As the show comes to its finish, he expresses his thoughts on the dates, the women – and being naked
Credit: Taylor Hill/Getty

As another Bachelor journey races to a dramatic finish, PEOPLE figured it was time to check in with Sean Lowe to get his exclusive thoughts on the recently eliminated, the final three, the all-important overnight dates in Thailand – and the accompanying sex speculation, Tierra’s engagement and the Women Tell All reunion.

After pegging Des as "the one," her dismissal still comes as a shock.
Des had the second one-on-one of the season, and I thought after that date that she would most likely be the one. From the very beginning, we got along so well. But as the season progressed, she started to doubt our relationship a little bit, and that was cause for concern.

I felt like Des had a tendency to hide things behind her smile and, after hearing about her childhood I think a lot of times she probably had to put on a brave face when she probably just wanted to let go and be emotional.

Choosing to send someone home is also having to decide to keep others. Why did you choose the final three?
I can go down the line. Lindsay was sweet, supportive, an incredible girl, and we get along so well together. She was someone I could picture marrying.

AshLee has everything I’m looking for. Despite everything she went through as a child, she came out this strong, confident woman. She truly has a heart where she just wants to love a man, and I can tell she will be a wonderful mother.

And Catherine fits the best friend mold. We have fun together, can be passionate at times and she’s also very intellectual, which is an attractive quality to me.

Catherine’s family seemed to be discreetly warning you that she might not be ready for marriage and kids right now, like you seem to be.
Let me clarify. I’m not in a hurry to be a dad. I’m looking forward to that next chapter because I’ve been a single guy for so long. But kids can wait for a while as we get to know each other. I do want someone who shares the same vision of the future as I do. That’s a no-brainer.

Did her family’s comments seem to contradict that plan?
It was cause for concern. Her sisters made comments like she wants to pursue her career in New York. I’m all for that, but I thought it was odd that she didn’t bring that to me herself.

So, after hometowns came the overnights and fantasy suites. How did you feel when you were about to have those dates?
Going into the overnight dates in Thailand, I was stressed out because I had no idea how the three remaining women stacked up. I didn’t have them ranked 1,2,3. It was like splitting thirds, because I was falling for all of them for different reasons.

They are all wonderful girls with their own unique and special qualities. At the end of the week, I had to make a decision, and ultimately I would end up breaking one of their hearts.

Did you learn something on the overnight dates that made it clear to you who to send home?
No. I was hoping that might be the case, and I wish it had been, but it wasn’t.

AshLee proclaimed her love for you early. Did that spook you?
No, not really. I know AshLee is a passionate person, and that translates into being very emotional. She admitted early on that she has a hard time trusting guys because she has abandonment issues. So she let me take control, and it was comforting to know that we’d already reached that level.

Is the drama over?
There is so much more drama left. I wouldn’t consider myself a very emotional person. Outside of AshLee telling me the story of meeting her father for the first time, I couldn’t tell you the last time I cried before that. But before the next episode’s rose ceremony, I remember putting my suit on, getting ready to face the day and I broke down. I realized the magnitude of the day. It hit me all at once.

Are you looking forward to the reunion special and facing all your castoffs?
For the most part, I am anxious and eager to see the girls. I have such great memories of all of them.

What is your final take on Tierra and all the hate flowing her direction?
I do feel bad for Tierra. She is clearly not an evil person. She was always sweet around me. Granted, she handled herself so poorly and was completely different around the women. She shouldn’t have done this show.

If you can’t get along with your peers, this is going to be hell for you. But she doesn’t deserve a lot of the stuff I’ve read being said about her. It’s just hateful. Although her eyebrows are getting some love. Their blog has like 25,000 followers.

And she’s now engaged.
So I heard.

How does it feel that speculation over what happened behind closed doors on the overnights is a huge topic of conversation?
It’s annoying and tiring. I don’t like dealing with those headlines and that gossip because frankly it’s none of their business. And two, out of all things you can focus on, there’s so much more to talk about.

Well, maybe people like to picture you naked.
I don’t know why.