Greg, 28, professed his love to Katie and then unexpectedly dumped her after hometown dates onThe Bachelorette's seventeenth season because Katie wouldn't give him the validation or reassurance he needed to feel ready to propose marriage in just a short week or two.
"I like to think on my end the feelings that we had were real, but I just truly believe that she had stronger feelings for Blake, who ended up getting engaged to her after. I mean, I was even calling producers after [I quit], I was DMing, like, [The Bachelorette co-host] Kaitlyn Bristowe -- nobody was answering me," Greg recalled on a recent episode of the "We Met at Acme" podcast.
"But I was like, 'Is she with him? Did they end up together? Is she coming back to New Jersey?' I was calling producers left and right."
Greg went on to admit, "I was also telling my family, I'm like, 'Guys, I think there's a better chance than not [we get back together] because let me tell you, it's like very real between us and I think they could give me a call and she's either going to come to New Jersey or I'll go back to New Mexico. I don't care what it takes.'"
When asked to explain the reason why he had left The Bachelorette prematurely, Greg replied, "It felt, like, a little too scripted and felt like, 'Alright, we need to play by [the rules].'"
"I had no problem going into the Fantasy Suite and there being two other guys there. I wasn't looking for the show to end. I wasn't at all. I wanted us to communicate on a mutual level in those moments," he shared.
Greg said he understood it was "tough" for Katie at the time considering she had two other relationships blossoming, but he noted, "For me, I just wanted that mutual love... On The Bachelorette, there are steps to it, and I understand that, but this is also the rest of my life."
"And if this is going to be the person I marry," he continued, "I want it to be completely real. And, like, yeah, I want to show my family after and be like, 'Look that we accomplished, look at what we went through.'"
"That damn dating show" is "one of the hardest things" to "make it out of the mud with someone," according to Greg.
Greg revealed Katie had agreed to move to New York if the pair ended up together since family is so important to Greg and he wouldn't want to leave his mother. That's when he apparently became very invested in The Bachelorette star.
"It was a really tough decision to leave. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to, you know, choose for myself. It was tough, especially after hearing everyone saying like, 'Oh, I was acting or I ran away when it got too serious,'" Greg explained.
"I mean, for me, I'm like, 'What if she said I love you back, guys?' Like, I couldn't leave then, you know? I would have known then, 'This is gonna be my wife,' I wouldn't have left. You can't leave [then]."
Greg said that after "emptying" his heart to Katie, he put all of his cards on the table and showed his hand.
"I said, 'This is us.' I just wanted a little crumb. I feel, for us, we just weren't on the same page, and I think that was very telling about where we were headed in the future. So I think that was the right move for me," Greg said looking back on the breakup.
Greg emerged as a very polarizing The Bachelorette suitor during and after Season 17 of the ABC reality series.
Katie and Greg faced each other on The Bachelorette: After the Final Rose amid the drama and exchanged a few jabs, but the broadcast ended with each individual uncomfortably -- and seemingly insincerely -- wishing the other person all the best.
Greg later apologized in the press for how he had acted like an immature "ass" and "petulant child" and treated Katie.
"When the whole gaslighting thing came out, I didn't leave my bed for 10 days. My family was really worried about me. I was in a really dark spot. I just felt like nobody was going through what I was going through in that moment... I felt like I couldn't even be seen after that for a while," Greg admitted.
"I was so embarrassed [and] ashamed... I felt like people were tossing around that word [gaslighting], and here I am truly trying to understand what people were trying to say like, you know, 'really manipulating her mindset' -- and that's the furthest thing from what I was trying to do."
Greg acknowledged while he definitely "wasn't communicating properly at all," he believes he would have been manipulating Katie more if he has stayed on the show following their emotional conversation outdoors.
Now that Greg knows what gaslighting is, he added, "Not even a sliver of my intention was to gaslight her at all."
Some Greg fans, however, had lashed out at Katie at the time for allegedly bullying, harassing and "publicly ripping" Greg "to shreds" when he had just been trying to express his real feelings onThe Bachelorette.
Katie thought she had found her perfect match in Blake, a Canadian wildlife manager, but the couple announced they had decided to split and end their engagement in late October after struggling with long-distance, frequent fighting and different love languages.