Bekah Martinez appears to be the frontrunner on The Bachelor season right now, despite her young age, and Arie Luyendyk Jr. apparently agrees with that.

ADVERTISEMENT
"I couldn't deny the fact that there was a lot of feeling towards her, and at that point in the show, I was probably the most connected to her," Arie told Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti on their Almost Famous Podcast.

And that's why Arie really struggled with the decision on whether to eliminate the 22-year-old nanny when she revealed her age during a one-on-one date in Lake Tahoe.

Arie admitted he was a completely different man in his twenties than he is now at 36, and he feared that Bekah simply wasn't ready for marriage or a life in which she'd be settling down and looking to have children soon.

Arie wondered if Bekah had her partying and clubbing days out of her system yet, and "that made things really difficult for me," he noted.

"It did shock me that she was 22, and I think you saw in the episode that I'm pretty tormented on what I should do," Arie explained on the podcast.

"I really expected her to be in her mid-twenties even though she looks so young, just because the conversation with her, we always have these really great conversations. She's very intelligent, she's very mature, and she really read me really well."

Bekah came across very poised and well spoken when she'd communicate with Arie, and she also wasn't afraid to give an opinion or ask a tough question. For example, she told Arie that the reason he was so attracted to her was because she didn't need him to complete her.

"She seemed to really know a lot about me in those few conversations that we had, and so, I always felt really connected to her... So there was an inner conflict there, for sure," confessed the pro racing driver turned real estate agent.

Not only did Bekah challenge Arie, but he seemed to find her confidence and independence very sexy as well.

"She would say -- or I'd be like, you know, 'We can't just sit here and kiss. We need to have a great conversation.' And so we would have this conversation, and then she'd be like, 'Okay, are we done now? Can you kiss me yet?' She would say little things like that," the Bachelor recalled.

As for whether Arie believes Bekah would be too young to become the next The Bachelorette star -- if he didn't choose her in the end -- Arie told Ben and Ashley, "That's a discussion further down the line, but yeah, she's just very bold and she knows who she is. That was very attractive to me."