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When speaking with ETonline, Emily O'Brien took a big sigh of relief since being declined a rose on Monday's episode of The Bachelor. Some confidants have told her she "dodged a bullet," while others had a more exaggerated metaphor, saying she "dodged a locomotive with a nuclear bomb."
It's only a matter of time before the ticking time bomb of Courtney goes off and Emily was igniting the explosion while part of the cast. Looking back on things, Emily now analyzes the sequence of events a bit differently, telling ETonline, "I think as much as Courtney might not be everyone's cup of tea, she's still a human being. It must be difficult for her to hear what everyone's saying."
That's not the only challenge Emily predicts Courtney may be facing if internet rumors are accurate that the model is engaged to Ben Flajnik. "I think the real test comes after the show is over and if you can survive the day-to-day and reaction from being on the show. I think that's where a lot of couples falter because they're not prepared for that," she said. Most Bachelor and Bachelorette couples have succumbed to the pressure and split, the latest being Ali Fedotowsky and Roberto Martinez, Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi, and Brad Womack and Emily Maynard. So far three original couples remain intact, two married and one engaged.
Additionally, Emily estimates that maintaining a relationship in secrecy until the finale airs would put enormous strain on the romance. She's also not convinced that the wine connoisseur is even prepared for "a long-term commitment. It wouldn't be surprising to me if he were not with her at this point."
Had Emily accepted a proposal from Ben, she's not positive on whether their relationship could have withstood watching this season back. "I know there would have been several things I would have been upset about. Who knows if Ben would have shared them with me before they aired. It would take time to build up trust again. I would have been flabbergasted," she said. "I may have been more forgiving [if I had been in love with him at the time.]" Emily stressed that she and Ben had connected on "the friend level" only.
With the rose-colored glasses off, Emily has gotten a real dose of reality away from reality TV. At the time, she was hoping to get a rose and introduce Ben to her family on next Monday's hometown visit episode. "I think he would have gotten along really well with them," she guessed. After they had the opportunity to watch the show play out on TV, "their opinions probably would have changed. My dad is a man of great character [and he's hoping I find the same.]" She's grateful for the timing of her elimination to avoid the "mistake" of getting her loved ones involved.
Emily is once again actively on the singles scene, dating prospects in addition to spending lengthy hours in the library working on her dissertation. Emily Maynard has already been selected to star as The Bachelorette this upcoming season, but if this Emily is appointed to that post one day, her strategy will be different from Ben's. "I would want more information" if the guys came to her with concerns about one contestant. She feels there "was a double standard" because Ben asked the women for "openness and honesty," yet "a negative element became part of our relationship" after confronting him about Courtney. "He saw me as antagonistic of what he wanted. I'm looking for someone who respects my opinion." Reflecting on the circumstances, Emily now says this exchange "should have been a red flag" and she should have "walked out the door."
To see Ben meet the parents of the remaining four ladies, tune in to The Bachelor on Monday night on ABC.