"I believed Hannah Ann was my person, but I never lost all those feelings for Madi," Peter Weber tells PEOPLE exclusively

By Aili Nahas
March 11, 2020 03:43 PM
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When it comes to her broken engagement, Hannah Ann Sluss made it clear on Tuesday’s episode of The Bachelor that she doesn’t believe Peter Weber should have proposed in the first place.

But Weber, speaking exclusively to PEOPLE, insists that he had faith his relationship with Sluss would work.

“I loved Hannah Ann, and I wouldn’t have proposed to her if I didn’t,” says the pilot, 28. “Just because I couldn’t give my full heart to her doesn’t mean my feelings weren’t real.”

After Madison Prewett left the show on the finale,Weber “was thrown into a tailspin,” he says. “And I couldn’t take the normal path of processing it and grieving it. I had to think about possibly proposing to a completely different person.”

ABC/John Fleenor

A talk with Chris Harrison convinced Weber “that it’s near impossible to feel 100% confident about anything,” he says. “I had to give myself grace. And I thought I would eventually get over the heartbreak and get over Madi. I didn’t want to regret saying [goodbye] to an amazing relationship with Hannah Ann because I was hurting in that moment.”

Madison Prewett and Peter Weber
ABC/John Fleenor

Post-filming, Weber says that he and Sluss shared “three or four” so-called happy couple weekends, but he was still struggling.

“I believed Hannah Ann was my person, but I never lost all those feelings for Madi,” he says. “I thought it was normal and I gave myself time but as the weeks progressed, I just noticed I wasn’t getting to where I wanted to get. And I realized it wasn’t fair at all for me to stay in the relationship.”

Weber admits, “I made mistakes. But I’m human. I know I’ve hurt people, and that hurts me. But I was following my heart.”

Now, as he faces an uncertain future with Prewett, “I’m still trying to get over the [decision to call off his engagement to Hannah Ann]. It still hurts me to think about that. And there’s no way to feel good about hurting someone who gave me everything I ever asked for.”

Ultimately, “I don’t have a crystal ball and I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Weber says. “But I’ve always been true to myself.”