dive bar and I saw a pool of mud surrounded by a crowd of thirsty women. Any date that requires you to don a plastic poncho while inside an establishment with a liquor license is going to be incredible. Can we also talk about every one of the guys were covered head to toe in mud after their match but Brady, who’s perfect hair somehow remained untouched? That’s impressive!
As much fun as watching Kenny suplex Lee in a kiddie pool was, getting opinions from the squad on the guys was the real highlight of the day for me. In their eyes, Dean might not have been their favorite at After the Final Rose, but on this date he redeemed himself. While Eric, who used to be their favorite, was now being questioned. Going into that evening, I knew that Eric and I would need some real valuable time.
When it came time for the after party the big thing that stood out was my conversation with Eric. I know some people may be surprised that I gave my rose to a man who had just questioned how seriously I was taking this journey, but I actually respected his candidness.
When I started going on group dates during Nick’s season, group dates were extremely difficult for me. Like Eric, I was skeptical that group dates could lead to an engagement, and it took time for me to realize they absolutely held opportunities to make real progress. Hearing Eric question the journey and my choices is the exact kind of direct conversation real couples have to undergo. Eric and I had an issue that we disagreed on, but we discussed said issue like adults, listened to each other and resolved this issue. These are the exact open and candid conversations I want to have in my relationships. Eric got the rose for challenging me, listening to me and keeping it 100.
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Surprise, surprise, the cocktail party this week didn’t go anything like I planned. But to be totally honest next week’s doesn’t exactly finish the way I expected either. I find myself yet again in another cocktail party more emotional then I’d ever been with the guys. But it doesn’t end with me.
You’ll have to come back next week to see for yourself because, if you’re anything like me, you won’t believe how the disagreements, sleights and clashes of characters that started brewing in the mansion over the course of the last couple weeks unbeknownst to me boil over into complete meltdowns. These guys don’t just question each other’s intentions. They scream, they insult, they threaten — and I’m not happy about it!
Thanks for reading and continuing to be so supportive.
The Bachelorette airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.