"I needed to see more from her. Lesley had a wall up and I always felt like she couldn't be completely vulnerable with me. Our date was fun, but I needed more than fun. I desperately wanted to see her open up emotionally and allow me to see her true feelings, but that never happened. I was shocked to hear her say on TV that she loved me, and I was left confused as to why she didn't tell me that during our date. Had she told me, it could have changed everything," Lowe wrote in his People blog.
"When it came time to send someone home at the rose ceremony, I felt confident in my decision. As much as I enjoyed spending time with Lesley, I knew I had to send her home because she never allowed herself to open up emotionally."
While Lowe said Murphy "fit the best-friend criteria," Desiree Hartsock, Lindsay Yenter and Catherine Giudici -- who all embarked on the group date with the Bachelor during Monday night's episode -- definitely did as well, if not more so.
"Since the beginning I've said that I want to marry my best friend, and they definitely fit that criterion... At the end of the day, I really didn't know who I would give the rose to because they were all so deserving. But I decided to give it to Lindsay because she was so supportive, patient and encouraging throughout this entire journey," Lowe explained.
"Des, Lindsay and Catherine all have one thing in common: I always have fun with them."
AshLee Frazier, however, apparently didn't share that commonality with the three girls, and Lowe found that to be a bit of a problem.
"My first date was with AshLee, who was a front-runner in my mind since we visited the theme park back in Los Angeles. She is sweet, loving and compassionate, and I knew she truly wanted to give her heart over to me. But I was still left with doubts about our relationship because I didn't seem to have as much fun with her as I did with the other women," he wrote.
"Given her traumatic childhood, it's understandable why AshLee has control issues. But I think that was preventing her from really letting go and allowing herself to have fun. I really want a partner that I can laugh uncontrollably with and someone who can make even mundane tasks feel exciting. I hoped AshLee had that quality in her, or that I brought it out in her, and I was ready to find out."
Lowe said he did eventually find out Frazier had that fun side of her when he was able to spend more time with her.
"We ended our date with an oceanside dinner where she screamed her love for me while standing on a chair. For the first time, I felt like AshLee was finally letting go and stepping out of her comfort zone for me. I left that date thinking once again that AshLee might be the woman for me," the Bachelor wrote, adding that he appreciated her warning about Tierra LiCausi's alleged rude and miserable personality.
"AshLee decided to take one for the team and tell me everything I needed to know about Tierra. Until that point, I had only heard the women say they didn't like Tierra, but they never gave specific reasons. It was actually a huge relief to hear all that AshLee had to say. It took a lot of courage for her to bring it up."