Warning: This post contains spoilers for the finale of The Bachelorette. It's official: The Bachelorette is over. The finale was something of an emotional rollercoaster. But before we got to the winner, first came the second to last rose ceremony Rachel will ever conduct. Maybe you'll be surprised by the results and maybe you won't — but yes, Rachel breaks up with Eric on The Bachelorette. It was an emotional goodbye to say the least.
After two meaningful dates with Peter and Bryan, we finally got to the rose ceremony — Eric technically got his date two weeks ago, but it was hard not to notice that he got very little screen time in the first hour of the three-hour finale. And we found out why: Rachel was getting ready to dump him!
Rachel stepped out and said, "Coming into this I was hoping to gain clarity, but I'm more confused than ever ... I want a proposal. I didn't come here to have a boyfriend."
That made us all think it was Peter getting the boot, but NOPE. It was poor Eric, who didn't even do anything wrong! In the goodbyes, Rachel said to Eric,
It's hard to say goodbye when I have such strong feelings for you, I have feelings for the other two guys that are here too. I do love you, I'm just not in love.
Thank you for allowing me to get what I need. ... Truth be told, I'll always love you. That's just the truth.
UGH MY HEART. ERIC, NOOO!
According to Rachel, she wasn't totally sure if she was making a mistake sending Eric home, and I agree. What was her reasoning? She didn't really give one, other than to say what a great guy Eric was.
As for Eric, he was very sure of Rachel. In the car ride home he said,
I'm just gonna miss her bro. The entirety of her. I'm happy I got to experience life with someone so beautiful. I don't know who the next person will be, because she was the one for sure.
Eric showed up on the live show to have a chat with Rachel and it was... extremely awkward. Basically, Eric was just like "How are you?," "Are you happy?," and Rachel was like, "...yep! I'm great!"
Eric voiced some frustrations that Rachel dumped him right after she told him she loved him — and right after he said "I love you," for the first time, ever. Rachel tried explain that she did love him, but unfortunately, because of the nature of the game, she also loved two other men, and had to let someone go. And apparently that someone was Eric. She went on to say,
I had to compare what I had with the other two men left. It's so hard... it's not that the feelings weren't there, it's just that the feelings were stronger with someone else ... You are such a beautiful person, and I'm so glad America got to see that.
The 29-year-old personal trainer from Baltimore has come a long way since the beginning of the season. Those of you who can remember back to Episode 3 may recall Eric as the man who lost it and screamed "MY NAME IS IN YOUR MOUTH!" You may also remember Eric as the guy who thought the word "facade" was spelled with a P-H in the spelling bee episode — something I still side-eye him for, not gonna lie.
But in more recent episodes, like last weeks' hometown dates episodes, Eric had really turned the charm up to 11. He and Rachel seemed to have a spectacular time in Eric's hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. He charmed Rachel with his basketball skills, his friends, and most of all, his vibrant family — all of whom seemed to adore Rachel.
In fact, Eric's Aunt Verna was so lovely, that Twitter fans were even vying for her to be the next Bachelorette. (Fun fact: Aunt Verna Meyers is an acclaimed scholar and activist. She's a diversity consultant and Harvard Law grad who gave a TED Talk on overcoming biases.)
Of course, Eric fans weren't exactly blind-sided by Rachel's decision to send him home — and they already have a plan B. After that charming hometown performance, a lot fans want to see Eric remain in Bachelor Nation, not as a contestant, but as the next Bachelor.
We can all dream, can't we?