At first, it seemed that being The Bachelorette was starting to take its toll on the previously bubbly Kaitlyn Bristowe. Still reeling from the blow of having to send Cupcake (aka Chris) home after their uber-romantic helicopter ride, she was a bit of a sad sack as she headed into her next one-on-one — this time with Ben. He did his best to lift her spirits, though, and quickly succeeded. The pair enjoyed a romantic rowboat ride to some kind of mysterious island that they conveniently had all to themselves.
After a rather awkward game of hide and seek (something about that game on a date seems a bit creepy), they cozied up on a bench and Kaitlyn told him she thought he was “husband material.” For his part, Ben was still nervous about possibly being rejected, but later on he really opened up, sharing his biggest fear. He confessed that he felt “unlovable” due to past relationships, but Kaitlyn quickly assured him he was wrong.
“I feel like you’re a lovable person. I feel like, I could and I am falling in love with you,” she cooed. “I have zero doubts that I’m falling in love with you as well,” he replied.
All was going picture-perfect — until Kaitlyn steered the conversation toward upcoming overnights and Ben said he didn’t think the physical aspect (i.e. the sex) should be the focus, prompting Kaitlyn to ask him point-blank if he was a virgin. Much to her relief, he confirmed he was not — he was just being respectful. (What a concept!) Then they made out, a lot.
Group Date Starts With Three Guys and Ends Up With One
Joe, Shawn and Nick were selected for the next group date, and Shawn wasn’t too pleased.
“Being on the group date is not what I wanted and it’s not ideal, but this is a good opportunity for her to show me exactly how she’s feeling,” he declared in deep thought. So it’s no surprise that at the start of the date, Shawn wasted no time pulling Kaitlyn away. After about 30 seconds of chatter, they got back to the business of making out.
But just as Kaitlyn was about to tell Shawn that she’d gone too far with Nick, the man of the hour broke their moment right up. Then Nick took his turn dropping the L-bomb. “You know I’m falling in love with you,” he said before they started making out.
Joe brought out the big guns, though, and told Kaitlyn he was absolutely ready to take the next step and get engaged. Then he told her, “I’m in love with you, babe. I don’t think there’s any denying that, and I wouldn’t say that if I didn’t mean it.” Then they (drumroll, please) enjoyed a few minutes making out.
Unfortunately, she didn’t feel the same way. “I just don’t feel like I’m there right now,” she said. A clearly stung Joe brushed it off with, “No worries.” Then she basically forced him to give her a hug and sent him home.
But she wasn’t ready to give that date rose out to Nick or Shawn, either, and told Shawn she’d spend more time with him that night. Shawn (who still calls Nick “the other guy”) couldn’t keep the smile off his face after Kaitlyn sent a stunned Nick back to the hotel.
Kaitlyn (Finally) Confesses to Shawn
“It’s hard for me to admit it, but we had sex,” she told Shawn of her off-camera time with Nick. To his credit, Shawn took a moment to think before he replied.
Credit: Shawn stews over Kaitlyn’s relationship with Nick.
“Do you regret it?” he asked.
“I felt guilt,” she said (which is nice, but not really what he asked), before adding that she was concerned about what that might do to their relationship.
“I’m trying to figure out why you’re telling me this right now,” he said, prompting her to insist she just thought it was “The right thing to do.” At that point, Shawn excused himself to go regroup in the bathroom.
When he returned, he admitted he was upset but promised to “man up and deal with it and fight through it and get passed it and move on to tomorrow.”
Kaitlyn did her best to reassure him that she cared about their relationship, but it’s unclear how much of her efforts sunk in. “I’m having a very hard time trying to figure out my feelings,” he later admitted in a tense voiceover.
The First Dry Rose Ceremony
Though Shawn was all keyed up to hash things out with Kaitlyn further, Chris Harrison broke the news that this ceremony would be cocktail (party) free. “I’m heading into tonight wanting to want a rose,” Shawn admitted to the camera, threatening to not accept the coveted flower should the lady of the hour offer one.
As if on cue, Kaitlyn offered him the very first rose, to which he replied with six of the most dreaded words in the English language: “I need to talk to you.” Dun dun dun.
He then asked her why she told him he was “the one” and then proceeded to do something (knock boots with Nick) that would jeopardize their relationship. “Telling you that you were the one halfway through was a mistake,” she replied. “I had no business doing that when I had other relationships to explore.” Ultimately, Shawn agreed to accept the rose, though by that point no one looked happy about it (including him).
Ben and the other guy — sorry, Nick — nabbed the final two roses of the night, meaning Kaitlyn was sending Jared home. In what was the sweetest goodbye of the season, Jared told her he wanted her to be happy. “Just make sure you find the man of your dreams because you deserve it,” he said as they hugged before parting ways. Kaitlyn broke down in tears, but Jared seemed okay.
In a voiceover, Kaitlyn admitted her biggest fear was ending this process alone.
Nick Wantd to Make the Most of the Fantasy Suite Date
Appropriately, Nick and Kaitlyn began their date with some groping and making out. Then they wandered into a cathedral, where Nick told Kaitlyn a seemingly far-fetched (but touching) story about how his parents met at church and were engaged six months later. Then they headed to a bar, had some drinks, and kissed some more.
“I’m realizing my relationship with Nick isn’t just physical,” Kaitlyn cooed to the camera. “It is kind of spiritual.” (Meanwhile, Shawn continued to stew over the thought that Nick was spending time with Kaitlyn in the Fantasy Suite.)
Credit: Nick Viall vies for Kaitlyn’s heart, spars with Shawn.
“There is one person who I have no respect for,” Nick said before really getting to his main point. “I don’t brag about being Eskimo brothers with famous country singers because they f—ed the same girl the same night, but they were first.” (Spoiler alert: It was Shawn!)
For her part, Kaitlyn took the news in stride, noting that while it was “strange” that Nick and Shawn were constantly bad-mouthing each other to her, really, at the end of the day, it wasn’t so hard to understand.
They headed to the Fantasy Suite where Nick told Kaitlyn, “I love falling in love with you.” And then they spent some “off-camera” together — but this time with Chris Harrison’s (unofficial) blessing.
Shawn Confronts Nick
The following morning Shawn got Nick’s room number from the front desk (which seems like a possible breach in security?) and headed over to confront him. “I think you’re an a–hole,” he said. “I don’t think you’re here just for Kaitlyn.” Shawn then revealed that he thought Nick’s purpose being on the show was to change his reputation from his previous season.
We’ll have to wait and see how Nick responds, but something tells Us when this gets back to Kaitlyn, it isn’t going to help Shawn’s case.
Tell Us: How do you think Kaitlyn will react when she finds out Shawn confronted Nick?