"Dean's unorthodox hometown proves his restrained relationship with his father to be just as challenging as he'd been preparing me for," Rachel teased of Dean's hometown date in Aspen, CO, in her People blog.
"However, I found myself unaware of what had really been brewing under the surface that evening. Not until watching back did I see just how emotional that night really was."
In last week's episode, Rachel, a 32-year-old attorney from Dallas, TX, had an extremely difficult decision when choosing which four men would receive a hometown date and introduce her to their families.
During her week in Geneva, Switzerland, Rachel chose to give her relationships with Dean, Bryan Abasolo and Peter Kraus the most time by taking them on one-on-one dates while Eric Bigger, Adam Gottschalk and Matt Munson were forced to share a group date. Rachel's choices were especially unfair to Adam and Matt, who had never received a one-on-one date before at all.
"In a perfect world I would have enough roses and time to take every guy on multiple one-on-one dates until all my decisions could be made with complete confidence. But that's not the reality of this journey. At times I had to be selfish and focus on the relationships that held the most potential," Rachel explained.
"Some dates just lend themselves better to certain men. Some more passionate connections needed extra focus to make sure the feelings were genuine before hometowns. Other relationships that weren't quite as far along could still get there with the right conversations on a group date."
Rachel just hoped the men understood her intentions and decisions were "not completely selfish" because she had "the ultimate goal" of making one of the guys "the happiest and most loved husband" he ever dreamed he could be.
Rachel found Dean "cute and fun" during the first half of their solo date in Geneva when they enjoyed morning mass and then explored the town together.
"But I already knew that side of him. We needed to take our conversation to a more profound place to see if this relationship could have depth. But Dean didn't seem ready to go there yet," Rachel said.
"Something was holding him back and he kept steering the conversation back to dinosaurs and tooth fairies. Going into the dinner portion I was skeptical I would be handing out a rose that night. He had one chance to change my mind."
That night, Dean opened up to Rachel about how his father is "eccentric" and they've been estranged for about a decade.
Dean said his dad had failed to bestow love upon him when he needed it most -- when his mother passed away from breast cancer. Dean explained to the Bachelorette that his family had abandoned him at age 15 and fell apart after his mom died, so he feared bringing her into a broken home.
"I hadn't realized how hard it must have been to be in the hotel suite with all the other guys who were so excited about potentially having me meet their families when Dean was so afraid to introduce me to his," Rachel wrote in her blog.
"The fact that he delved into details regarding his difficult past, details he told me he had never shared with even his closest friends, made me realize just how much of his heart he was putting on the line for me."
Rachel knew there was a lot on the line when choosing to give Dean a rose, but her gut told her that it was the right decision to make.
"I knew giving him a rose meant going to a hometown that wasn't going to be stress-free. I knew it might get very painful for him, yet I didn't hesitate. I wanted to be there for him. I wanted to support him," Rachel confessed.
"That's how I knew I was falling for him. When Dean opens up he is truly one of the most beautiful people you will ever meet."
The Bachelorette star revealed the hometown dates that will be shown in the upcoming July 17 episode are "truly unbelievable."
"Some are splendid," she teased. "Others are more perplexing than anyone could have imagined and each will show a much a deeper side of these guys... Will Eric or Dean be the next to go all in? You'll see it all... when we take it back to the States."