Plus: Flajnik says he could have been more sympathetic to Casey S.

By People Staff
February 07, 2012 07:25 AM
Craig Sjodin/ABC

One thing I love about traveling to new places is that feeling you get of starting over, like it’s a fresh experience and anything can happen. I was ready for that in Panama City, and I knew the women were too.

I’ve always wanted to visit Central America and I was thrilled to take these nine ladies there on The Bachelor and make sure that every single woman got a date, which was really important to me.

I knew there was still a lot of time left in this journey, but at this point, every moment mattered. I had feelings for each woman and every decision needed to be well thought out and in order do so, I needed time with all of them.

From what I hear, getting the first date of the season can be both exciting and hard. I know Kacie B. was really happy to get that first date in my hometown of Sonoma, but she also expressed how difficult it’s then been to watch so many other women go out on dates.

I’ve loved all the time I spent with Kacie B. on group dates and I definitely felt our relationship moving forward, but I agree that our first date felt like months ago. I was ready to feel those feelings again and to confirm they were still there. Our date in Panama went so well.

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I sometimes worried with Kacie B. that we would run out of things to talk about, but that day we were able to “survive” on an island together while keeping a smile on our faces, and then use our time that night to learn more meaningful things about one another. I really appreciated Kacie opening up the way she did. It takes guts to tell someone the things you’re not proud of, and I respect her even more for turning it into a positive.

The group date was such a cool experience. Group dates have always been difficult for me, but they’ve gotten harder as time goes on and as feelings have developed. It’s awkward to be flirty with one woman while the other women are watching, or to hand a rose out in front of everyone, or to want to kiss someone but then worry another woman is watching. It’s not easy balancing relationships while trying to make everyone feel special.

That’s why I was drawn to Courtney during the daytime portion of the group date – she made it a point to spend time with me. I always knew how she felt and she made sure to let me know that she was thinking of me. I will admit though, I wasn’t pleased when she got in the pool during my time with Jamie. I know she was just trying to let me know that she’s interested, but Jamie has a tough time opening up and having Courtney out of the corner of her eye wasn’t helping.

My date with Blakeley and Rachel was interesting. I was dreading that date mostly because I remember how much Ben C. and William were dreading it on my season with Ashley. I felt for the women knowing they were probably stressed out about having the two-on-one, but I was so surprised when they showed up happy and excited for what was in store. Both of them seemed so confident and ready to make the most of the hand they were dealt.

Blakeley’s Breakdown

I actually had a great time that afternoon and it wasn’t until the dinner when things got really hard. Blakeley had been an open book since day one and I experienced more growth with her than I did with almost any of the women. She never ceased to amaze me with her openness and vulnerability. Hearing her comment on how she was feeling made me realize that this woman doesn’t open herself up like this very often.

I knew I had to decide at that moment whether or not I saw her as my wife. I could’ve easily dated Blakeley for another few weeks but I knew in my heart it wasn’t forever so I decided to let her go.

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With Rachel, it was moving a lot slower but I was still open to the idea that something amazing could develop. Seeing Blakeley break down like that was excruciating. When watching it on TV, I wished I had reached out and hugged her. I didn’t prepare myself for all the goodbyes I’d have to make in this experience and I hated seeing her cry and knowing I was the cause of it.

After such an intense week, and with such a difficult goodbye, I wasn’t prepared for Casey S. to show up at my room. Watching it now I realize I could’ve been more sympathetic to her. She was clearly involved with a guy that wasn’t appreciating her but all I could hear was that she was still in love with someone else.

I had just sent Blakeley home, which was really hard on both of us, and I kept thinking, “How could you let yourself be here still if you’re not that into me?” I can’t change the way I reacted but I do hope Casey S. finds a man that appreciates her like she deserves.

Kissing Lessons

The cocktail party was interesting. What stands out most to me was the bizarre interaction I had with Jamie. I think after watching this season you all know that I’ve had my fair share of kisses. Having Jamie walk me through one was sexy in theory, but it was so awkward in the moment!

I wanted to make her feel comfortable and I know she was really working hard to put herself out there, but I felt like I was taking advantage of her in some way. I knew there wasn’t enough time left in this journey to get to a place with Jamie that we would need to get so I had to let her go. She is one of the sweetest, most sincere women I’ve met and I hope she finds a man that is ready to go from 0 to 60 with her.

Thank you all for watching! Until next week,