"I did find love," he confirmed. "I was a little skeptical going into the whole journey, but I'm so pleasantly surprised that things worked out much different than I thought. Again, I'm just so excited to watch it back and have everyone else watch it as well."
Going into the process, Clayton, who first appeared on Michelle Young's season of The Bachelorette, had "a checklist of sorts" about what he was looking for in a potential partner. The women, he said, proved to be even better than he'd hoped.
"I was looking for somebody that was funny, intelligent, driven, put forth effort, and so I figured, 'OK, that's a good list and hopefully I'll find that,'" he said. "Well what I found was very quickly the women blew my expectations out of the water. They brought all of that and so much more, so the expectations continued to rise, and I realized that, ultimately, I was going to find everything that I wanted and so much more."
The whole experience left Clayton feeling "incredibly honored and just humbled."
"There were so many things that I learned. I think the biggest one would be becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable, and stepping out of that comfort zone. [That] really challenged me to grow as an individual," he said. "There was just so much that I learned about myself in the period of time that I was there."
As the first preview of his season teased, the road to Clayton's apparent happy ending wasn't always easy. The clip showed Clayton's women sparring back-and-forth and throwing around insults like "fake" and "two-faced," before one woman instructed another to "keep my name out of your f**king mouth."
Lots of sobbing and hugs from Clayton ensued, leading the Bachelor to fume, "She f**ked it up for everybody. I’m done. It’s over. I’m just so broken."