"I slipped her my number," Connor Brennan told PEOPLE after the surprise kiss

Advertisement

Bachelorette contestant Connor Brennan may not have found his match in lead Katie Thurston, but his experience on the show could still end in a love connection.

Brennan opened up to PEOPLE about his unexpected kiss with an audience member during Monday's Men Tell All special, saying he hopes to take the woman on a real date.

Thurston memorably eliminated Brennan, 29, from the competition after she said she failed to feel a "spark" when they kissed. While discussing his kissing skills on Men Tell All, a female audience member — Tara Kelly —stood up to rave about Brennan and boldly asked to put his kissing skills to the test. After she approached him on stage, the pair shared a steamy kiss and Brennan "slipped" her his phone number before parting ways.

"I hope she texts me, fingers crossed," he told PEOPLE of Kelly, whom he now follows on Instagram. "Yeah, I would love to take her on a date, absolutely."

And Brennan said the moment felt almost too good to be true, as he had his eye on Kelly from the start of the night.

"Earlier in the night, I looked up [and] I was like, 'Damn, that girl's cute.' She caught my eye. She's, like, right in my line of sight," he said. "I looked over, I was like, 'She's so cute.' And then, all of a sudden she's on stage kissing me, you know!"

Connor B. Bachelorette
Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC

But Brennan admitted that he was "very flustered before, during and after" the onscreen smooch.

"I thought I was going to get roasted for my kissing, because it was so egregious, and there's been so many tweets about it," he recalled. "So I thought maybe they'd read some mean tweets, or something like that, or give me s--- about it."

Will you accept this rose? Sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly Bachelor Nation newsletter to get the latest news on The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and everything in between.

"And then, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, this, you know, gorgeous woman says, like — I don't even remember what she said, because I was so, like, 'Oh, my God. What's about to happen?' She walked up on stage, and suddenly we're kissing. It was incredible."

And despite the highs and lows the season brought him, Brennan said the experience taught him a lot about himself — lessons he hopes to take with him as his journey to finding love continues on Bachelor in Paradise's seventh season next month.

Connor B. Bachelorette
Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC

"I learned so much about myself, and I walked in with a lot of insecurity and vulnerability. I learned that I don't really need to have that," said Brennan. "That was one of the coolest things about the way Katie built me up and the way the guys [in the house] built me up is that they see me as this incredible person in a way that I don't see myself as an incredible person. So that was just really, really cool to see how people perceive me and how they build me up like that."

Brennan said he also learned a lot about what he needs in a relationship moving forward.

"Dating such an incredibly strong woman like Katie, who's so good with her words and with telling people what she sees in them, that 'words of affirmation' thing, I learned that that's my love language," he explains. "I didn't necessarily know that before this year."

The Bachelorette airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC and Bachelor in Paradise premieres Aug. 16 (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.