Ben Flajnik: Why I Kept Rachel But Not Samantha on The Bachelor
01/24/2012 AT 08:00 AM EST
I've heard from friends of mine that we needed to get back to The Bachelor days of old, which includes lots of helicopter dates. So, to my friends ... mission accomplished! Now lets discuss the incredible women I am lucky enough to be on this journey with.
I really wanted my date with Rachel to go well. The first night I met her in L.A., we clicked. Seeing her step out of the limo in her red dress I thought to myself, "Wow, this girl is gorgeous," but after chatting with her inside I realized she was more than just a pretty woman. Rachel always stands out on the group dates (I asked her to accept the group date rose last week!), so I was really hoping we would have amazing chemistry on this date as well.
Unfortunately that wasn't the case. While it fortunately didn't feel as awkward in the moment, it definitely looked awkward. Even given the majestic surroundings of Park City, and one of the most beautiful lakes I have ever seen, we couldn't help some of the silent moments we encountered together on our first one-on-one date. Sometimes first dates don't go as smoothly as you would hope.
We did talk about her family a lot that day though, and I felt like I had a good sense of who she was as a person. Rachel is a sweet woman with the best of intentions and I reminded myself that sometimes it takes more than a "moment" to get to know someone, so I was happy Rachel accepted the rose so we can give our relationship more time.
The group date was hands down my favorite group date of the entire season. My Dad and Grandpa were both huge fisherman and I really channeled a lot of my childhood in that day. It was great to share that with some of the women, and I think it brought us closer. I felt like they got to see a different side of me, and I loved seeing all these gorgeous women so excited to put on waders and fly fish!
One thing I was completely oblivious to was Courtney causing such a stir with the other women. I thought that she was just making the most of her moments with me.
It's really hard to not let your mind get caught up in "Do I really know that this person is being sincere?" so I tried to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I tried not to go into this experience with the fear that I was getting played, but I will say that if I let myself go there, it's a common fear in any relationship. Am I seeing the real side to this person?
I will say that I appreciated the women who took a risk to come out of their shell and spend more time with me on group dates and not sit back and let other women take charge. I felt like I furthered a number of relationships that day.
Can't get enough of The Bachelor? Check out Chris Harrison's blog on EW.com.
Later in the evening, my decision to send Samantha home was something I had thought about earlier that day. It had been brought to my attention by some of the other women that she wasn't there for the right reasons and it really came through in our talk that night.
It's enough to deal with the fears of falling for someone that won't love you back, but to put energy into a new relationship when neither person sees it going anywhere is never worth it. I wasn't willing to lose valuable time with the other women that I do have strong feelings for.
My date with Jennifer was another date I was really looking forward to for a while. After all, she did get my vote for "best kisser" and I was hoping she would love the date I had planned for her.
I had no idea she was scared of heights and she tried her best not to show too much fear. But when we were in the crater and suspended above the water, I could feel how tightly Jennifer was holding on. I realized then that she is the type of woman that trusts her partner and that she will take risks and push herself in a relationship in order to build trust and love. It was a really cool moment that we shared and what I thought would be a great place to have another kiss. Unfortunately the water was so deep that I could barely kiss her and stay afloat!
Jennifer had mentioned in a previous conversation that she loved country music, so I saved the Clay Walker concert just for her. He put on an amazing show and it was one of the great moments in my experience as the Bachelor. We really had a blast that night and it was a date that I will never forget.
The cocktail party was a big turning point for me. My feelings for the women really started to escalate in Utah and I was excited to see where my relationships would go from here. While I was feeling all these positive thoughts, little did I know there was a big blowout between Emily and Courtney happening, which again makes me wonder what was I not really seeing in some of the women.
It's really hard to navigate this process, especially when I don't see what is going on between the ladies when I'm not in the room. But even though there was drama amongst the women, I decided to rely on my own intuitions and make up my mind for myself.
Whether or not this was the right decision, I don't know, it still remains to be seen.
That's all for Utah, I can't wait to show you our next stop!