It's been almost a week since Bachelor Winter Games stars Lesley Murphy and Dean Unglert announced their split on Friday, April 6, and the former couple is finally spilling the tea about what went wrong in their short-lived relationship. On a new episode of his podcast, Help! I Suck At Dating (an apt title), the former Bachelorette contestant addressed the breakup directly for the first time, and what he had to say is soul-crushing. Dean's quotes about Lesley after their breakup will leave fans of the cute couple — and just love in general — sobbing, so get ready to break out the tissues, Bachelor Nation.
Over the weekend, both Dean and Lesley posted cryptic Instagrams about being "ready" to find love and why knowing yourself is the first important step in having a successful relationship. Neither Bachelor Winter Games star addressed the other directly, but it was pretty clear that the posts were about their relationship and subsequent breakup. From the captions, many speculated that Dean and Lesley were on totally separate pages when it came to their relationship, and that ultimately, the breakup was caused by the fact that they're just in very different places in life (Lesley is a few years older and more established in her career than Dean).
Late Tuesday, Dean seemed to confirm fans' speculation in a podcast episode titled "What's In My Head." The reality star insisted that while he knows Lesley truly loved him, those feelings alone weren't enough to make the relationship work out:
The one thing I want is just to know I feel loved back. I want to feel loved. The worst part about all of this is that Lesley did feel that way about me regardless of everything. I know that she did love me.
Dean didn't explain the specific reasons why things didn't work out — what he means by "everything" — but he added that the experience has prompted him to become the best version of himself:
I got the one thing that I wanted but it still didn't end up working out, which is one of the worst things to come to the realization of. I've been meditating more and I'm going to start going to therapy this week.
Is this really Dean we're talking about? The same guy who got involved in a sleazy love triangle in Bachelor in Paradise? As sad as their breakup is, Dean's transformation into a (seemingly) good guy is definitely a silver lining of this Bachelor relationship.
Later in the podcast, Dean acknowledged that he's hesitant about getting into a "good relationship" because he's never had a model relationship in his life:
I don't really think I've ever had a strong example of a good relationship in my entire life. My parents didn't really like each other when I was growing up... I've never really had a relationship to look up to and I think that takes a big toll on what I think a relationship should be like.
Could Dean's past have prevented him from fully embracing his relationship with Lesley? The Bachelor Winter Games contestant said that he has "a crippling fear" of turning into his estranged father and that he hopes therapy will help him cope with these issues:
I have this instinctive defensive thing to kind of push away from the good things in my life and hopefully therapy will end up helping me out with that ... All of this boils back down to I think my issues, my insecurities, my incredible fear of abandonment and needing to belong somewhere.
Wow. This is a level of openness fans have never seen from Dean, and it's so, so sweet. I genuinely hope that therapy helps Dean, because I would love to see him in a happy relationship that lasts.
If you weren't crying already, get ready to lose it: after Dean finished baring his soul, he talked about how great Lesley is and how happy she'll make someone one day:
Lesley was an incredible girlfriend. I know one day she'll be an incredible wife and wonderful mother. She's a great aunt to her two nephews and she's a great girl.
Aww. Fingers crossed that these two find the happiness they're looking for!