Dean Unglert Says 'Bachelor in Paradise' Love Triangle 'Hurt' Him: 'I Need to Change'

"Watching it all play back, it makes me realize that I need to change a lot of things about myself before I can actually pursue a relationship," Unglert exclusively told PEOPLE

Dean Unglert knows he didn’t exactly come off like Prince Charming on Bachelor in Paradise.

During the show’s fourth season, the 26-year-old found himself in the middle of a heated (and controversial!) love triangle between Kristina Schulman and Danielle Lombard.

On Monday’s finale, Unglert had the opportunity to address both Schulman and Lombard.

“I hope that both of you understand there was never an intention of malice,” Unglert told both women. “There was never a point where I wanted to do either of you wrong. I understand that that happened. To watch those episodes on Mondays and Tuesdays, it really hurts.”

Allen Berezovsky/Getty; Bob D'Amico/ABC via Getty; Alison Buck/Getty

Ahead of the finale, Unglert spoke with PEOPLE about being put on blast during the reunion taping, why he led both women on and his current status with them.

“I deserved to be put on the hot seat,” the Colorado native said of the taping two weeks ago. “In the moment of filming, I didn’t realize what an a–hole I was being. Watching it all play back, it makes me realize that I need to change a lot of things about myself before I can actually pursue a relationship. It sucks to come to that realization that what you’ve been doing is just not right. To see how deeply upset Danielle and Kristina both were, it hurt.”

Paul Hebert/ABC

In last week’s episode, Unglert was faced with an ultimatum from Lombard: If he accepted Schulman’s rose, it would be over.

Ultimately, he chose to pursue things with Lombard and informed Schulman of his decision. Heartbroken, she opted to leave the show without handing her rose out to anyone.

“In the moment, while I was filming, I just wanted to be honest and open about everything — including my feelings for both of them,” he told PEOPLE. “That way, if Kristina knew how I felt about Danielle, it left the ball in her court to decide if she wanted to be around or not. On the other side of that, it’s kind of annoying how the editing kind of portrayed my relationship with Danielle — that it was purely physical and that there was objectification involved. There was a lot more emotion. While Kristina and I were definitely emotionally attached as well. There was just a lot more to it. But it all boiled down to what I was doing.”

ABC/Paul Hebert

“People ask me if I regret anything – of course I made a lot of bad decisions while I was there, but I don’t necessarily regret it because had I not done it, I wouldn’t have been able to look back with the perspective of knowing what I did wrong,” he added. “The negativity is horrible.”

After the love triangle imploded last week, Unglert posted a photo of him and Schulman in her hometown of Lexington, Kentucky, with the caption, “You were out of my league.”

“The picture that I posted with Kristina, the caption is an inside joke between us – it’s one of our favorite songs,” he revealed. “That was more in reference to her and less to everyone else. I understand how it comes across as me being slightly passive aggressive. She’s great. I think we both have a lot of improvement to do of self before we’re ready to come back onto anything.”

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And while Unglert is currently single, BiP host Chris Harrison thinks he could get another shot with Schulman.

“I think Dean realized he really, really effed up,” Harrison told PEOPLE at the finale taping. “I think he realized that maybe he’s effed up too much, too big. There’s some things he can’t com back from. It’ll be love lost and a lesson learned. But I felt like it’s not over between him and Kristina.”

But, Schulman might think otherwise.

Addressing Unglert on the finale, Schulman said, “Hope that who ever is next in your relationship that you will never treat them like that. I thin I took a lot. I had a love for you and I was really willing to work on it. I believed in you and I believed in us. I’ll always have that love for you I was intense but it was really and I’ve never experienced that before. I will always have a special place in my heart for you Dean.

The Bachelor in Paradise finale will air Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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