The Bachelorette alum, who was a front-runner on Rachel Lindsay‘s season, opened up about the lasting impact of his reality TV heartbreak during the new episode of “The Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous” podcast — and went in-depth about why he decided not to accept the role of Bachelor (which eventually went to Arie Luyendyk Jr.).
“I tried to go back to normal life and it didn’t work,” Peter explained. “They asked me to be the Bachelor and I said no. Straight up no. A couple of weeks later, they called again and made it a little more formal, and I still said no. Then we were out in New York for Good Morning America … and they asked me there, and again I said no.”
The former reality TV personality admitted that at the time, he had started talking to a girl he was interested in and he “wasn’t sure” if he was willing to give up the potential of that relationship to go back on the ABC dating series.
“It was really hard for me and I couldn’t say I would for sure be able to get an engagement at the end,” he said. “It wasn’t that I knew for a fact that I didn’t want to, it was more that I couldn’t promise them that I would. I didn’t want to be forced to do it if I said yes to the show.”
Despite rumors, Peter claimed money wasn’t the “deciding factor” for him. However, he noted that there were a few things he wanted to do differently if he had said yes to the gig. “I wanted to be able to spend more time with people individually. I wanted to be able to go into the house and see people in their natural habitat,” he explained. “I wanted relationship counseling for myself and the top four or five girls during the process so that we could work things out on a deep level.”
Though he never ended up returning to Bachelor Nation after the dramatic end to his time on the Bachelorette, he still has love for Lindsay, 35, and the way she has used her platform for good.
“You are one strong incredible woman,” he told his ex via Twitter in March after she opened up about the bullying she’s faced from fans of the series. “I am now and always have been so proud to have been a part of your season. Thank you.”
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