Zach had set a no-sex rule for himself going into Fantasy Suites with his Final 3 bachelorettes -- Ariel, Gabi Elnicki and Kaity Biggar. Zach succeeded in staying true to his word with Ariel, but then he slept with Gabi during his second overnight date in Thailand.
Kaity, who had the third date of Fantasy Suite Week, appeared to inform Gabi at the Rose Ceremony that Gabi was the only woman who had slept with Zach, prompting Gabi to feel "violated" and "ashamed."
But Ariel was sent home in third place at that Rose Ceremony, and she expressed on The Bachelor's Season 27 finale how Zach had never informed her about his sexual encounter with Gabi and so she was "disappointed" in him.
On "The Viall Files," Ariel opened up to The Bachelor alum Nick Viall about how she voluntarily and willingly had "an open relationship" with Zach, which only became an issue once she was expected to oblige to Zach's terms.
"The problem wasn't the fact that [Zach] was 'open,' it was the dishonesty," Ariel explained.
"I think the only way to survive these things is to be honest with yourself and your partner and to be open... So if someone sleeps with someone else... that's not really downgrading our relationship -- that's you exploring others that we've committed to."
"So I wanted to make it clear that my issue is the fact I was never told that, not the issue of what happened," added the 28-year-old marketing executive from New York.
Ariel said when an open relationship is established, rules "are set in place" and discretion must be used.
"And if the parameters change for that relationship, your partner needs to know," she explained. "Because if you're already open, that's difficult in itself. So honest is everything vs. monogamy in that situation."
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Zach was shown telling The Bachelor host Jesse Palmer about his plans to come clean to Ariel and Kaity about his decision to have sex with Gabi in the Fantasy Suite in the spirit of being honest and transparent.
"He actually mentioned that to Jesse that he was going to tell me. So that makes him not a man of his word twice," Ariel complained.
"And although he might have known he was sending me home -- I'm not going to speculate when that was or when he made that decision -- but regardless of me potentially going home and that relationship ending, it doesn't mean you don't show that relationship respect with honesty."
Ariel said even though Zach was about to close their chapter, "it doesn't mean you should change the way you're acting in that dynamic."
"So I was still owed an honest conversation. The reason why he even released the information saying what happened with Gabi -- which I also felt like was wrong. I think that was private and he shouldn't have said that," Ariel noted.
"He should have run it by Gabi before he decided to tell anyone privately, he should have told Kaity privately, he should have told me privately. So, the way everything was handled frustrates me, but on top of that, I feel like I was owed just that honesty."
Ariel reiterated how Zach's respect for her shouldn't have dissipated just because he was about to break up with her and they were no longer going to be in a relationship.
Going back to the start of Ariel's overnight date with The Bachelor star, she said Zach "spoke first" and dictated what was or was not going to happen that night, which definitely rubbed her the wrong way.
"He kind of set the precedent for the whole week and the whole evening, which is also what I had a problem with," Ariel pointed out.
"Because throughout the entirety of our relationship, he's making me feel like an individual. So the difficulty of dating someone that's dating 30 other people is to feel like an individual. And he made such a point of making me feel that way on our one-on-one [and] in different moments."
Ariel acknowledged how she never felt like there was anyone else but the two of them, even though she was well aware other women were in the mix.
"But when it was us two, it wasn't about anyone else's relationship. And in doing so and in saying, 'For this week, I'm not going to sleep with anyone, I'm not going to do those types of things,' and starting the full conversation at dinner off that way, I just didn't appreciate that we're now more in a collective situation in how we approach our own relationship," Ariel shared.
"And also, we're not having a conversation. It's a monologue, not a dialogue."
Ariel said that since she and Zach were so close to potentially getting engaged, she thought it was "frustrating" Zach robbed her of the ability to "have a fluid conversation."
She elaborated, "I don't like when people just come to you with an idea and you're not having dialogue. It's frustrating to also feel like you're having the same conversation with all the other women. And it's even more frustrating, as the woman, when I'm not part of that conversation and we're not having a back and forth of how we feel about this. And I also think that should be private."
Ariel insisted she actually "had the same intentions as Zach that week" when it came to sex, but she felt like her own voice in the relationship didn't matter.
"I personally was not ready for intimacy in that setting. And I felt like if I'm in an open relationship and I know the other person could be with someone else the next night, they're entitled to do that, in my opinion," Ariel reasoned.
"So I really didn't like that he started the entire date off that way, and he started the whole night off predicated on sex vs. us having a private conversation -- being off-camera, enjoying that time, and seeing what happened."
Ariel admitted, "I don't like when you set a standard for how the night or how the date should go. I think you set yourself at a deficit that way."
Ariel and Zach, however, ended up having a great date behind closed doors, according to the brunette beauty.
Ariel recalled how she and Zach "talked about everything under the sun until the sun came up" -- including what went wrong with his ex Rachel Recchia during their overnight date on The Bachelorette's nineteenth season.
Zach and Ariel allegedly didn't sleep at all, until the "last 10 minutes" of their date. Ariel therefore said she was "really shocked" by her elimination at the end of the week.
Ariel said she knew she was "most likely going home" at the Rose Ceremony following Fantasy Suites because Zach wouldn't make eye contact with her.
Although she didn't appear devastated or emotionally scarred by her breakup with Zach on The Bachelor, Ariel confirmed she cried in her hotel room once she had a moment alone and "realized what happened." Ariel claimed that she really cared for Zach and now forgives him for his mistakes.
The Bachelor ended with Zach dumping Gabi in second place and proposing marriage to Kaity. Zach and Kaity revealed on After the Final Rose how they're still together and happy, and the couple plans to move in together in Austin this summer.