Sean Lowe's stint on The Bachelor had a happy ending, but as he reveals in a new short film for the Christian nonprofit I Am Second, he struggled quite a bit with his decision to do the show. Speaking about his experience on the ABC smash, currently in its 18th season, Lowe says he worried at times that he was going against his faith by dating 25 women at once.
As Bachelor devotees know, Lowe started as a contestant on Emily Maynard's season of The Bachelorette in 2012. His sister, Shay, turned in an application on his behalf; he himself was resistant to the idea. "Never in a million years did I think I would do a cheesy reality TV show about love," the Texas-native says in his 12-minute video for I Am Second. After some personal and professional setbacks, however, he decided he needed a change -- and maybe a free vacation. But he got much more than that.
"After about four or five weeks of getting to spend time with the Bachelorette, I thought, 'I kind of like being around her,'" he recalls. "'Wow, I'm actually developing feelings for this girl when there are all these cameras around. This is kinda nuts. I can see myself being her husband.'" By the sixth week, he says, he knew for sure that he loved her.
Alas, Maynard sent him home a week before the finale and later got engaged to Jef Holm. (They've since split; she's now engaged to marry Tyler Johnson.) Devastated, Lowe tracked down her number through a mutual friend and tried to get in touch with her. She never returned his call.
Weeks later, he says, he got the call asking him to be the next Bachelor, an offer he ultimately accepted -- though not without some serious soul-searching. "It's unnatural to date 25 women at one time, and it felt wrong," he admits. "A lot of the time, it felt wrong. I wrestled with it quite a bit, thinking, 'I'm pretty sure God opened this door, but what if he didn't? What if it's just an opportunity that came about, and what if I'm actually harming my testimony by going on a show and dating multiple people at one time, and kissing multiple people?'"
In the end, of course, he found he wanted to kiss only one person for the rest of his life: Catherine Giudici, whom he married on live TV on Jan. 26 of this year. The couple's wedding was a huge event -- not just because it was the first time in Bachelor history that a Bachelor had married the woman he chose in the finale, but also because it meant that Lowe and Giudici could finally consummate their relationship.
Lowe explains his choice to forego sex until marriage in his video for I Am Second, noting that he went through a period in his life where he was having sex -- and feeling terrible about it. "I would feel extremely guilty afterwards, but after that guilt faded, then I would start talking to some other girl and go down the same path of destruction," he confesses.
Eventually, he says, he decided he didn't want to live like that anymore, so he made a promise to himself to abstain from sex until marriage. "It's been a great thing for me," he says. "I didn't give in to my sinful nature."
Watch the full 12-minute video at I Am Second.