I know it may have been a shock to hear that I was going from eight women to four this week, but I truly felt that if I wanted to find the right girl for me, I needed to spend more time with the women I felt a stronger connection with.
I’ve had crazy weeks in my life, but they do not compare to this one! The Rimmel/LOULOU magazine photo shoot was one of those bucket list items – something to remember for the rest of our lives. It was such a great opportunity to see the girls get taken care of like that. And then to get to spend the time in the individual photo shoots was so fun. Gabby looked sexy, Ana looked unbelievably beautiful, Brit looked too cute for her own good, and Kara looked retro 60s chic!
At the shoot, Gabby, Ana and Kara made me feel really comfortable. Britany, on the other hand, was very reserved at the beginning. It was really the first time I’d seen her like this. But once I tried to lighten the mood with a couple “Blue Steels” and even a “Magnum,” she was all into it and was great to be around! I can’t wait to see the finished product. You won’t recognize me. I’ll be the post beside the hot lady!
Once we started our party, I made it a priority to talk to Brit. Hearing about her background and family struggles was crushing. It made me realize for the first time that getting to know these girls ultimately means knowing all of what makes them who they are – and that includes their family backgrounds. I truly believe that a person’s family impacts who they become. With that in mind, I had to give more thought to the date rose and who I really wanted to take that next step with, especially out of respect for their families.
After receiving the next date card, it was amazing to see the girls guessing where the “City of Love” was. To be honest, I’d never been overseas before and was more than excited to have my first European experience! The fact that I was taking Laura B and Bianka on the two-on-one date threw everyone off because I had a strong connection with both girls.
Whitney’s surprise visit while I was getting packed for Paris took me aback. I was glad to see her, especially since we hadn’t had any time to talk since Las Vegas. We had an intense conversation and she wanted me to open up to her. As you saw in the episode, it wasn’t the most comfortable thing for me to do.
Rather than reliving what was said in that conversation with Whit, I want to say that it wasn’t talking about my two best brothers that made me cry. It was knowing that their families would be at home watching me tell a story that is not entirely mine. I hope and pray that I did it justice. And I hope they know that I hold the memory of their sons closer to my heart than my own life! Their families continue to be guiding influences in my life. I hope when they read this and see the show, they know how much I truly love and cherish their gifts to me: Fraser and James.
After that emotional conversation, I focused on my next date in Paris. Seeing Laura B. walk up to me was too cute! It was raining so hard and we were both soaking wet. But what could really ruin your day when you’re in Paris? Getting to stroll around and stand under the Eiffel Tower was mind-bending! One of the coolest experiences ever. On a date like that, I got to know her more and quickly understood that there are many amazing aspects to her – she’s smart, funny, beautiful and acts like one of the guys in a care-free, can-talk-about-anything kind of way. This date would be hard to top!
Going to the hilltop village of Montmartre was the perfect Parisian experience. After Bianka startled me from behind, we got to explore the little shops and cafes surrounding the tight, winding, narrow streets. I was so nervous seeing Bianka in Mexico, but for the first time in Paris, I was devastatingly calm around her. The level of sincerity I got from her on that date was definitely not what I expected! One of the qualities I really like about Bianka is that she doesn’t just agree with everything I say. She paves her own way and has her own opinions.
After spending individual time with both girls, it was time for the two-on-one portion of the trip. I had been uncomfortable in rose ceremonies before, but standing on the bridge in downtown Paris was a totally new feeling. I was gutted knowing one girl would be left behind and the other would get such a beautiful carriage ride around the city. Standing between those beautiful women, I was terrified. But I knew what I had to do. Bianka showed me that she was here for a lot of the same reasons I was – the hope someone would be there for her, and the experience. Her realism that day led me to believe she was there for the right reasons, but most importantly, that she was ready to be with someone.
I don’t have enough pages to write about how great a girl Laura B. is. We clicked immediately, and I think she could have been the right girl for me at another time. I know what it’s like to be insecure, and you can’t look to improve your emotional stability by building a foundation on someone else’s! I hope that she finds exactly what she deserves – a good man who will treat her how she deserves to be treated and makes her feel like she is the most important and most beautiful person in the world.
I couldn’t have been more excited to fly from Paris to Penticton. It was my first official one-on-one with Whitney and she didn’t have to win a competition to get it! I have an intense fear of heights, but being with Whitney made that experience on the mountain top easier than I thought. She was confident enough for the both of us, and once I saw her determination, it gave me the ability to conquer my fear. It was such a great moment in this entire experience. Doing something totally outside my comfort zone was truly new for me, and I couldn’t have done it without her!
I think people finally got to see the side of Whitney that I had seen the entire time while we were sitting together in Osoyoos. She’s a sweetheart around me! Comforting, beautiful and constantly trying to improve her communication with me so we could build something beyond a physical connection. She might be intimidating and have said inappropriate things to the girls, but this was a girl I hoped would stay, especially after our intense, emotional conversation earlier in the week. I think she started to soften up, and honestly, after that date, I will never repel down a mountain again! EVER!
I was going to surprise Chantelle with a picnic since she didn’t get a date this week, but then I heard she had something to tell me. It was crushing to hear that her grandfather had passed away and how difficult it was for her. I totally understood that she had to leave. I had an intensely different connection with Chantelle than the other girls. I have so much respect for her. She made everyone around her better – and everyone just loved her. She is an extremely tough girl and I hope that being with her family gave them the strength they needed. My thoughts and prayers go out to Chantelle and her family.
This week gave me exactly what I needed: more time with the girls so that I could make a better decision about whose family I wanted to meet. I was terribly sad to say goodbye to Laura B., and I wish Chantelle and her family the best during this tough time.
The decision to keep Kara, Bianka, Whitney and Gabby was made for many reasons. Gabby had come a long way. Her chirpy attitude gave way to a soft side, and I thought it would be easy to go to her house and fit in with her family given her attitude. Kara always made me feel so comfortable and we got along so well right from the start. Whitney made it clear from day one that she wanted me to meet her parents, while Bianka had come the farthest over such a short time.
Even though I felt I made the right decision, there were still so many questions for each of the girls, and meeting their families was going to be paramount to getting the answers I needed at that point.
Until next week,