Peter, a 31-year-old personal trainer and business owner from Madison, WI, revealed he's receiving death threats after he was shown struggling to say "I love you" to Rachel on The Bachelorette's July 17 episode.
Peter took to Instagram to address all the backlash on Monday.
"All I can say is that I am sorry to those who wanted me to tell Rachel that I was in love with her tonight after what was essentially two dates. As I stated many times on the show before, I do not take those three words lightly, as once they are said they can never be taken back, and to the person that you choose to say them to, they can hold enormous weight," Peter captioned a photo of himself with a friend.
"So rather than race to say something that is of such GREAT importance to me, and I wish was of more importance to others, I chose to take my time in getting to know this woman as much as I possibly could before choosing to express those three words to her."
Peter expressed on Monday night's The Bachelorette episode how the idea of proposing to Rachel after such a short period of time together was "terrifying."
Peter wasn't sure he'd be ready to get down on one knee at the end of the process, and he confessed to having "doubts, questions and fears" about his relationship with Rachel given the circumstances under which they were dating.
"I did not realize that being honest and forthright with my feelings and emotions and allowing her to make an informed decision based off of me being as open as possible, as hard as it was for me to go through, would warrant such hate and anger and even now death threats via social media and email," Peter continued in his statement.
"I have always been one to encourage the spread of love, but giving your heart to someone for the rest of your life is not something that I take at all lightly or for granted and I wish that people could see that, rather than take me down so violently and without regard to the fact that I am still human."
Although Peter opted out of expressing love to Rachel, he did tell her that he was "hopeful" about their future together and she made him really happy.
Peter explained at the end of his hometown date on The Bachelorette: "She fits into my life flawlessly. I want things to move forward with Rachel, but in order to move to that next step, I don't know what it's going to take. But I'm not there yet. I need time to process my emotions and feelings... I'm worried this may be the last time I see her."
Peter wrapped up his message on Instagram by telling critics and haters that their harsh words have a profound affect on him.
"I hope that people will take a moment to look within themselves and at their own lives to find compassion and understanding rather than forming judgment and spreading hate. And that goes for the awful things that are being said to other cast members of mine as well," Peter shared.
"I am so happy to have been able to share this experience with you all, but know that your words do TRULY hurt and affect me AND them. Thank you for those who have had my back throughout and for all the understanding and kind words that have also been said. Much love to you all."
It's clear Peter still had walls up at this point in his journey on The Bachelorette, but Rachel decided to give him a rose anyway. Peter will therefore be shown meeting Rachel's family in Dallas, TX, in the next episode, along with Bryan Abasolo and Eric Bigger.