I'd developed really strong feelings for the final six women on The Bachelor – and I could hardly wait to take them to St. Croix. Our previous week in Canada was great! My heart and head were back on track, and I felt as though the women put their focus back on me. And because of that, each of my relationships grew stronger.
But it was time to leave the cold weather behind and move on to some sandy beaches. This was a huge week for all of us because I would have to decide whose family I was ready to meet.
I had three one-on-one dates and one group date in St. Croix. I decided to give the one-on-one dates to women I had questions for – and the group date went to the women whose hometowns I was ready to visit.
My first date was with AshLee, who was a front-runner in my mind since we visited the theme park back in Los Angeles. She is sweet, loving and compassionate, and I knew she truly wanted to give her heart over to me. But I was still left with doubts about our relationship because I didn't seem to have as much fun with her as I did with the other women.
Given her traumatic childhood, it's understandable why AshLee has control issues. But I think that was preventing her from really letting go and allowing herself to have fun. I really want a partner that I can laugh uncontrollably with and someone who can make even mundane tasks feel exciting. I hoped AshLee had that quality in her, or that I brought it out in her, and I was ready to find out.
After taking the catamaran to the island, AshLee decided to take one for the team and tell me everything I needed to know about Tierra. Until that point, I had only heard the women say they didn't like Tierra, but they never gave specific reasons. It was actually a huge relief to hear all that AshLee had to say. It took a lot of courage for her to bring it up.
That evening, we ended our date with an oceanside dinner where she screamed her love for me while standing on a chair. For the first time, I felt like AshLee was finally letting go and stepping out of her comfort zone for me. I left that date thinking once again that AshLee might be the woman for me.
Connecting with TierraNext was my long-awaited date with Tierra. I had a lot of fun with her that day walking around the streets of St. Croix, but I couldn't shake what AshLee had told me. That night, as we had a romantic dinner in an old sugar mill, I tried to really figure out what my feelings were for Tierra, and if I could see a future for us.
I was nervous that if I ended up with Tierra, drama would follow her into our everyday lives. But when she told me she was falling in love with me, I softened a bit. She was always kind when she was with me, and I wanted to believe that the drama was circumstantial and that once she wasn't around a bunch of girls dating the same guy, she would be drama-free. I still ended the evening with questions, but remembering that my connection with Tierra was strong.
Group DateThe following day was the group date with Des, Lindsay and Catherine. I didn't have a lot of questions for these three women. They all have one thing in common: I always have fun with them. Since the beginning I've said that I want to marry my best friend, and they definitely fit that criterion.
We spent the day traveling and touring the island in a Jeep. At the end of the day, I really didn't know who I would give the rose to because they were all so deserving. But I decided to give it to Lindsay because she was so supportive, patient and encouraging throughout this entire journey.
My last date of the week was with Lesley. She was another person who fit the best-friend criteria, but I needed to see more from her. Lesley had a wall up and I always felt like she couldn't be completely vulnerable with me.
Our date was fun, but I needed more than fun. I desperately wanted to see her open up emotionally and allow me to see her true feelings, but that never happened. I was shocked to hear her say on TV that she loved me, and I was left confused as to why she didn't tell me that during our date. Had she told me, it could have changed everything.
Sisterly AdviceI flew my sister, Shay, to St. Croix for her birthday. She loves the show (she signed me up for The Bachelorette!), and I thought it would be a cool present for her. She is also a great judge of character and she knows me better than anyone else.
My sister's advice before I left Dallas for L.A. was to avoid the girl whom drama surrounded. After hearing everything that AshLee had to say about Tierra, I thought it would be a good idea to have my sister sit down and visit with Tierra so I could get her opinion.
I had no idea what I was walking into upon entering the women's suite. I was not aware of the big blowout AshLee and Tierra just had. I found Tierra crying on her bed with her head in her hands. I had already figured by this point that Tierra was not the woman I was going to marry, so when I saw how distraught she was, I knew I had to end it right then and there.
I still believe Tierra has more good in her than people see, but I also recognize that she doesn't have the maturity or social skills necessary to make it on The Bachelor.
When it came time to send someone home at the rose ceremony, I felt confident in my decision. As much as I enjoyed spending time with Lesley, I knew I had to send her home because she never allowed herself to open up emotionally.
I was sad to see Lesley leave, but I felt so confident in my final four. Knowing hometown dates were right around the corner, I was incredibly excited. I loved bringing Emily home to meet my family, and it changed everything for me, so I had really high hopes for the coming week. On to hometowns!
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