It’s been quite the journey for Arie Luyendyk Jr.! The Bachelor star sent home Tia following hometown dates on the Monday, February 19, episode, and that was his hardest choice yet, he told Us Weekly exclusively at the Women Tell All special taping on Tuesday, February 13.
“We had so much fun together. She is the type of person I gravitated toward since the beginning of the show, and it was hard to say goodbye to her because I was so unsure going into that rose ceremony,” the race car driver, 36, said. During Monday’s episode, he pulled Kendall aside before the rose ceremony, leaving audiences to think maybe he was sending her home, but that wasn’t the case.
“I think the heart’s a silly thing and was Tia in a place where she was ready for marriage? Absolutely. Was Kendall? Maybe not, but the potential, the possible potential of Kendall and I, I felt like could have been greater than Tia and I’s relationship,” he admitted. “It was more or less trying to seek out that potential just because I had developed such strong feelings for Kendall right before.”
While Tia, 26, admitted to Us she was “very blindsided” by the elimination, she also revealed she’s not still holding on to feelings for Arie. “I don’t feel like I’m still in love with him. I feel like I’ve had enough time to kind of process that and move on, and realize that there is someone else out there that’s better for him,” the physical therapist told Us. “Having a relationship with him allowed me to see that I do deserve an amazing person.”
Tia, who’s close friends with Bachelor alum Raven Gates, also added that Bachelor in Paradise is definitely a possibility for her in the future. “Knowing that she had such a good experience with The Bachelor and then with Bachelor In Paradise, yeah, it does make me hopeful for a relationship out of all of this,” she said.
The Bachelor: Women Tell All airs on Sunday, February 25, at 8 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Emily Marcus.