During Monday night's The Bachelorette episode, Eric made waves in the house by expressing concern over whether Rachel was truly genuine in this process to find love.
His skepticism of her intentions prevented him from establishing a real emotional connection with the Bachelorette although he considered himself vulnerable and invested.
Eric's outspoken nature might've impressed Rachel, but it rubbed some of his competition the wrong way -- including Lee Garrett, Bryce Powers and Iggy Rodriguez. And during the mud-wrestling group date, Lee and Bryce expressed to Rachel's friend Raven Gates how Eric was probably the "least appropriate" suitor for her.
"Getting opinions from the squad on the guys was the real highlight of the day for me," Rachel wrote in her People blog.
"In their eyes, [Dean Unglert] might not have been their favorite at After the Final Rose, but on this date he redeemed himself. While Eric, who used to be their favorite, was now being questioned. Going into that evening, I knew that Eric and I would need some real valuable time."
When it became time for the after party, Rachel said her conversation with Eric really stood out. The bachelor needed some reassurance that Rachel really liked him and wanted him to be there, and the 32-year-old Dallas attorney gave him just that, along with the only-available rose.
"I know some people may be surprised that I gave my rose to a man who had just questioned how seriously I was taking this journey, but I actually respected his candidness," Rachel revealed.
"When I started going on group dates during [Nick Viall]'s season, group dates were extremely difficult for me. Like Eric, I was skeptical that group dates could lead to an engagement, and it took time for me to realize they absolutely held opportunities to make real progress."
Rachel apparently wasn't looking for a guy to suck up to her or constantly be on his best behavior.
"Hearing Eric question the journey and my choices is the exact kind of direct conversation real couples have to undergo," Rachel explained in her blog.
"Eric and I had an issue that we disagreed on, but we discussed that issue like adults, listened to each other and resolved this issue. These are the exact open and candid conversations I want to have in my relationships. Eric got the rose for challenging me, listening to me and keeping it 100."