Tyler Cameron quickly became a fan favorite after competing for Hannah Brown’s heart on The Bachelorette, and now, the season 15 runner-up is exploring everything he’s learned through his past relationships in his new book, You Deserve Better: What Life Has Taught Me About Love, Relationships, and Becoming Your Best Self.
The 28-year-old Florida native previously told Us Weekly that he wrote the book, which was released on Tuesday, July 27, after he was “being praised for what I think is the bare minimum” after his stint on The Bachelorette in 2019.
“All I did was respect a woman. … No is no, you know?” he told Us last month about being named a “feminist icon” for respecting Brown’s wishes not to sleep together on the show. “And like, if she wants to go do something, she should go and do it. And so, for me, when I saw all the praise, it was cool. It was great at first. But then I realized, like, there’s something wrong with our culture right now if this is what is being praised. This should be the norm. That’s kind of what really motivated me to write this book and kind of the core of this book.”
Cameron admitted in the memoir, which also features passages from his family and friends (including his best friend, season 25 Bachelor Matt James), that he fell hard for Brown, a former pageant queen who appeared on Colton Underwood’s season of The Bachelor. During the finale of their Bachelorette season, however, Brown picked Jed Wyatt, turning down Cameron before he got down on one knee. While Brown and Wyatt’s relationship didn’t last long — and she was spotted with Cameron more than once following their split — the duo ultimately decided they weren’t right for each other.
“We need to learn how to be friends. … We struggled, you know, with our relationship and trying to figure out what it is,” Cameron told Us in October 2020. “We’re in a great place right now with each other and it’s great to be able to hang out, you know, grab dinner, it’s fun. Hannah’s an amazing person.”
More recently, he told Us that he gave her a heads-up about the context of the book.
“We both talked through, like, you know, what’s going on in the book, and there’s nothing for her to be worried or concerned about. I have no bad things to say about her, so it’s all good. She taught me a lot,” Cameron told Us in June. “I haven’t seen her in a while, but we’re still friends. We’re still cool.”
Scroll through for the biggest revelations from Cameron’s book:
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Tyler’s Pre-Show Dating History
Cameron reflected on his pre-Bachelorette romances, revealing he lost his virginity to his first girlfriend, Emily, during their freshman year of high school. After he was betrayed by his second girlfriend, Kelsey, who cheated on him on his birthday, he swore off relationships.
"The bigger problem was that once I found out what sex was — once I discovered for myself that it was fun — I wanted to do it all the time. Hooking up was a huge thing at my high school,” he wrote. “Without parents teaching us something different, we didn’t know better; we saw these things modeled on TV or in movies, and we thought that was just what you did. For a long time, I thought that was what being a boy was all about."
Cameron — who admitted he was “blacklisted from certain sororities” for hooking up with too many girls — didn’t date seriously again until after his stint at Wake Forest University when he returned home to Florida to attend Florida Atlantic University and met ex Mariah, his most serious relationship leading up to The Bachelorette. The twosome split after Cameron broke her trust when he received nude photos from another woman and failed to delete the messages or block the sender. He maintained that he never cheated on Mariah — or any of his exes.
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‘Bachelorette’ Audition Process
Cameron admitted that he made a “ridiculous profile” that included “douchiest picture” of himself he could find — “this shot of me posing by the water on the beach, with my shirt lifted up over my abs like a crop top” — when applying for The Bachelorette. After surprising himself by making it past the first round of interviews, he was flown to Los Angeles to meet with producers and casting. Cameron explained that he thought he blew his chances after he bought weed and broke the midnight curfew set by casting because he was so stoned, but he ultimately scored a role on the show. After getting the call, Cameron watched Underwood's season but was “careful not to watch any of the episodes that featured a lot of Hannah” because he didn’t want to pre-judge her.
Cameron’s dad, meanwhile, was all in on Brown, telling his son that they were meant to be. While the general contractor’s dad was going through a health scare at the time, he insisted his son pursue the show.
”I was sick at the time, and he didn’t want to leave. I said, ‘Son! This is Miss Alabama!’ He would be a fool not to go and meet Hannah,” Cameron’s dad wrote in the book. “With that Southern accent? She can tell you to take the garbage out and it sounds good! I told him, ‘If you don’t go, I’m gonna go!' .... When he came back for his hometown visit, that fool was ate up in love! I know my kid, and I’d never seen him like that."
Credit: ABC/Ed Herrera
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What He Would Do Differently on ‘The Bachelorette’
Cameron, who admitted that he blacked out when he met Brown on night one despite practicing his opening for days in the hotel room pre-show, wrote that if he could do The Bachelorette again, he wouldn’t “wait for the producers to give me approval” to talk to the former pageant queen. “I would just barge into the room and say, ‘We gotta talk.’ If Hannah was upset, I would find a way to go make it better,” he explained. “I’ve learned that sometimes the only way to make something happen is to do it yourself. If you feel something, if you believe it in your gut, just go do it.”
The former athlete added that filming the ABC series taught him a lot about confidence. “I was intimidated by the other men at first, but the more time I spent with everyone, the more I realized that I could blow these dudes away, having learned so much and grown so much in recent years,” he wrote.
Credit: ABC/Mark Bourdillon
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His Connection With Hannah
Cameron wrote that Brown learned more about him in weeks than his ex-girlfriend learned in one year. In addition to referring to the series as “extreme speed dating,” he explained that he was “locked in” when he spent time with her. "When we were together, I did two things: I gave her my full attention, and I let her see who I really was. In this accelerated environment, opening up came more naturally to me. When you’re on a date with someone you really want to get to know, that’s the only way to be,” he wrote. “Hannah told me, ‘You always find a way to make a moment happen between just the two of us, even with all these people around.’”
Credit: ABC/Mark Bourdillon
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Night 1 on ‘The Bachelorette’
Cameron hasn’t been shy about the fact that his one-on-one date with Brown didn’t go as planned after he was forced to go horseback riding — something he noted producers knew made him scared. “By the end of the show, I was pretty friendly with the producers. Or at least I thought I was,” he wrote. “Because Hannah’s and my final date proved they were out to get me. I had to ride a horse again. I was like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me. You guys are setting me up for failure!’”
Credit: ABC/Mark Bourdillon
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His Thoughts on Chris Harrison
“The truth is, you only talk to him for like five minutes over the course of the whole show,” Cameron wrote about the former franchise host. “Some of the guys would kiss his ass, but I wasn’t really like that. One time we were in the gym together, and I thought, ‘The last thing this guy wants to do at the gym is have to talk to one of us.’o I didn’t bother him."
Credit: ABC/Craig Sjodin
7 of 11
The Fantasy Suites
Bachelor Nation will remember Brown telling Cameron that she didn’t want to have sex during the overnight dates, a promise he made sure they kept despite things “getting steamy” in the fantasy suite. He noted that the pair had “super hot chemistry” and needed to explore the other parts of their relationship during their time away from the camera. “The fact that we could easily talk all night was what made me think, ‘Holy s—t, this could be it for me,’” he wrote. “I was genuinely upset when I saw the sun coming up, because I knew our time together was coming to an end."
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Cameron finished as the runner-up on Brown’s season 15 and was prepared to propose to her during the finale — until she stopped him because she had stronger feelings for Wyatt. In You Deserve Better, Cameron revealed what he planned to say to her.
“Hannah Brown — from the moment we met, you’ve captivated my soul. You started this journey saying you’re not looking for perfect, you’re looking for real. And I can say with all honesty, our relationship has been the most real thing I’ve ever had in my life. I always had an idea about the man I wanted to be and I knew I’d get there. I just didn’t know how. Then I met you,” he wrote in part. “Hannah, I know our love was slow to start, but it’s a light that will burn forever. I know you had a label on me from the beginning, but these are the only labels I want: husband, best friend, lover, protector, father to our children.”
He concluded, “I’m so madly in love with you. I want to support you in your dreams and make you happy for the rest of your life. I’ve given all of myself to you— will you give all of yourself to me? I know we always say, ‘Let’s have a day,’ … but let’s turn this day into a life. Hannah Brown, will you marry me?”
Credit: ABC/Mark Bourdillon
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His Split From Hannah
Cameron admitted he felt “broken” when Brown didn’t pick him, writing that he wasn’t “upset with Hannah” but rather “upset about Hannah.” While he did his best to hold in his tears in the limo because he didn’t want the show to “have footage of this s—t,” he was “heartbroken” when he was alone in his hotel room.
“I grabbed a couple of beers, got in the bathtub, and listened to Juice Wrld’s Goodbye & Good Riddance on my producer’s laptop. I must’ve listened to the whole album three or four times, just screaming it out and letting it all go,” he wrote. “Being alone, hearing those songs, singing those lyrics, I came out knowing I would be OK. I had four more days in Greece, but all I wanted was to just go home and hug everyone."
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The Infamous Hannah Reunion
Brown asked Cameron out for a drink during the live After the Final Rose taping (following her split from Wyatt) in July 2019. Days later, he was spotted leaving her house.
"Hannah and I made plans to see each other, but I didn't totally comprehend how major the reaction to that would be," he wrote. "We saw each other in L.A., where yes, I slept at Hannah's house, but we didn't sleep together. We weren't in a relationship at that point, and we definitely weren't boyfriend and girlfriend."
Cameron, who noted he needed time figure out what was “right for him,” regrets being seen with another girl days after their brief reunion.
"But I still put Hannah in a tough, tough position," he wrote, seemingly referring to Gigi Hadid. "But that's one thing I feel very, very sorry for. If I could go back and do it all again, I would handle it differently. My communication should have been better."
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While Cameron is currently linked to model Camila Kendra, he wrote about how difficult it was to date while navigating his post-Bachelorette fame.
“Every time I’m seen with someone who isn’t Hannah, I get a slew of comments about it. ‘Hannah’s all natural!’ is a big one. And that’s true! Hannah is a naturally pretty girl. She’s awesome. But every girl I date doesn’t deserve to be stacked up against Hannah,” Cameron, who noted he loves “all bodies,” wrote. “I would never do that, and I hope that our culture learns to stop the judgment, too."
Cameron added that he can’t please everyone or their expectations. “People complain that I’m not still doing construction. People complain that I’m not dating Hannah Brown. (Even though Hannah didn’t pick me!) And there’s nothing I can do about that,” he wrote.