Xavier Bonner spoke out after what will surely go down as one of the most brutal exits in the history of The Bachelorette.
“It’s taken me a while to write this but here goes,” Xavier, 27, began in a lengthy Instagram post shared on Friday, August 11. “For the first time in my life, I let go of the facts and figures to instead focus on letting my feelings lead the way. The process wasn’t easy but it’s been immensely eye-opening.”
He went on to give a shout-out to Bachelorette Charity Lawson, who eliminated him during the Monday, August 7, episode of the ABC series after he shared his controversial views on fidelity in their romance. “Thank you for always creating space for me to open up and step outside of my comfort zone as well as for being willing to have tough, raw conversations that pushed me to think more deeply,” he wrote. “You deserve everything and more and I wish you the best in finding your forever person.”
Xavier acknowledged that it’s “never easy to share the worst parts of your past with someone you love” but said the experience has been “necessary” for his personal growth.
“This journey was all about vulnerability and although I may not have always been as clear or eloquent in expressing myself as I would’ve liked to be, I’m forever grateful for this experience,” he continued. “I know there’s lots more learning, more healing, and more work to do and I’m looking forward to becoming the best version of myself.”
Xavier began the season as kind of a sleeper contestant, but Charity, 27, kept giving him roses until he was one of the final four men remaining. Charity repeatedly said Xavier reminded her of an ex, and during fantasy suites, she finally found out why.
During their date, Xavier confessed that he had been unfaithful to an ex-girlfriend — five times in the span of one week. Charity seemed willing to give him the benefit of the doubt until he began expounding on how he wouldn’t cheat in a marriage but couldn’t be certain he’d stay faithful without that legal binding.
Xavier then said he felt like he needed to see “more” from Charity and didn’t think he would feel sure of her unless they spent the night together. At that point, Charity put her foot down.
“Us in a bedroom is not going to determine whether you can see longevity in a relationship. No, f–k this. I’m so mad,” she said before delivering one of the most iconic lines in the annals of Bachelor Nation. “I’m not here to fix anyone. I’m not here to build a man. This isn’t Build-A-Man Workshop.”
After the episode aired, Charity said she was “extremely proud” of herself for how she handled the conversation, even as she was frustrated to realize Xavier wasn’t The One for her.
“It was very important that in that moment I maintained and displayed emotional regulation and effective communication,” she told Entertainment Weekly on Tuesday, August 8. “I am disappointed in the conversation, but am glad he didn’t keep it from me until any later.”
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The Bachelorette airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.