Arie Luyendyk hasn’t exactly experienced an easy road to lasting romance. And even after he makes his decision and hands out his final rose on the Bachelor season finale next week, it doesn’t sound like that particular part of his life has evolved to the path of least resistence.
The 36-year-old Dutch-born American opened up to People magazine prior to the season finale and noted that he’s anticipating the criticism that will likely arise from how his season ends. “I know people are going to be hard on [me],” he said. “I made a mistake. And I’m prepared for the backlash. But all I can say is I had to follow my heart.”
Though Luyendyk didn’t go into detail about what actually transpired that might make viewers angry at him, he did admit that his two finalists, sales executive Lauren Burnham, 26, and publicist Becca Kufrin, 27, are very different women. “They’re both great in their own individual ways,” he said, calling Kufrin more “outgoing” and Burnham more “reserved.”
Before the season aired, Luyendyk teased his dilemma after falling in love with both ladies. “The journey was great,” Luyendyk told The Knot and other reporters. “I found love… I found love with two people… To see the ending, you’ll have to tune in.”
In an interview with E! News, Luyendyk expressed that he can’t wait until the finale airs so that he can finally get a few things “off [his] chest” and clarify things from his point of view.
“I think that people are going to understand me a lot more and understand the ending of this and understand why Caroline is upset,” he said, referring to contestant Caroline Lunny, who accused him of being less than honorable toward the end of the season during Sunday’s Women Tell All special. “But this is my journey and this is about finding a lasting love and that road is not always easiest. So hopefully people will understand more.”
“I always read the not-so-nice comments, but I laugh at them,” he added of brushing off social media haters. “I think they’re really funny, I think they’re really creative. … At the end of the day, the goal is to find somebody to spend the rest of my life with. If I can accomplish that, then it’s a win.”