Tayshia and Brendan on 'The Bachelorette'

We Need To Talk About That Unexpected 'Bachelorette' Self-Elimination

ABC/Craig Sjodin

Bachelor Nation has finally reached the end of Season 16 of The Bachelorette, and what a journey it's been. Right from the start of Tayshia Adams' time as the Bachelorette, she felt a major connection with one guy in particular: Brendan Morais. He was the first guy to get a 1-on-1 date with Tayshia, and afterward, she said she could see herself ending up with him. Since he was such a frontrunner, fans were shocked that he decided to eliminate himself in the Dec. 21 episode. Here's why Brendan left The Bachelorette:

A big reason Tayshia and Brendan bonded so much early on is that both of them have been married and divorced. Those similar experiences gave them a major point of connection, but it was also the reason Brendan went home without the final rose. Brendan was a little nervous about taking serious steps forward with Tayshia, especially the big step of getting engaged. Nevertheless, in the Dec. 21 episode, they went on a Fantasy Suite date to try on engagement rings. But something didn't feel right for Brendan, who said he felt like it was "a scary step."

Tayshia said she loves everything about Brendan, so she decided to bring Brendan on a date to meet Neil Lane, who designs the engagement rings for the Bachelor franchise. But, the whole time they were on the date, Brendan said he felt the weight of the commitment that an engagement ring represents.

ABC/Craig Sjodin

"I've been here before," Brendan said to cameras. "I've looked at rings before. But when I propose to someone a second time, that person is going to be my wife for the rest of my life."

After the ring-shopping portion of the date, Tayshia said she could see herself spending the rest of her life with Brendan, but she sensed he was still struggling with something. It turns out, she was right. Brendan told Tayshia it had been a challenging past couple of days and weeks for him. He said he came to a realization that there's a big part of him that is "broken, still needs time to heal, and still needs time to grow" after his divorce. He explained he wants to give Tayshia "his whole heart," but at that moment his heart "isn't whole."

"You deserve a man who is complete," Brendan said. "You deserve a man who is healed from his past and unfortunately right now, I'm not that man. I'm so sorry."

Tayshia said she understood where Brendan was coming from, because she'd been married before too. "If you're not ready, that's not something I'm gonna push you to do," she told him.

As Tayshia walked Brendan out, she told the camera that every day of this journey, she thought she would end up with Brendan. But, as Brendan put it as he drove away from the resort, him not being ready meant they had to end their relationship before it could even really begin.

Season 16 of The Bachelorette continues on Tuesday, Dec. 22, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.