Tayshia Adams sent the 28-year-old military veteran home during Tuesday's season finale

By Jodi Guglielmi
December 23, 2020 12:56 PM
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Ben Smith has nothing but love for Tayshia Adams.

The Bachelorette runner-up spoke out for the first time on Wednesday after his split from Adams aired on the ABC reality show's season finale, when she sent him home and said "yes" Zac Clark's proposal.

Smith, 28, shared a heartfelt message on Instagram, tagging Adams, 30, in the post.

"Thank you. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for seeing me, for always listening, and for trying your best to know on the deepest level," he wrote on Instagram. "I struggle. I struggle to be the person you need and I still struggle knowing what's enough. You're beautiful inside and out and I'm so incredibly grateful for your heart."

"What's meant for you will find you," he continued. "And what's meant for me? I'm ready to receive. To a deeper connection to self and ever increasing opportunity to give love."

Smith captioned the post "Tv is weird," with a purple heart.

The military veteran was eliminated during Tuesday's episode as Adams chose her other finalist, Clark.

Though Smith was originally sent home ahead of Fantasy Suite dates, he returned to profess his love for Adams, earning him a spot in the final three.

"I am in love with you," he told Adams on the show. "Like, the life we could have together, the thought of that, it keeps me awake at night and I'm not sure what to do right now. I'm not sure what I'm asking for. I don't even know what I'm doing. I couldn't leave. But I just had to tell you. I see a life with you."

Adams decided to bring Smith back on and introduced him to her family. But she ultimately sent him home before the proposal after realizing that their connection wasn't strong enough to build a future together.

Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC

"I care about you so much, but I just feel like my heart is with somebody else," she said on the finale. "I feel like we missed out on a little bit of time that was very monumental."

Smith was visibly heartbroken. "I was excited to be back. I was really hopeful that we would be together," he said. "I saw it going differently, but when you love somebody you want them to be happy."

Smith was a fan-favorite from the start. He candidly opened up about his battle with an eating disorder during a group date with Adams and later revealed that he had two failed suicide attempts in recent years.