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The Bachelorette Recap: Kaitlyn Bristowe Isn’t Ready for Hometown Dates, Is She?

Kaitlyn Bristowe and Shawn
Emotions run high between Kaitlyn Bristowe and Shawn in The Bachelorette.

When it rains, it pours — and Kaitlyn Bristowe is still in the midst of a thunderstorm. This week began with (former?) frontrunner Shawn confronting The Bachelorette about her true feelings. “Are you in love with me?” he asked point-blank. Kaitlyn’s response, however, was less straightforward. 

“You can’t put me on the spot like that,” she argued before quickly adding, “I’m falling in love with you.”

Shawn seemed to get over it, at least temporarily, because about one minute later they were making out again.

“I am concerned that Shawn knows about what happened between me and Nick, and that I was intimate with him. I feel guilty,” Kaitlyn lamented to the camera. “The act of sex is not where the guilt comes from with me. The guilt comes from where my relationships are with other people, and my feelings for Shawn are, at this point, overwhelming. I don’t want to hurt him. I don’t want to hurt anybody. I just feel awful.” She then insisted, “I just don’t feel like I had to have gone there with Nick.” As the waterworks started to flow, she admitted, “It feels wrong.”

Kaitlyn Bristowe crying
Kaitlyn Bristowe broke down in tears (repeatedly).

JJ Makes a Game-Changing Admission

You know what else felt a little wrong? Sending Kaitlyn on a two-on-one date with JJ and Joe. Group dates are awkward, but they’re nothing compared to two guys jockeying for one woman. As they took in some stunning Irish scenery, Joe and JJ each made a play to capture Kaitlyn’s heart — with mixed results.

Joe started off by finally opening up to Kaitlyn. “I’ve never felt this way about someone else this fast, this quick, this passionate, never,” he began. “I can’t get enough of you, Kaitlyn, because I’m falling in love with you.” Kaitlyn couldn’t help but smile as yet another suitor dropped an L-bomb.

When it was JJ’s turn, however, he laid his cards all on the table — and his cards did not include professing his love. “Three years ago I cheated on my wife,” he revealed. “I made a mistake that basically destroyed my life. I lost everything. I love my wife. I lost my daughter half the time. Everything I had worked hard for was gone with one bad, terrible decision.”

Though he was clearly hoping coming clean would win Kaitlyn over, it didn’t work out as planned. “I’m not going to lie; that is my biggest fear in a relationship,” she said before she sent him packing.

After kicking JJ to the curb, Kaitlyn broke the news to Joe that he wasn’t getting a rose either — yet, anyway. They continued their date with some more cuddling and making out on a couch, before she ultimately gifted him with the coveted boutonniere.

Shawn Confronts Kaitlyn. Again.

Meanwhile, Shawn was still stewing from what he considered to be mixed messages from Kaitlyn. (To be fair, he wasn’t entirely off base.) Recalling an off-camera conversation he’d had with the bubbly brunette back in San Antonio, Shawn explained that she’d told him, “It’s you. I think you’re the one.” A clearly tortured Shawn continued, saying, “It’s hard to watch her go on dates with other guys and kiss other guys.” (Yikes! If he only knew kissing was just the beginning.)

When Joe returned from his date with the rose pinned to his lapel and announced he was “falling in love” with Kaitlyn, Shawn headed to her room — again.

Fearful that Shawn had found out about her “off camera time” (that’s what kid are apparently calling it these days) with Nick, Kaitlyn started crying almost the instant he walked in. “I really made a mess of things,” she admitted. She did, however, reiterate to Shawn that even though it was an uncomfortable process, it was worth the pain. “You have to focus on that this is for the rest of our lives,” she argued. “This is literally weeks for forever.”

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Shawn promised Kaitlyn to “work on being better at this whole thing” because he thought it was worth it. “I want you more than anything,” he said before heading out.

After their second chat, he was feeling better, but Kaitlyn, not so much. “It worries me that Shawn needs all this reassurance and there are still things he doesn’t know,” she explained.

It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere

Time for another cocktail party and rose ceremony! Kaitlyn was still riddled with guilt over her “off camera time” with Nick and for reassuring Shawn too much. “I shouldn’t be doing that because I do have feelings for a lot of other guys,” she said to the camera. She opened the party by announcing that she was imperfect and had made mistakes, prompting much discussion amongst the guys over what those mistakes might have been.

Nick V.
Nick Viall was the center of much emotional angst for Kaitlyn Bristowe.

Nick seemed mildly concerned that he might be included in those sentiments, but it was Shawn who looked most upset. “I know 100 percent she’s talking about me,” Shawn said. Later, during his one-on-one time with Kaitlyn, she told him that they needed to “take a step back” and see what happens. It wasn’t exactly the kiss of death, but it wasn’t what Shawn was hoping to hear either.

Shawn wasn’t the only one grilling Kaitlyn this week, however. Ben H. used his time to put her in the hot seat and ask about that infamous night when she spoke to Shawn off-camera.

“I know that something was said that night that gave him some type of validation. It was the first time I’d seen you have a connection with somebody else and it didn’t feel good,” he explained. “I just want to know that if I’m going to be here and if we’re going to continue on with this that this isn’t just me spinning my wheels.”

Kaitlyn responded by crying yet again. “That night has really altered everything for me, and not in a great way… I feel extremely, extremely disappointed in myself for putting you both in that situation.” Apparently, Ben H. was satisfied with this response because by the end of their chat they were making out.

Related: PHOTOS: Bachelorette Relationship Updates

Then came Nick. Kaitlyn did her best to keep her composure while asking (somewhat indirectly) if he had blabbed about knocking boots with her to the other guys. Though she framed it as delicately as possible, the message was clear: Keep your mouth shut. For his part, Nick wanted to know which guys had dropped hints to her that he may have said something, but she wasn’t telling. At the end of their chat they made out. (Does anyone see a pattern here yet?)

When the time came to pass out the remaining roses, Kaitlyn sent Tanner and Ben Z. home, much to Shawn’s relief.

Kaitlyn and Jared Kiss… the Blarney Stone

While the rest of the guys rode on a bus, Jared got to drive with Kaitlyn to the next Irish destination. Though Kaitlyn’s driving skills were questionable, their chemistry was not and they ended up kissing the Blarney Stone and then each other before cuddling in her bed. (Cuddling seems to be as far as this date went, however.)

Change of Plans

Right when Kaitlyn was starting to feel better about things, Chris Harrison dropped by her room with some big news: He didn’t think she was ready for hometown dates.

“This week you’re going to narrow it down to three guys and you’re going to go straight into the intimate overnight dates,” he told the stunned Bachelorette. “Bringing people’s families into it is a big deal. You have already had off-camera time with some of these men and I think it’s important to get some of these other relationships up to speed and I think you should be ready to meet those families and I don’t want there to be doubt because you’re getting close to a big decision. Be honest with me, do you think you’re ready to go meet four families?” 

Though Kaitlyn didn’t burst into tears again, she did admit she’d done something she shouldn’t have.

Another One Bites the Dust

After Harrison broke the news about the schedule change, Kaitlyn seemed more determined to get serious about which guys she could see a future with, and which guys she couldn’t. Unfortunately for Chris, he fell into the latter group — and not even a romantic helicopter ride could save him.

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After breaking down in tears (again!), Kaitlyn told Chris, “I just feel that my heart is elsewhere right now and I just don’t know if I see us being together forever and I don’t want to lead anyone on.”

Kaitlyn Bristowe and Chris
Kaitlyn Bristowe and Chris enjoyed a romantic helicopter ride.

As he left, Chris called Kaitlyn “a mess,” adding, “She deserves a lifetime of happiness and I’m not sure she’s ready to find that yet.”

Tell Us: Should Kaitlyn come clean? Which guys do you think should get hometown dates?

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