August 06, 2018 11:42 PM

He was set to get down on one knee and propose to Becca Kufrin on the season finale of The Bachelorette, but instead, Blake Horstmann was left brokenhearted when she chose Garrett Yrigoyen instead.

“It was a big blindside,” Horstmann, 28 tells PEOPLE exclusively. “I truly thought that if it came down to me proposing, that she wouldn’t say no. I thought what we had was real.”

ABC

After leaving the show, Horstmann admits it was “incredibly hard” to get over the heartbreak. “It made for some really hard days, but I had a great support system,” he says. “My family was amazing. We talked through a lot of things and they were there for me.”

Now, Horstmann says he’s finally getting over his former love. Seeing Kufrin at After the Final Rose taping, “I was able to get a little bit of closure,” he says.

Blake on The Bachelorette

Adds Horstmann: “She’s an engaged woman and I want to respect that,” he says. “And she’s very happy and I’m grateful for that. There’s no point in focusing on it when there is no future there.”

RELATED VIDEO: The Bachelorette’s Becca Kufrin is Engaged: “It Was the Happiest Moment of My Life!”

As far as dating, Horstmann says he’s still open to finding The One. “The experience didn’t scare me off the idea of finding love,” he says. “If anything, I know just how capable of finding love I am.”

And yes, he would be open to (maybe) another go round looking for love on reality TV.

“It would be the hardest thing I’d do,” says Horstmann of a potential role as the next Bachelor. “But I know this can work and if the opportunity presented itself, it would be something I would consider!”

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