Back when Sean competed on the eighth season of The Bachelorette, ABC's episode featuring the fantasy-suite dates showed Emily turning down Sean, Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Jef Holm for the overnight portion in Curacao to be a good role model for her daughter Ricki. She was shown talking to each bachelor late into the night but then sending them back to their respective rooms.
Well, Sean has the inside scoop, and that's not really how it went down.
"I was so confident back then thinking, 'I'm the dude she's going to choose!' I knew it because she told me. She said, 'Listen, I'm only going to do this with you.' We're going to look like we're going to wrap up the date, but then we're going to go to the fantasy suite and we can just hang out," Lowe toldDish Nation in a recent interview.
"And so, that's exactly what we did. I think I walked her back to her place at like four in the morning. We spent four hours with no cameras and so I'm thinking, 'If she's only doing it with me, then she must want to choose me.' Of course it was that same week she sent me home."
After the seventeenth-season The Bachelor star let out a laugh, he revealed on the show, "And I found out she did it with the other guys too."
When asked whether he believes Emily actually hooked up with winner Jef and runner-up Arie during their overnight dates, Sean replied, "Uh, if I had to guess, I'd say probably."
In Sean's new book For the Right Reasons: America's favorite bachelor on faith, love, marriage, and why nice guys finish first, he discussed his memory of his fantasy-suite date with Emily in detail.
"While I normally would've been nervous about such a prospect, I knew premarital sex was off the table for this Southern Christian bachelorette. When Emily was a Bachelor contestant, she turned down an offer for an overnight date from Brad Womack, saying she didn't want to set a bad example for her daughter," Sean wrote.
"I didn't even wonder how she was handling this potentially awkward situation, because I knew she'd do it with grace and charm."
During their helicopter ride to a private island in Curacao, Emily apparently leaned over to Sean and told him about her plan for the overnight date, asking him not to tell anyone. Sean was surprised she had come up with this idea just for him.
"'For you only,'" Emily told him. "'When I open the fantasy-suite invitation tonight, I'm going to say no on camera. But after we finish filming tonight, come back to the suite and we can hang out.'"
"'Really?' I asked, my heart in my throat," Sean wrote.
"'Don't get any ideas,'" she smiled. 'I want so badly to be able to talk to you without the whole nation watching. No cameras. Just us.'"
Sean said he never felt more certain of their relationship at that point. Emily kept calling him "perfect." He then read her a letter he had written for her daughter Ricki. It was important to Emily that a man could genuinely fit into her life at home.
"I'd been confident that Emily believed I was the one," Sean wrote. "But in that moment, when I saw that look in her eyes after I read the letter, I knew... [It] had sealed the deal."
Sean then told Emily that he loved her, and he was very excited about becoming a husband and father all at once. After spending a little time in the fantasy suite talking, Sean pretended to walk back to his room only to return to her place once the cameras were shut off. Emily called Sean her "boyfriend" once they met back up.
"It definitely had a nice ring to it. At least it would do until next week, when she would call me, simply, her fiance," Sean admitted.
When Arie and Jef had their fantasy-suite dates with Emily afterward, Sean was confident and pretty much worry-free.
"There would be no actual overnight dates with Emily... Those moments felt like 'stolen time' and I was so honored that she chose to have that time with me and me alone," Sean said, clearly having no idea at the time she gave Jef and Arie the same opportunity.
Sean never thought for a second he'd be denied the next rose, as he already planned out how he'd propose. She also seemed to love his family and their intimate conversations.
However, Emily gave her two roses to Jef -- the clear frontrunner at that point -- and then Arie at the Rose Ceremony which determined her Final 2 men. Emily told Sean that she didn't deserve him and she thought he was going to be "the one" heading into the final week.
"My mind was reeling. If she thought I was 'the one' going into this week, what had happened to change her mind? Our date had gone so well... Was she upset that I didn't have a job I loved back home and might not be as wealthy as the other guys?... I had no answers," Sean said in the book.
"After seeing how everything ended up for her, I was sort of relieved she'd sent me home."