06/14/2013 at 03:00 PM EDT
Crying is common on The Bachelor
and The Bachelorette
Most of the time the tears belong to women scorned. But Brandon Andreen, 26, challenged that stereotype during his courtship of Desiree Hartsock
. And things got especially emotional when the arrival of a jilted single mom dredged up Andreen's abandonment issues.
The painting contractor, 26, spoke with reporters via telephone from Costa Mesa, Calif., about crying on TV, the scandal over Brian's alleged ex-girlfriend
and why he thinks Brooks is the best guy for Desiree.
Are you cool with being known as the guy who cried a lot?
I'm an emotional, caring person. I wanted to share the emotions the circumstances brought out in me with America [to] let them know that there are guys like me who do struggle and have a heart.
You said you were already falling in love with Des. That seems fast.
Des is the kind of girl that you cannot help falling in love with her. She's just a happy, wonderful, full-of-life woman that brings out the best in anybody she's around. "I love you" didn't come out of my mouth, but I was falling for her. I was in a situation where you have very limited time to speak about who you are or see how she is and feelings were becoming reality so I wasn't going to waste any time. Your kiss with Des looked awkward on TV. How was it in real life?
That was the point that I realized it wasn't passionate. I wanted to kiss her, but I look back at it and think that was definitely not the right time to kiss her. It was more a "Hey, how are you?" kiss on her end. But I did it and it is what it is.
Did you appreciate that she, not feeling a love connection, let you go before you fell any harder?
I wish I'd had a one-on-one date and would have loved to go the next step, but you can't force love. I honestly appreciate that she respected me enough to say this isn't going anywhere and let me go.
Chris Harrison thinks it was too much, too soon. Do you regret diving in to your troubled family history so early on?
I'm a guy who doesn't like to live with any regrets. I didn't want to leave the show because I didn't pour my heart out and tell her who I was. So I don't regret diving in. But yes, maybe it was too much too soon. But for the situation I was in, it seemed right. Typically, I don't meet a girl at a restaurant and throw up all of that information.
Do you think getting so emotional over Brian sealed your fate?
It happened the way it was supposed to. Des is on a journey and [leaving] me behind was part of her journey.
Were there any indications he had a girlfriend before she walked in?
No. 100 percent complete shocker. He seemed like a really genuine guy. I don't know the full story, but that's beside the point. He admitted that he slept with her the weekend before the show. Disgusting. You could see at that moment Des felt sick to her stomach. She put her guard up at that point [realizing] there could be more wolves in sheep's clothes.
Do you regret being on the show?
Not at all. Thousands of people reached out with nothing but positivity saying what an inspiration [I am] and thank you. If one kid can look at me and say, "If that guy can make it, I can make it," then I have zero regrets about anything I said or crying on TV.
Is there a guy you think could be The One for Des?
The guys I first connected with were Brooks and Michael. Every time I saw Des look at Brooks, I could tell that she really likes him and after the conversations we had, I could tell he definitely likes her. I want her to find love and if it wasn't going to be with me, I pray it's with someone there for the right reasons. I believe Brooks was that guy.