“This format isn’t exactly for her,” he told ET’s Leanne Aguilera at ABC’s Winter Television Critics Association press tour on Tuesday. “I'm not saying that just to spite her, I'm just saying it's realistic.”
“It is a lot,” he added of the series’ format. “It took me a couple shows, I guess, to get there and really realize [that].”
As fans saw on the latest episode, Colton was emotional following Elyse’s decision to leave the series, largely because her departure touched on one of his biggest fears.
“I came to the realization that yes, I am the Bachelor, and yes, I have this title and I have the roses in my hand, but that doesn't make me invincible to getting my heart broken, and these women leaving when they want to leave,” he said.
“I respect her choice and for her to stand up and do what she felt was best for her,” he continued. “It also sort of hit home for me. It's being told, 'Hey, it's not exactly what I want, or it's not quite there.' So it's tough. It's always tough to watch it.”
“I want the time and attention that a relationship deserves… I can't accept a proposal after a few months of sharing your time and attention with other people. I can't do it," she said. "You want something that I can't promise… I listen to these girls talk about how much they're falling in love with you. This isn't working for me. I have to leave."
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Following her departure, Colton opened up in the confessional about why Elyse leaving brought up all of his insecurities.
“For someone to just give up on me, give up on us, is confusing. I’ve had people give up on me in the past,” he admitted on the show. “… It’s my worst nightmare… getting to the end of this and not being loved back, not being enough. What happened tonight could possibly happen when I get down on a knee and that’s absolutely terrifying.”
Between Elyse’s exit and Onyeka’s fight with Nicole, Monday’s night episode was drama-filled. That theme, Colton told ET, will certainly carry over into the rest of the season.
“As the weeks progress, it gets more real and more real, and I think, not only for me, but these women too,” he said. “... It's unlike anything else, and it's going to be a crazy one. You guys are in for a wild ride.”
As for his apparent happy ending, Colton skirted around answering if he’s excited to shout his chosen one’s name from the rooftops.
“Well, it just depends what I'm shouting from the rooftops,” he answered cryptically. “I think the way that this season ends and sort of how these last few weeks play out is unlike anything else. It's going to be unexpected to a lot of people.”
“So we'll see what I'm shouting at the end of the rooftops, but I hope at the end of it, you can know that I'm happy. So we'll see,” he said.