Kiptyn Locke was an obvious favorite of "The Bachelorette"'s Jillian Harris from the beginning of the show. She often commented on how much she wanted to kiss him. So it was no surprise that he made it to the final two bachelors this season, but he says he was surprised that he wasn't "The One."
"The whole way through, this thing felt very natural and very real and I thought it would be her and me in the end," the 31-year-old business developer from Encinitas, CA says. "The day before -- the night before -- on our Last Chance Date, I felt something different from her for the first time in months. I wasn't sure how things would go down during the Final Rose, but I saw us together, so I was a bit blindsided."
Kiptyn says that his experience on "The Bachelorette" was worth it. He learned a lot about himself in the process, and going through the process has made him stronger. He says the biggest factor for him is that Jillian is happy.
"If she wasn't happy, I would have different feelings about the situation," he explains. "I am happy for her. I think that is what we all wanted -- for her to be happy. Being that she is really on cloud nine, I think it is a really good thing."
As one of the two men in the finale, Kiptyn was not allowed to do any interviews or take part in "The Men Tell All," so he never had the opportunity to weigh-in before on the Wes situation. And even now he refuses to take sides between Wes and Jake, who he describes as two very different personalities.
"I think Wes is a much better guy than was communicated," Kiptyn says. "I think that it was a tough situation. Jill is a very smart woman who has a good read on people and, whether viewers saw it or not, there had to be a reason for her decision [to keep Wes as long as she did]. She had some interest in Wes and that is why he was there. Wes, while he was there, was good to all the guys. I am not saying that I would hook him up with my own sister -- even though she is not single -- but I think he is a much better guy than portrayed and he will be a friend of mine."
Kiptyn says he hasn't really had a lot of time to readjust to everyday life. When he returned to Encinitas after wrapping "The Bachelorette," he had to get back to business and he only had five weeks to plan a charity event.
As for the rest of the summer, he tells ET he plans to enjoy his family and friends and all the positive things he has in his life.
As for signing on to be the next "The Bachelor," he is not sure: "It is something I would think about," he admits. "I think it would be a good opportunity. I definitely have some questions about it, but I do believe in the process now having gone through 'The Bachelorette.'"
Related stories on ETonline.com:'The Bachelorette''s Jillian & Ed Talk Marriage & More
'Bachelorette' Jillian Harris: I Knew I Couldn't Let Ed Go
- Oct. 11, 2016 Count down Ben Affleck's 20 best movies