Rachel Lindsay vied for Nick Viall‘s heart on season 21 of The Bachelor, now she’s on her own journey to find love on the latest season of The Bachelorette — and she’s blogging about it exclusively for PEOPLE! Follow Rachel on Twitter at @TheRachLindsay!
Welcome back Bachelorette Nation! It’s time to for my love story to hit the road … but first, the guys and I had to make it out of the last cocktail party in the mansion.
I asked for a diverse group of men because I don’t have a type and I truly thought that would give me the best opportunity to find my husband. But sometimes opposites and different types don’t attract — at least when it comes to a house full of guys. I didn’t foresee how much conflict that would arise between the men, but it never stopped.
I knew first-hand how direct Eric can be and although I appreciated it, it seemed some other guys in the house didn’t. I think it’s hard for a guy who’s usually as positive as Eric to hear people speak negatively about him and not fly off the handle. As frustrating as it was to have to focus on the other men’s gossip regarding Eric during our conversation when I felt like he and I were ready to move forward after addressing his issues on the last group date, it still didn’t compare to Kenny and Lee’s blowup that night.
I remember how it was on Nick’s season to have an argument with another person on this journey. We’re not all here to be friends with each other — we’re here for one relationship. But when you let that anger get the best of you and I can hear you screaming at top of your lungs at another guy while I’m trying to have a conservation on the other side of the mansion and can’t focus because of your tantrum, it’s a problem!
I understand Lee cut Kenny’s time short, but the fit Kenny threw was so big it bled into important one-on-one conversations I desperately needed to have with the more patient men. I was honestly disappointed in a lot of the men that night. Yes, I only have two eyes, but if someone is on this journey who doesn’t belong, I’ll figure out that for myself even if it takes me longer than it should. It was sweet of guys like Peter to ignore that fighting and focus on me but I had already heard enough. I had Chris Harrison call it a night and went straight into the rose ceremony.
I said goodbye to Brady, Bryce and Diggy that night because although they stood out as three of the sweetest and most earnest in the group, I never felt the romance I need in a relationship. I couldn’t have been more relieved to have a night be over all season. After all the butting of heads in the mansion, I really hoped taking the show on the road and diving into a new location would allow the guys to leave the drama behind them. Looking back that was a little optimistic of me … but Hilton Head here we come!
Hilton Head Island is one of those special places that reminds you that you don’t have to leave the States to have breathtaking and romantic rendezvous with your significant other — or, in my case, your 15 remaining significant others. They filmed my favorite romantic flick The Notebook here in Hilton Head, and I hoped some of that storybook love would rub off on my relationships.
I really wanted this week to take my relationships to new heights so I planned a date with Dean that involved a mode of transportation I have had an obsession with all my life: blimps! Seriously when I was just a toddler my father would occasionally drive past a local airfield where blimps were launched and every time I would scream “Bimp! Bimp!” from my car seat. Combine that with Dean, who is someone that I was instantly attracted to but I wasn’t sure had the maturity I was looking for, and I had a feeling this one-on-one was either going to make our relationship take off or go down.
Dean came in with his usual nerves and confessed he was a bit scared of heights. But like most people who take this journey, he enjoys doing things he fears. That’s an important quality to embrace when you are trying to fall in love and it reminded me to vocalize my feelings more, which is something I’ve always feared. The “bimp!” ride was everything I imagined it would be as little girl — actually even better considering I was kissing handsome Dean a few thousand feet up in the air.
After we landed and brought things back to Earth, Dean opened up to me about, the death of his mother when he was a teenager and how that affected him and his family. It was clear he wasn’t looking for sympathy but rather being open and honest about where he came from. It was also clear this wasn’t something he talked about with just anyone, but rather only shared with someone he truly sees a future with. My heart was simultaneously breaking and growing for him. I had no idea such a cheerful guy had gone through so much.
After all the driving, flying and crying, I was so grateful for Russell Dickerson inviting us to his concert so we could just dance and end the night on a higher note. I needed to hear that delightful Dean laugh again to get our spirits back higher than a blimp. It was while swaying in Dean’s arms on that warm Carolina night that I first felt him letting go as he pulled me closer.
The following day was the biggest group date of the season which featured another form of transportation near and dear to my heart … a booze cruise! From my conversations with the guys and by their demeanor, I had started to worry that they were taking me too seriously. Like I was some perfect woman who is always proper and professional when that’s not the truth! I’m more of a free spirit than most people expect and it was time to see who could hang with that other side with of me, BIG RACH!
We had barely left the harbor before the second round of shots landed and the party vibe kicked in. I had a blast watching the guys loosen up and try to impress me be it through dance, pushups and even freestyle rap competitions. But of course, I had to show them that I could dance, freestyle and throw a few back with them.
Once the limbo and the rap-off had commenced, the guys realized the booze cruise was just the beginning. It was time I put these guys to the T-E-S-T. I really wanted to see who was as well read as they claimed and who could take something as academic as a spelling quiz and make it fun. Josiah may have won the tournament, but the late-night R&B radio jockey voice he used on the microphone left me a little curious if he was always putting on an act around me.
As you saw, the drama I had hoped was left back in L.A. instead carried over into the after party that night. Every other one-on-one conversation I was having ended up being about one of the other guys’ issues instead of about the relationship that I was supposed to be forming with the man sitting in front of me. I did my best to dig for answers to lay some beefs to rest, but I wasn’t getting much clarity from Kenny or Lee. Not to mention Josiah coming into the night, gloating over a spelling bee and chugging from his trophy, made the warnings Iggy gave me regarding him at the top of the night feel like they could really be true.
If you think the drama you’ve already seen go down was crazy, wait until next week. I never believed the drama would lead to the explosion that happens next week. There will be blood, tears and threats that cannot be taken lightly. I think some of these guys take the old phrase “all is fair in love and war” a little too seriously … I just hoped they wouldn’t forget the love. Thank you for reading guys, see you next week.
The Bachelorette airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.