I can't believe I'm finally sharing my final week in Thailand with all of you. It's been such an incredible – and as you saw in the last episode, emotional – journey as the star of The Bachelor.
Entering this last week with Lindsay and Catherine, I knew I would soon be faced with one of the most difficult decisions of my life. I was falling in love with two women and I truly didn't know what I was going to do.
I was so happy to know that both Lindsay and Catherine would soon be meeting my family – and I was really hopeful that my family would provide me the clarity I desperately needed.
Greeting my family in Thailand was such a great feeling. It had been almost three months since last seeing them and I was anxious to introduce them to the women.
Catherine was first to meet my family and, as I suspected, my family quickly fell in love with her. I'm constantly reminded of how blessed I am, and watching my dad's conversation with Catherine on TV was one of those reminders. Knowing about Catherine's relationship with her father, it choked me up to hear my dad tell her he would embrace her and love her as his own daughter.
Everyone knows that I value family, and it's moments like that make it easy to understand why. I knew when Catherine left that day that there was no doubt she would make a great addition to the family.
It wasn't until my family met Lindsay, though, that they truly understood the dilemma I was facing. They instantly fell in love with her, too. Lindsay's energy and sweet nature won them over. And my family's love and laughter made it clear to Lindsay that she wanted to join our family as well.
The part of the day that broke my heart was when my mom started to cry. She is the most loving mom in the world and she only wants the best for her son. The gravity of the situation and the decision that was looming over me was stressing her out because, like any good mother, she didn't want me to feel pressured to make a decision I'd later regret.
I did my best to calm her fears and I told her I wouldn't propose to either woman if I didn't feel absolutely certain I was going to spend the rest of my life with her.
In the end, my family didn't provide me with the clarity I was looking for, but I knew I had their support no matter what happened, and that was just as valuable to me.
Final DatesThe next day Lindsay and I spent the entire day together. We drifted down the Mekong River on a Thai boat, and we finished the evening with a romantic dinner in her suite before releasing paper lanterns into the night sky. It was a magical moment, and I left knowing I loved Lindsay.
I loved her strength, I loved her heart, I loved her compassion and I loved being around her. But I still wasn't sure she would be my wife one day. I knew I had another date with Catherine and that I was still torn.
I was so excited to surprise Catherine with the elephant ride because she had told me that was on her bucket list. We really enjoyed the day together. Taking in the beautiful Thai landscape while on an elephant ride was one of the most amazing things I've ever done. But it was the person I was with that truly made the day so special.
We finished our day together by simply hanging out in Catherine's room.
It was during this time that I started to understand my feelings for the two women. Yes, I loved Lindsay, but I was in love with Catherine. I knew that I never wanted to say goodbye to Catherine and I wanted to spend the rest of my life loving her.
Time had finally run out, and I was starting to really feel the weight of the decision that I needed to make. I had allowed myself to fall for two women, to fully develop two loving relationships – and now I had to choose between them.
Final Rose CeremonyOn my final day in Thailand, I was overcome with emotion. Waking up, I knew in my heart that I wanted to spend forever with Catherine, which meant that I had to say goodbye to Lindsay.
I've never been an extremely emotional person and I rarely cry, but the combination of joy and sorrow that day had me in tears all morning. I was elated to have the chance to express my love to Catherine, but I was heartbroken knowing I had to first break Lindsay's heart.
Without a shadow of doubt, watching Lindsay walk towards me – and then having to explain to her that she's not the woman I wanted – was the most difficult thing I've ever done in my life. I had no explanation for her other than my heart was leading me to Catherine.
I remember her fighting back tears as she wished Catherine and me a happy life together. Lindsay will always hold a special place in my heart and she is truly one of the most amazing women I've ever met.
I hate that I hurt her. I hate that I got her hopes up for a "happily ever after" with me, then let her down. But I truly did see a life with her throughout this journey and she possessed so many of the qualities that I long for in a wife.
The ProposalAfter a tearful goodbye with Lindsay, and a bit of time to regain my composure, I was now ready to ask the woman of my dreams to marry me. It was all such a blur because I was so nervous, excited and anxious to propose to Catherine. This would be the biggest moment in my life so far, and I was overwhelmed with emotion.
When Chris Harrison handed me a letter, I was taken off-guard. I was expecting to see Catherine – not a letter – but as soon as I started reading it, my decision to ask this woman to be my wife was solidified.
I remember her walking down the pebbled path looking gorgeous in her long, gold dress and I couldn't wait for her to reach me so I could finally tell her how I was really feeling. To tell her that I loved her, too.
Asking Catherine to marry me was one of the most special moments of my life. My heart was overcome with joy, and everything that I had been through that led me to that moment suddenly made perfect sense.
I'll never forget Catherine's reaction to the proposal. She was so excited that I thought she might pass out. She didn't even notice the ring until I pointed it out. I'll always look back at that moment as being one of the happiest moments of my life.
We even got to ride off into the sunset on an elephant. It was a perfect way to start our new life together. My journey as the Bachelor is now over. I found the love of my life and I'm a bachelor no more.
Thank you all so much for being a part of this journey and for supporting me along the way. I can't put into words how grateful I am for this experience, and for finding the person I'm excited to spend the rest of my life loving.
Wishing you all the best,