Ben Flajnik: I was definitely angry after 'Bachelorette' finale rejection
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/02/2011
Ben Flajnik admits he was angry when Ashley Hebert rejected him after he proposed during Monday night's season finale on ABC.
"It's tough to watch. You put yourself out there. You're so confident in everything that you felt up to that point, and I really didn't see that one coming. Watching it, there was some anger there," The Bachelorette seventh-season runner-up told host Chris Harrison during The Bachelorette: After the Final Rose special which aired immediately after the finale.
Harrison said he appreciated Flajnik's genuine reaction to the bad news that Hebert had selected fellow bachelor J.P. Rosenbaum, a 34-year-old construction manager from New York, NY, instead, while the rejected suitor further expressed his devastation.
"The only thing I remember from that day is when I got down on one knee and her saying ultimately no, and then having the strength and courage to stand up. That was the hardest part -- getting back up," explained Flajnik, a 28-year-old winemaker from Sonoma, CA.
The jilted bachelor wasn't hesitant to confirm how real and strong his feelings for Hebert really were.
"I was in love with her and it takes a lot for me to put myself out there and to fall in love. It's not easy. To get down on one knee and propose to someone, it still kind of blows my mind," Flajnik said, adding that his rejection was compounded by the fact he flew home to attend his best friend's wedding immediately following his ouster.
Later on in the interview, Hebert joined Flajnik and said she didn't understand at first how he could walk away from her without wanting to talk things out. Flajnik, holding his head held high, defending his behavior after Hebert denied him her final rose.
"There was anger. I will tell you that. When you put yourself out there and you are kind of hoping for this and it doesn't come true, it's like being told, 'No.' I left with a little bit of dignity, I think that's what that was," he said.
However, Flajnik clarified he is no longer angry at Hebert and actually thankful for how she changed his life for the better.
"I think about Ashley. Obviously she's impacted my life greatly. I'm a more complete person because of her and this whole journey, and I won't ever take that away. I won't," the rejected suitor said, later adding he could see him and Hebert maintaining a friendship in the future.
While Flajnik's journey ended in heartbreak, he told Harrison he was ready to move forward and find love again.
"Having gone through something like that, something so special, everybody wants to feel it and I'd like to feel it again. So only time will tell," Flajnik added.