When Rachel Lindsay sent home Dean Unglert on this past Monday's episode of "The Bachelorette," fans were stunned.
Many viewers took to social media to express their outrage over the 26-year-old's departure from the show, and some even asked producers to make Unglert the next star of "The Bachelor."
However, in an interview with ABC News, Unglert said he's not necessarily sure he'd want to take on that role.
"I think it was no secret that I had a lot of emotional maturing to do over the course of the season and I think I still do," he said. "It's same reason that Rachel decided to part ways. I think that I still have a lot left to figure out about myself and until I fully figure that out, I think it's unfair for me to, I guess, pursue a woman in any way when I'm still learning more about myself."
Unglert told Lindsay prior to shooting the episode that after the death of his mother a decade ago, his family grew apart, and he hadn't seen his father in two years. The hometown date episode, Unglert's last, featured an emotionally wrenching reunion with his family in his hometown of Aspen, Colorado, that didn't end well. Since the episode was filmed, Unglert has not had contact with his dad.
"I think that both my father and I have a little bit of maturing to do on our own and then we can hopefully come together and have a relationship later on," he told ABC News. "But my siblings and I are fine. ... [They said], 'Wow, I had no idea you felt that way,' and I'm like, 'Honestly, I didn't know I felt this way either,' so it was an eye-opening experience in so many ways. But I think in the end, it's only gonna strengthen our relationship with each other, which is the best thing you could really ask for."
Unglert added that since the episode aired, he's heard from others who also have strained relationships with their families.
"A lot of people have reached out saying, 'I lost my mother at a young age and my family fell apart,' and they’re saying 'You're an inspiration to be able to open up about it,'" he said. "That definitely makes everything worth it."
Since appearing on "The Bachelorette," Unglert went to Mexico to film the new season of "Bachelor in Paradise," which premieres next month on ABC, though he remained mum on details, except to say, that it was a "no-brainer" to go and that "it was stressful in its own right." He's also planning to watch the rest of "The Bachelorette" and said he'll be rooting for Peter, who became one of his closest friends on the show. However, he noted, she could find happiness with any of the remaining men.
"Eric's fun, Bryan provides a sense of interest and then Peter ... has the full package," he said. "So it depends on what she wants!"