Before the Bachelorette faces must say a few "brutal" goodbyes, she gets an unexpected "I love you"

By JoJo Fletcher
Updated June 21, 2016 10:00 AM
Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC/Getty

After JoJo Fletcher won viewers’ hearts as a fan favorite on Ben Higgins‘ season of

The Bachelor, she’s now on her own journey to love onThe Bachelorette. She is blogging exclusively about each and every rose ceremony for PEOPLE – check back each week and follow her on Twitter at @Joellefletcher!

So much to discuss. Let’s start at the beginning.

I had no idea that while I was spending time with Alex, Chad was trekking through the woods just so he could confront the guys yet again. I’m glad I wasn’t there. I’d had enough. But as much trouble as Chad caused for me and the other guys, I really do wish him nothing but the best. Hopefully he finds his own little paradise somewhere. Wink wink!

Oh, and seeing those guys welcome home Alex the way he did just made me feel so good about the decision I’d made to hand Alex that rose. Alex is so passionate and sweet. He also had no trouble standing up to Chad. Maybe that’s subconsciously why I put the two of them together on that two-on-one date – because I knew Alex was one of the only guys who could be himself around a guy like Chad.

With Chad gone, the cocktail party was a chance for me to really just get back to focusing on my feelings for these incredible men. Chase was so cute bringing out those knockerballs! He’s adorable. I wonder if anyone else has ever kissed inside one of those!

As for that kiss with Robby, I wish the other guys hadn’t seen that. I try so hard to keep each relationship private, but sometimes I make mistakes and guys see things they shouldn’t see. Maybe that’s why I loved that kiss from Jordan so much. I knew no one else could see us, even if they were close by. It was pretty darn hot.

That rose ceremony was no fun. Daniel is a real character and always made me laugh, but I think he knew that there was never going to be a romantic connection with us. James F. is passionate and kind, and he sure has the best voice. But again, I just knew it wasn’t ever going to get there with us. Both good guys.

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Heading out of the country was just what I needed. I’d never been to South America, so I couldn’t have been more excited. Did you see that massive sculpture of the hand sticking out of the sand? Is that cool or what?!

I was really looking forward to seeing Jordan. He and I had an instant connection that first night when he stepped out of the limo, but I was so ready to try and move beyond that. And I know the water was a little murky, but just seeing those seals swim around so close to us was amazing. They are so big (and. yes, a little stinky!) but so graceful. If you haven’t had the chance to swim with seals and you have the opportunity, give it a go!

That night, I knew I needed to have a serious talk with Jordan. It was hard bringing those issues up with him, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to move forward without having that conversation. I could tell he was surprised, and there was a moment there when I was worried that he was about to shut down. But he didn’t. Hearing him open up and tell me that he was immature and maybe not the best person in past relationships meant a lot. He didn’t try to place blame on anyone other than himself. I respected that. And it made me realize that the connection between us was more than just physical.

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What was one of the best days in this entire journey quickly became one of the worst. Seeing that my ex-boyfriend, Chad, had said all these things about me to a magazine upset me so much. And by the way, what is it with all these Chads? Help!

The moment I read that magazine article, I could barely breath. Chad and I dated for years, and we shared so many good times. We will always have so many memories together. But we broke up. And that break up was hard on both of us. I fought so hard to let go, and it wasn’t until I met Ben last season that I was truly able to do that. But as you saw when I returned home to Dallas last season for my hometown date, Chad couldn’t let go.

It was no different when I came home after the season. He was hurting, and it pained me for him to be in so much pain. I did spend time with him, but it was never with any intention of rekindling a romantic relationship. When I left for The Bachelorette, I thought we were in a good place. I thought we were back to being just friends. But seeing that article, reading that he questioned my intentions for doing this, it just hurt me so much.

Heading up to the guys, I had no idea what to expect. I really thought it might all end right there. What if the guys believed everything that was in there? What if they all just left? That’s really what I was thinking in that moment. But the guys were incredible. Their support was instantaneous, and I’ll always be forever grateful to them as a group for that night. Without their support and their love, I might have just given up, packed all my stuff and headed back to Dallas for a lifetime of Chipotle and loneliness. But they were great. Thank you, guys!

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I was all about just having a great time the next day. I wanted to do something with the guys where we could all just have fun. And we did have fun! Man were those guys good at surfing down those dunes. Within moments, however, the rain just started pouring down. It was insane!

Back at the hotel, it was great just talking to my men. Luke, come on. He is a M-A-N. Can you women out there see what I’m seeing in him? I hope so! But at end of the night, I handed the rose to Derek because I really did feel like he needed some reassurance. It had been so long since our one-on-one date, and I didn’t want him thinking I had forgotten about him because I hadn’t.

My date with Robby! And with a random dog who stole my heart! Yes, I’m crazy for dogs. That dog and I played together for about half an hour before Robby showed up. I wanted to take him home with me, but he actually seemed quite happy just hanging on the beach there. And Robby, if I smelled like dog that day, thank you for not saying anything! Robby really is a great balance of playful and flirty and sensitive. And how about that body? Uh, perfection. Did I plan this date just to see Robby strip down and jump in the water with me? Hmmmm.

That night, when Robby opened up about his friend passing away, it touched me. Life really is short. And unpredictable. Let’s all remember that.

When Robby told me loved me, I was stunned. I knew he had strong feelings for me, but I had no idea he was in love with me. It felt so good hearing those words, especially from someone like Robby who is so honest and sincere. Those are strong words – and ones I don’t take lightly. Kissing Robby on the beach that night, knowing he loved me, just made me believe that all of this was going to work for me.

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The drama with Derek looked pretty intense. I wasn’t there for it, but I was uncomfortable just watching it. As for me, I knew what I wanted to do and a cocktail party wasn’t going to change my mind. It was better to not just waste anyone’s time. But it was brutal saying goodbye to those three men. Grant, Vinny, Evan, I will miss you all. Grant, you’re one sexy firefighter. Vinny, sweet Vinny, you always made me laugh. Evan, well, I really hope you get a new shirt from Chad!

So what happens next? Love. Emotion. Drama. Heartbreak. Yeah, it’s crazy. Stick with me. You won’t believe some of the things that happen. And thanks for reading.


The Bachelorette returns Monday, (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.