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Arie Luyendyk Jr.: I make "one of the single hardest decisions" of my life after "stressful" 'The Bachelor' hometowns

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/16/2018 

Arie Luyendyk Jr. didn't go into The Bachelor hometown dates thinking they'd be a breeze, but he admits the family visits were more tense and uncomfortable than he ever expected.

The upcoming February 19 episode of The Bachelor is going to feature Arie visiting the hometowns of Lauren Burnham, Tia Booth, Becca Kufrin and Kendall Long. And according to previews, Arie is going to be put in the hotseat multiple times by concerned parents and relatives.

"Meeting the families was even more stressful and dramatic than I anticipated. You'll see people question my past, my intentions and my character. I'm forced to confront rumors and try to win people over who don't want me dating their daughter," Arie teased in his People blog.

And Arie's week of traveling to different states will end with another elimination -- one that he was dreading.

"I make one of the single hardest decisions of my entire life," Arie revealed.

"I came into this experience to find the love of my life, and I was one step closer. And just when I thought I had seen it all, the rest of the journey gets even crazier. You won't want to miss it."

The last The Bachelor episode took place in Tuscany, Italy. Not only did Jacqueline Trumbull choose to quit the competition on her own terms, Arie also sent two standout bachelorettes packing -- Seinne Fleming and Bekah Martinez.

"Saying goodbye to Seinne wasn't easy. She's breathtakingly beautiful, and so intelligent. Oftentimes, I joked that she was perhaps too good for me. But, that's one of the crazy things about love. Just because someone is great, doesn't mean they're great for you," explained Arie, who dumped Seinne during the dinner portion of their one-on-one date.

"As much as I liked and respected Seinne, I knew my connection to her wasn't as strong as my connection to Becca K. or Lauren. As much as I wanted that connection to grow stronger, it hadn't. In situations like that, I had to listen to my heart. As much as it pained me, I knew that I needed to say goodbye."

And Arie ousted Bekah during a three-on-one date with Kendall and Tia. Kendall got a rose first, and so Arie's last decision in Tuscany came down to a choice between the 22-year-old nanny from California or the 26-year-old feisty southern belle from Arkansas.

"I didn't realize how hard it was going to be to say goodbye to Bekah. During our breakup, she was so gracious and mature that it reminded me of all her amazing qualities," Arie said of the former frontrunner for his heart.

"Bekah always saw me for who I am and always called me out on my flaws. Even though she was young, our connection was real. Ultimately, I said goodbye not because we weren't a good match, but because I didn't think she was ready for marriage and because my relationships with other women felt stronger."

Arie knew that choosing his Final 4 bachelorettes would be a monumental moment in his journey on The Bachelor's 22nd season.

"As I ended my time in Tuscany, I realized that the next week I'd be meeting these four women's families. That meant I would potentially be meeting my future in-laws," Arie noted.

"I knew from being on The Bachelorette that families can be very skeptical of the whole falling-in-love-on-TV thing. It was going to be my job to convince them it was possible and show them how real my feelings were for their daughters."

Arie Luyendyk Jr./Instagram

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