'The Bachelor' star Clayton Echard explains how and when he fell in love with three women on Season 26
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/13/2022
The Bachelor star Clayton Echard has revealed how he fell in love with three women on Season 26 and the moment in which he realized he was in love with multiple bachelorettes.
Clayton, a 28-year-old orthopedic sales representative and former college football player from Missouri, confirmed that he found love on Season 26 during a Good Morning America appearance late last year.
And based on a trailer ABC recently released for The Bachelor season, Clayton apparently fell in love with three women.
On how that was possible, Clayton explained, "When I was with one woman individually, I focused 100 percent on them. I did it. I made sure. I felt like it was right to not focus on anyone else when I was with one person, so I could develop these strong connections," Entertainment Tonight reported.
"And then I would go immediately with somebody else, and I would focus solely on them as well."
But Clayton admitted he didn't think there was a chance he could love more than one woman going into his season.
"I thought I would never get involved to the point where I would be falling in love with multiple women, but then it happened, and then I was fighting it," Clayton acknowledged.
"I was telling myself, 'No, there is no way you are falling in love with multiple women.'"
But Clayton revealed on Bachelor Nation's YouTube channel there was a change in his mindset or "shift" from his initial viewpoint during his Final 4 bachelorettes' hometown dates, when he realized he was in fact falling for multiple women.
"At this point, I had these women expressing these emotions and I still basically hadn't told them how I felt. I was kind of withholding it all," Clayton said.
"It's not that I felt the pressure, but I just realized in a relationship, it needs to be a two-way street. If someone is giving... their 100 percent, you've got to give 100."
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Yet Clayton was "holding back" his feelings because he seemingly was skeptical or not fully trusting what his heart was feeling at the time.
"I was afraid of what would happen if I started to fall for multiple women," Clayton confessed.
"I was like, 'How is my brain going to make sense of that? It doesn't make sense'... I realize now it can happen and it's wild, but it did. And once it did, it was scary, but then it allowed me to start growing those relationships even more once they knew where I stood."
Clayton toldUs Weekly that he "finally came to terms" with his love for several ladies.
"I was like, you know what? Quit fighting these feelings because if you do fight the feelings, you're gonna hold back and then that's gonna cause these women to potentially put up their walls," Clayton shared.
"One day it hit me, and I was like, 'I'm in, you know, [I'm] falling in love with multiple women.'"
Clayton apparently surprised himself with his reaction to such an epiphany.
"I kind of started laughing in disbelief," he told Us. "I don't know if it was a nervous -- I think it was a nervous laugh. But you know what? I realized, like, 'You can't fight these feelings, you have to allow them to come out.'"
And looking back on his journey as a whole, which apparently included Clayton having sex with at least two of his bachelorettes, the former pro football player insisted he has no regrets.
"I can't say that I have any regrets because if I would've done things differently, would it have been my 100 percent authentic journey? And I think the answer to that's no," Clayton explained.
"So what I did and every moment while I was there was what I thought was right. Does that mean it was right? Probably not, no. I mean, I definitely was not perfect. I did some things wrong, but I did everything under my volition and what I thought was best."
Clayton said he's proud he had stayed true to himself, adding that the "battle scars" he received along the way is just "what life is."
"I didn't believe it could happen, but I am in love with three women," Clayton admits.
Footage then seemed to flash to Clayton standing in front of two ladies, who appeared to be either his Final 2 bachelorettes or two of his Final 3 women, after his round of overnight Fantasy Suite dates.
"I just want you to know that what I'm about to say is not going to be easy to hear. I want to be fully, fully transparent, and I know it's not easy to hear, but I was intimate with both of you," Clayton confesses to the two ladies.
The drama leaves Clayton feeling "so broken" as he stares at a diamond engagement ring, seemingly unsure of whom to give it to.