The Bachelor Season 24 star has previously said that his post-show romantic relationship with Kelley was the best one he's ever had, but according to the pilot, something still didn't feel quite right.
"I just remember with Kelley, when we started dating, [we were] trying to keep it hush and under wraps a little bit because we were trying to figure it out in that moment," Peter explained.
"And you don't want, like, the whole Bachelor Nation giving their opinion on it. But a picture is snapped here and you can't escape it. It's almost like an invasion of privacy in your private relationship that you're trying to work on and really care about."
Peter insisted he was "investing everything into" his relationship with Kelley "and having so many other opinions" about it really bothered him.
"It just gets to you. It does," Peter said. "Obviously, my experience is pretty unique with Kelley... so it made it a little more difficult, but hey, you sign up for it."
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Peter also pointed out how The Bachelor franchise has worked for many happy and successful couples.
"I think if you can [get through the publicity], you're set and there's probably very little that can take you down," Peter shared.
Kelley, who finished Peter's The Bachelor season in fifth place, recently told Us that she doesn't think winning the show would have saved her relationship with Peter or changed its demise and the outcome of their breakup.
But Peter apparently isn't so sure.
"Could've, should've, would've," Peter said. "You never know, but I think everything happened the way it was supposed to happen. I really do. I don't have any regrets or anything."
"I learned a sh-t ton about myself and, like, how I want to be in a relationship moving forward and what I want," he added.
"And, you know, I'm so, so, so incredibly thankful for Kelley [and] for all the girls who I was either in a relationship with or got to meet through the journey."
Peter told the magazine he's "so incredibly happy" with where he's at now.
"I feel good about it... Everything happens for a reason. That's just my story of how it went, and it's still going," Peter shared.
Peter said he's no longer "chasing" a relationship or "pushing" one to work.
"I want to let it happen naturally and organically. I've been such a people-pleaser in the past, and that's one of the things I'm trying to change about myself," Peter explained.
"I've just learned when to put myself first in life in general and when to put someone else first, like, in a relationship and [find] that balance that's so necessary for a healthy relationship."
Peter also confirmed he's still single "and not seriously with anyone," although he's been "going on dates."
"I'm hanging out with people and getting to know them. But nothing serious or exclusive or anything like that," Peter noted.
On whether he'd like to date a woman from Bachelor Nation again, he replied, "I wouldn't say I'll 'never do it,' but... I am a private person. I'm more of a reserved and shy person than I think people think I am... It's kind of exciting to think about dating someone not from the show."
Peter concluded he'd like to "go back" to his normal life, as much as that's possible at this point, and "just have a lot more privacy" in a relationship.
The Bachelor's Season 24 finale aired on ABC in March 2020 and ended with Peter proposing marriage and getting engaged to Hannah.
But Peter later broke things off with Hannah and reunited with Madison.
Peter and Madison announced on The Bachelor: After the Final Rose they intended to try dating again after the show, but two days later, they release separate statements announcing their decision to call it quits on the relationship.
"Through mutual friends, there's been conversations circulating, but we have not seen each other since [the finale]," Madison told Us of Peter earlier this month.
After eight months of dating, Kelley and Peter announced their split on New Year's Eve. However, the pair briefly reconciled and gave their relationship another shot, until Kelley and Peter's romance ended for good in mid-February 2021.
The former couple's split turned nasty, with Peter and Kelley exchanging insults in the press.
On May 20, Kelley appeared on the "Chicks in the Office" podcast and said her relationship with Peter ended "really badly" in February because there were some "non-negotiables" in their relationship and the pair apparently lacked good communication.
Kelley admitted she would "just run" if she ever bumped into her ex in the streets of New York, where they both currently live. She recalled telling Peter to "get out of my life and lose my number."
Peter then addressed Kelley's biting remarks during the May 25 episode of his "Bachelors in the City" podcast, telling his listeners that Kelley seemed to be riding the fame wave and trying to push headlines with her "calculated and disingenuous" statements.
In late May, Kelley fired back at Peter for bashing her approach to speaking about their breakup.
"When there are things out there that are misconstrued, I am always going to stand up for myself, as I think everyone else should," Kelley said in a YouTube video at the time.
"I will never let anyone create a narrative for me, so finally the bear was poked. There were a lot of things going on, even me being disrespected," she added.
Kelley admitted it "sucks" she can no longer look back on her relationship with Peter and see it as having been "a great relationship" with mutual respect.
Peter acknowledged during an episode of the "Tea With Publyssity" podcast this past summer that there are "two sides to every story" and "it's true that usually the truth lies a little bit in between both those sides."
"I said my piece, and, like, I have no desire to further that... I've moved on," Peter confirmed. "I know she's moved on... I truly wish her nothing but the best."