Exclusive: Rachel Truehart: Ben Flajnik didn't really seem to want wife
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/20/2012
Rachel Truehart, a 27-year-old fashion sales representative from New York City, NY, was eliminated along with Emily O'Brien, a 27-year-old PhD student from Chapel Hill, NC, during last Monday night's Rose Ceremony by Ben Flajnik -- narrowing The Bachelor star's love search to four women during the ABC reality dating series' sixteenth season.
On Friday, Rachel talked to Reality TV World about her The Bachelor experience and "slow burning" relationship with Ben that came to an end just before she would have brought him home to meet her family -- including why she wasn't surprised that Ben eliminated her, whether she was falling in love with Ben, what type of relationship she believed Ben was looking for while on the show, and how drastically her opinion of The Bachelor star worsened overtime.
Below is the first half of our exclusive interview with Rachel. Check back with Reality TV World later for the second portion.
Reality TV World: Were you surprised when you got eliminated or did you see it coming at all?
Rachel Truehart: Honestly, I really did see it coming. I even said it to the girls that night. I was like, "I have a strong feeling I'm going home tonight."
I could tell that Ben was a little bit shaky with me and that we kind of had this roller-coaster relationship where sometimes things were great and we had this awesome chemistry between us, and then other times, it was just -- as you saw on TV -- that it was awkward and there was silence.
Sometimes it just wasn't -- we weren't clicking. I think he was kind of cautious about that and wondering, "Why is it going up and down and not just keep going forward?" So I think I could tell that he was ready to call it quits.
Reality TV World: After you were eliminated, do you think you were more upset and disappointed that you hadn't found love in general or that your hadn't found love with Ben?
Rachel Truehart: Yeah, I think it was more just not finding love in general. Like I said, it was another -- no one wants to be rejected and no one wants to get dumped.
Even if I wasn't necessarily falling in love, I did have feelings for him and I liked him and I wanted things to go forward and see where it could have gone. So, it was disappointing, but I wasn't heartbroken over having to leave him. It was just an upsetting experience.
Reality TV World: You said in your final words that you were tired of being disappointed as if it happened at least several times in your past, so could you talk a little bit about what you meant by that?
Rachel Truehart: I think it's just being broken up with and being disappointed by a guy that doesn't want to bring a relationship forward when you do want to bring something forward. It's just another disappointing thing when you want to move forward in a relationship and the guy doesn't.
It's something that I've been through before. I've had past relationships where I felt differently than the person I was with. So, I think it just kind of brings up some of those old emotions a little bit.
Reality TV World: You talked a little bit about how Ben felt about you and vice versa, but how intense would you say your feelings really were for him? Were you falling in love or in love, and how strongly did you believe Ben reciprocated some of those feelings for you before you got eliminated?
Rachel Truehart: I really wasn't falling in love with him at that moment. I wasn't in love with him. I don't think I was even really falling in love with him. I did have feelings for him and I had a crush on him and what not, but I've fallen in love before and when I do fall in love, I'm somebody that falls hard and fast.
I wasn't experiencing that, so it was kind of making me question the relationship as well. I think that's why we had some of those awkward moments sometimes. I was like, "Okay, I feel like I should be having stronger feelings at this point in time."
But then again, because the experience is so different than a relationship in the real world where you can see someone everyday and not worry about them dating other girls, I think maybe I was kind of -- I had my guard up a little bit about being with him.
Reality TV World: What was your first impression of Ben and was it consistent with what you saw of him during his season on The Bachelorette with Ashley Hebert?
Rachel Truehart: Yeah, you know, he was -- I actually had a better perception of him when I got to meet him. He kind of has a quirky, funnier side than I saw when he was on The Bachelorette. So I was pleased because I love a guy that can make me laugh. It's probably one of the number one traits that I look for in a guy.
So I was happy to see that he was kind of this funny and goofy -- would say and do silly things sometimes -- and it definitely made him look much more attractive to me.
Reality TV World: Would you say your opinion of Ben has changed at all since you've been watching the show at home and you get to see his relationships unfold with some of the other women, especially Courtney Robertson? Is he the guy you originally thought he was or believed he was while you got to know him on the show?
Rachel Truehart: Oh yeah, that's definitely changed. I don't think he's a terrible person by any means because I think he's kind of falling for the victim role that Courtney seems to be playing and I guess that's a typical thing that any guy would do.
I think that when I was there, I thought he was this really perceptive guy. I don't know. I didn't think he'd be the type of guy to fall for that, but I'm seeing that a little bit more now -- that he maybe he wasn't quite as perceptive as we all thought he was.
Reality TV World: What was your reaction when you found out that Courtney went skinny dipping with Ben? Did your opinion of Ben change at that point and if you had discovered that happened while you were still on the show, would their behavior have impacted your decision to either stay or quit?
Rachel Truehart: You know, I think that if we did find out, I think a lot of us would have just left at that point. It would have been -- it wouldn't feel very fair that we had to watch that and we really had no clue that any of that happened.
It almost to me, when I was watching it, it looked like he knew he shouldn't have done it. You could tell that he -- he even said, "I probably shouldn't." He was very hesitant to do it and I think he kind of just felt a little pressured by her or something.
He didn't want to be the guy that says no to skinny dipping, so he did it, and I think he knew that it wasn't a really good idea and it wasn't going to get him any positive feedback from us and from viewers watching the show.
Reality TV World: Some people have been saying that Ben actually deserves Courtney if he chooses her in the end and vice versa. What are your thoughts on that? Do you agree?
Rachel Truehart: (Laughs) I don't know. That sounds a little bit like a "negative Nancy" that they deserve each other. I think that maybe they do, that maybe it makes sense that the two of them are together -- I don't know. I don't know if I would say that they deserve each other.
Reality TV World: There has been a report that things are already over between Ben and the bachelorette he picked at the end. If that's true, what's your reaction to that and would that surprise you?
Rachel Truehart: Yeah, I've heard of that as well and honestly, it wouldn't surprise me in the least. The feelings I got from him -- the general attitude that I got from him -- was that he didn't seem like he was that ready for the -- you know, like he said he was, but I didn't get the feeling from him that he was like wanting a wife. He didn't seem like that.
He seemed like he still wanted to do the partying and kind of have his own life and just have like a girlfriend. I didn't really get the sense that he was truly looking for someone to marry. So I wouldn't be very surprised if it was already over.
Reality TV World: Looking back on things now, are you actually relieved or somewhat happy that Ben eliminated you before the hometown dates and didn't wait until after he met your family to do so? Or do you think if you had more time with Ben and he got to know your family, maybe your connection would have been strengthened and, as a result, the outcome would have been different?
Rachel Truehart: Yeah, that's actually something I was kind of having a problem with the last week that I was there. I was going back and forth. I wasn't sure if I wanted a hometown date -- if I was ready to take that step. But at the same time, I thought, "If I do have a hometown date, there's a very good chance that maybe this could actually go somewhere with me being in my own element."
I've got an amazing family and he would have a blast with them. They're really fun, we're all really close, he probably would have seen a different side of me, and we could have maybe bonded a little bit more.
Maybe the relationship would have gotten stronger, but then it would have been all that much harder to have been eliminated after that and then have to worry, "Was it my family?! What went wrong!?" You know? So I would have rathered gone home when I did instead of right after hometown.
Reality TV World: What do you think your family's perception of Ben would have been if you brought him home while you were still on the show versus what they might think of him now after watching the show?
Rachel Truehart: Yeah, you know, if they met him then, they probably would have really liked him. He shares a lot of things that he likes doing that a lot of my family likes doing -- like he loves landscaping. My uncle's a landscaper. My dad's a builder -- hands on kind of guy. I think that they would have had a great time with him and they would have liked him a lot.
And then for them to see him on TV, I mean, they don't have the best view of him at the moment and they always tell me that I can do better and all that. So I think that it definitely would have changed their perspective if they met him in person and now see him.