Emily Maynard and Arie Luyendyk Jr.
Craig Sjodin/ABC (2)
I swear I was anxious thinking about fantasy-suite dates even before agreeing to be on The Bachelorette
. On the one hand, it's great because you get that extra time to talk with the final three guys
away from the cameras.
But on the flip side I know what "fantasy" is implying, and I'm not totally comfortable with that. I also feel like my relationships have been so honest and real that there was really nothing they could have told me overnight that would've changed my mind.
I started my week with Sean and, as excited as I was, I wasn't really sure how he was feeling. He's been open about his past, but not as much about his feelings
for me. Because I'm feeling so much, that really scared me. The fact that he was with someone for three years, but still dodged the marriage conversation, made me worry.
I always felt like there was a wall between us. However, at dinner Sean's letter to Ricki blew my mind. I had no idea he was feeling all of those things and in that moment I really did want those things with Sean, too. I left my date feeling like all my questions had been answered and that he very well could've been my husband one day.
After an amazing hometown date
, I was really looking forward to seeing Jef, but I was also nervous about how his family felt about me. Knowing that I got their approval took a huge weight off my shoulders. Being on the paddleboard with Jef was the most peaceful I'd felt in a long time and I could've sat there forever, but I'm pretty sure he would've gotten tired!
I went into dinner with some questions but he had some questions, too. I loved that Jef had thought about those things because it showed me that his heart was in the right place. He really wanted to meet Ricki, but I wasn't 100 percent sure about involving her yet, even though in order to really know me you have to know her. When I offered Jef the overnight card it just confirmed everything I already knew about him.
The fact that I got to go on a date with Arie and swim with dolphins made me so happy! But I'm scared of almost everything – and a terrible swimmer. He was so sweet and compared it to a big cat, which just proved how much he gets me. Looking back at the time I've spent with Arie, I can't remember any cameras. It always felt like it was just the two of us because we were so wrapped up in each other.
As confident as I was about my feelings, I still didn't know what my life would be like in Scottsdale, Ariz., so I had a lot of questions for him. We communicate so well – it makes me feel like we've known each other for much longer. His thoughts on growing a relationship with Ricki made me confident that Arie gets kids. I know Ricki would love him.
As much as I would've loved to spend more time with Arie, it was best to call it a night. Like I said before, I'm so confident in my relationships that I knew a couple of hours off camera wasn't going to change anything.
I say it every week, but this was definitely
the hardest rose ceremony yet. I went back and forth so many times, but I reminded myself that I couldn't make a mistake as long as I prayed about it and followed my heart. I sat in the chair after my talk with Chris and cried for what seemed like an eternity. Everything about Sean made me want to be with him in the end. I wish I could pinpoint even one thing that would justify sending him home, but I still can't.
The hardest part was knowing he felt so confident and didn't see it coming. He had no reason to, though, because I felt just as confident after our date. I still wonder if Sean and I had had more time, if things would've been different. But no matter what, he will always be someone that made a huge impression on me and I'll always count him as a friend.
Don't forget to watch me in the hot seat next week on the Men Tell All
special. Yikes! Wish me luck!