Going into the first night as The Bachelor, I was filled with an excitement that I can't quite put into words. I was so anxious to meet the women and I had so many questions that needed answering. Would I feel a connection with anyone? Am I going to meet my future wife tonight? Can I really carry on 25 different conversations with 25 different women? Am I going to make it out alive?
Those questions, concerns and fears were all put to rest very quickly. The women amazed me. They seemed sweet, funny and gorgeous! Any nerves I had going into the first night were calmed by the unusual and very funny antics of a few women.
I felt so bad for Robyn when she attempted that back handspring and landed on her head. But I must admit, it was a great icebreaker and it definitely made a big impression on me. I love a girl who doesn't take herself too seriously. And Lesley definitely scored points with me when she pulled the football prank on me. It was fun, creative and most importantly, it made me want to spend more time with her.
But the woman who made the biggest entrance of the night had to be Lindsay. The girl showed up in a wedding dress! My first thought was that she was crazy, but I quickly learned that it was just her quirky sense of humor and she wasn't afraid to put herself out there. Lindsay was someone I wouldn't forget.
The woman who made the biggest impression on me was Tierra. I can't explain it but I just felt an immediate connection with Tierra. Her piercing eyes and beautiful smile stopped me in my tracks and I knew right then and there that I wanted to give her a rose. I didn't stop to think that by giving her a rose so quickly I might be putting a target on her back, but I'm glad I made that decision because I knew I wanted to spend more time with Tierra.
Kacie's BackAfter meeting the 25 women, I was ready to get inside and start talking with them but of course Chris Harrison had a surprise for me: there was a 26th woman and it was none other than Kacie from Ben Flajnik's season of The Bachelor.
I was shocked to see her step out of the limo because I was already friends with her. We met at a charity function a few months prior and I was able to spend a good amount of time with her. I thought she was really sweet and fun, but I never looked at her in a romantic light and I had no idea she had developed a crush on me. I knew it would be a transition for me viewing Kacie as someone who is more than a friend, but I was certainly willing to try because I respect her as a person so much.
After meeting the 26 women, I was finally able to go inside and hang out with them all. I've never been so overwhelmed in my life! I only had one message I wanted to convey to them: be yourself and have fun. It was important to me that they hear that because I often felt like I wasn't my normal loose self around Emily, and I've always regretted that she didn't fully get to see that side of me.
Once I was over the initial shock of the room full of beautiful women, I was able to sit down and start talking to them on an individual basis. I was blown away by not only how attractive the women were but how intelligent and accomplished so many of them were. I've always said that there is nothing sexier than a woman's intellect – and I was certainly not disappointed by this group.
I will say that moving from woman to woman and keeping up with each conversation was exhausting. I wanted to be attentive to everyone so I was really focusing on each woman but it wore me out! There came a point during the evening when I had to get away for a few minutes by myself to eat and decompress.
Too Few RosesI made the decision to hand out roses during the cocktail party because I felt like being in the moment. Each rose I handed out was just a way of my telling that woman that I liked her and wanted to get to know her more. I found myself handing out roses left and right and thought it would make the ceremony easier. But then when it came time, there were so few roses left and so many great women that it was just as hard!
Overall, I had an amazing first night and I am so excited to start this crazy new journey with all of you. I don't think I realized right away, though, just how crazy the journey would be! I hope you will watch next Monday, too – as each week went by it became harder and harder to figure out just who was the perfect girl for me. They came in so many different packages – some that I never would have imagined myself meeting and falling for.
Wait until you see who I go on dates with next week. Some of my choices were obvious – like Sarah, the bravest Bachelorette, who despite her life's obstacles was willing to jump off a building with me – and some were less obvious, like my photo session with a group of vampires, and figuring out who could handle a really bold prank.
Thanks for watching – and reading!