Ben Flajnik may have let anger get the best of him on Monday's Bachelorette finale when Ashley Hebert made him propose before sending him home, but Hebert says she understands where his emotions were coming from.
Proposing first in Fiji before eventual winner JP Rosenbaum, 28-year-old winemaker Flajnik admitted he was in "shock and utter disbelief" at her rejection.
"I'm sorry. I know this was unexpected, and I want you to know this is the hardest thing I've done here. This is not easy," Hebert said as Flajnik walked away in stunned, angry silence. "You can't leave something like this on good terms. It's not possible," replied Flajnik. "Good things don't end unless they end badly."
Later, on ABC's After the Final Rose finale special, Flajnik admitted that he had few memories of that day — and his behavior.
"It's difficult to watch," Flajnik told Bachelorette host Chris Harrison after viewing his proposal. "When you're going through the whole proposal, you're almost kind of blacked out and instinct takes over. All I remember from that day is me being down on one knee and her saying no, and having the courage to stand up. That was the hardest part: Getting back up," he said. "I was in love with her. It takes a lot for me to fall in love."
Adding insult to injury for Flajnik? He had to travel straight from Fiji to his best friend's wedding. "That was a long flight home," he told Harrison. "We had multiple stops on the way home and I was stewing in my head."
While Hebert was no doubt shaken by his angry reaction at the time, the happily engaged reality star says she has come to terms with his anger.
"There was a period of time where I thought you were the one I was going to be living with, and there gets to be a point where you just have to follow your heart and that's what I did," she told Flajnik, explaining the point when she knew he wasn't The One. "I never thought that the day I'd get engaged would be so gut-wrenching. To know I was the one who was causing that type of pain to somebody was hard. I felt anger [from you] and I'd never felt that. In the moment, I was surprised, but watching it back, I completely understand."
All things considered, Flajnik says he has no regrets, and credits Hebert with helping him move on in the wake of his father's passing.
"I lost a little bit of dignity, that's what it was," he said. "I couldn't have gotten to where I was without [Ashley], so for that I thank you. Having gone through something like [finding love on The Bachelorette], that's so special, I'd like to feel that again, but only time will tell."
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