I had caught a bit of a cold in Utah the week prior (so please forgive my nasally voice on Monday's entire episode), but I was feeling good about where my relationships were, and knew this week would hopefully bring more romance and feelings.
I had never been to the Caribbean before and was really excited for some sunshine and water related dates with the 11 remaining women. I was also really hoping that the drama from Utah would have subsided by now, but boy was I wrong.
Watching the episode I was so flattered to see how excited Nicki got when her name was on the date card. It feels really good to know that she seems as genuinely invested in our relationship as I am.
I chose Nicki for my first date in Puerto Rico because I really was starting to like her and considered her somewhat of a dark horse. She would constantly surprise me during our conversations and especially when watching her interact with the other women. She always seemed to have a positive attitude regardless of the situation at hand.
When the rain started to come down harder than I have ever experienced before, I was hoping Nicki could roll with the punches, and she did. It was hysterical! We were getting lost running through the streets, stomping through puddles, and she never worried about her makeup. My kind of woman.
And our new garb was so rad I could hardly contain myself. I had a bunch of cigars in my pocket to really finish off the look, but unfortunately wasn't able to smoke any.
Later that evening, the conversation was pretty heavy, and I was happy Nicki felt comfortable enough to really open up to me. We talked about her divorce, what being married was like. To be honest, I wasn't spooked at all. I never looked at her divorce as a negative, rather a life experience and a lesson to grow from. Nicki is still very young and I wanted to let her know that I was here for her and didn't hold her past against her.
I love her outlook on what she wants her next union to be, and I know that if we end up together, she is going into it with a clear concept of what it takes to have a successful marriage. Oh, by the way, Nicki is a great kisser.
Take Me OutMoving on to the Gigantes! Baseball is a huge part of my life, especially the San Francisco Giants, and I thought it would be a good idea to see if any of these girls were interested in sports. Little did I know I was going to be a part of a nail-biting game full of tears, hits and lots of smack-talking. The teams were so evenly matched I couldn't have picked better squads myself.
I am very flattered if even a percentage of how hard these women competed was to spend the evening with me. I felt really bad for Jennifer who struck out at the end because she had played so well all day. I know how bad the feeling of defeat can be. All of you ladies were amazing on the field! Seriously, The Bachelor should start a softball team.
I really tried to keep an open mind on my date with Elyse. I think she is a beautiful woman and I love that she risked a lot for the chance of finding love. I respect that type of commitment, but I also had to listen to my heart. I wish I had explained myself better to her on the beach. I feel Elyse is looking for a husband, but not necessarily me as that husband.
It's hard enough as the Bachelor to know what a woman's true intention is, and to hear her talk about "not wanting to be single" made me doubt if I'm really what she's looking for. I think she is more in love with the idea of being in love and I knew we weren't headed to that place and I didn't want to lead her on. Elyse is a great woman, and I really want her to find a guy that is right for her.
Skinny-DippingI won't spend a ton of time on the skinny-dipping, because I feel like I've talked about it so much in the press! What I will say is that I try to focus on all these relationships singularly. It's odd to date more than one woman and in order to do so, you have to try to treat each one individually. If I were in Puerto Rico with a beautiful woman I was dating and she wanted to skinny dip, I would be a fool to decline. I treated this situation the same way.
I will admit that at the time I wasn't thinking of the other women and how it would make them feel, and I'm sorry for that, but I can't blame Courtney for going out of her way to spend more time with me – that's why we are all here.
Saying goodbye to Jennifer at the rose ceremony was excruciating. We had such a fantastic date in Park City, but as my relationships with the other women were taking off, I knew in my heart that I wasn't going to end up with her.
More than anyone else here, I didn't want Jennifer to invest any more of her feelings in me. She is so incredibly kind, and wears her heart on her sleeve, that I didn't want to risk her investing any more emotion in our relationship when I knew it wouldn't be forever. I will always remember Jennifer and the sweet time we shared together.
What a week. Emotions are running high and they only grow more intense in Panama City, Panama. Thanks for tuning in and going on this journey with me.
Can't get enough of The Bachelor? Check out Chris Harrison's blog on EW.com