During this experience I was at times suspicious of some of the guys' motives, but I knew I couldn't live my life being paranoid so I just had to trust them.
I remember being at Dollywood with Arie and saying how I felt so close to him without having the "awkward ex-girlfriend talk" yet. I could tell the word "ex-girlfriend" made him nervous and I think from that moment on I had a feeling I was missing something.
Before we started filming I had been told that there may be one contestant on the show this season who had dated Cassie, and I was asked if I would mind. Once I knew it was almost a decade ago, and knowing that Cassie is engaged to another one of my favorite producers, Pete, I was fine with it.
I put it way out of my head as I was gearing up to meet the men, so when Cassie took it upon herself halfway through the season to tell me who the guy was, I was definitely surprised.
We had all been together so many times and it was never mentioned that they had ever met before and that's where my feelings of mistrust came in. If you knew Cassie the way I do, you would know what a great person she is, and that I'd be lucky to have a chance with one of her exes!
Although I wish I would have known the specifics earlier, I understand the show didn't want to color my opinion of him. But I was concerned that Arie hadn't told me. I kept feeling like I should just come out and ask him about their relationship, but I didn't because I'm looking for someone that would just be straightforward with me. It was such a relief to finally have it all out there, and as you can see, we picked up right where we had left off.
Hearing 'I Love You'During dinner, I was so caught off guard when he told me he loves me because it was still so early – not to mention the stressful day we had just had – but it was absolutely everything I had hoped for since my very first date with him.
Arie and I can have disagreements, but we always bounce back and are even stronger than we were to begin with. Whether it was our bump in the road in London, or this mess in Prague, we always communicate really well. To me that's the most important part of a relationship.
Up until this point, John and I had only been on a two-on-one date, which ranks pretty high on the "most awkward moments of my life" list. He had always had a guard up with me, but I knew there was a softer side to him, especially after the cocktail party in Croatia.
Even though we had fun together during the daytime part of the date, I still didn't feel like I knew him any better, so I was really happy when he opened up to me at dinner. I can only imagine the heartbreak he went through with his ex-girlfriend. Based on that conversation I know he will make a wonderful, loyal husband one day.
Unfortunately, I think our relationship needed more time and that's the one luxury we just don't have. Maybe the lock that wouldn't lock really was a sign of what was to come!
As I was walking back to the hotel, I heard someone calling my name to turn around and that's when I saw Sean. What a great surprise! I felt so bad for putting him on the group date and was so happy to have the chance to let him know it was only because I felt so confident in what we had. My face really did hurt from smiling so much!
Most Awkward MomentNow let's talk about the painfully awkward group date: Poor Doug got about a thousand hints to make a move, but he didn't pick up on it until I was breaking up with him. Could there have been a worse time to try and kiss me? I literally had to watch on TV with my hands over my face because I was mortified for the both of us. Was "thank you for that" really the best I could come up with in that moment? Seriously?!
Ever since I gave him the first-impression rose I felt like I spent more time begging Doug to open up to me, rather than actually getting to know him. And after Arie told me he loved me, it made me realize how different so many of my relationships were. As a mother, I didn't feel right involving his son knowing how serious we should be at this point and we obviously weren't there.
After giving Sean the rose I definitely saw a side of Chris that I thought only existed on Toddlers and Tiaras. I get that his feelings were hurt, but I wish he would have been a little more mature about it. I'm just so happy that this was the last group date I'll ever have to go on for the rest of my life!
When I found out I'd be going on a date to a marionette shop I knew I wanted to bring Jef because he can make me laugh. This date had the potential to be crazy uncomfortable! I laughed so hard as Jef reenacted some highlights from our relationship and also put them in positions no puppets should ever be in. While we were laying on the floor of the library, we had one of the most honest conversations I'd had during this experience. We talked about kids, faith and everything in between, and it really felt like we were the only two people on the planet! Even though Jef's last words to me weren't exactly what every girl dreams of hearing, it was the perfect ending.
I went into the rose ceremony knowing I didn't need to have a cocktail party. When Chris asked me if he could speak to me in the middle of handing out roses, I could see on his face something was wrong. I loved that Chris was mature enough to admit his mistakes, take charge and do everything possible to make it better. I know we all have moments that we're not proud of, but the only thing that really matters is how you make up for it and Chris went above and beyond.
I've had the best time traveling abroad with all of the guys, but I'm so excited to finally get to visit hometowns next week!