During this week's two-night finale, the fitness coach surprised the Bachelorette just moments after Brendan Morais decided to leave. Ben's reason for returning? He's finally ready to share how he feels about her.
On Monday night's episode, he confessed, "I blew it by not telling you in the moment. I've never felt this feeling so I was just terrified. But I am in love you. The life we could have together; the thought of that keeps me awake at night... I just had to tell you."
The episode ended with Tayshia walking off, but tonight picked back up with a conversation between Tayshia and a producer. "I really care about Ben, but I sent him home for a reason," she says.
Tayshia then returns to the room to question why he's spilling his heart to her now, before telling him he's allowed to attend the rose ceremony.
Then, as he leaves her room, they kiss, a decision that Tayshia herself questions in the confessional. Literally, she exclaimed, "Why did I kiss him?!"
But maybe their peck offered Tayshia some clarity, seeing as she sends home Ivan just moments later. In an admittedly confusing moment for us viewers at home, she tells Ivan she can't see their relationship working out because of an unexplained disagreement over religion.
Ben's proclamation of love surely came as an assurance to Tayshia, who was just jilted by Brendan. After all, she sent him home because of his inability to open up, as she explained on the Click Bait With Bachelor Nation Podcast. "I remember those feelings at the time, when I was just sitting on the bench and I was like, 'Show me something. Do you care at all about me? Is this meaningful towards you? Is this just how you treat every girl?'" she told co-host Joe Amabile. "I just needed a little sense of validation and I didn't have any of that."
She admitted that she had "no emotions" when she told him to leave, but there was a reason for that. "I think when I start getting defensive, slash protecting myself, I just completely shut down and it's fight or flight mode," she explained. "I'm going to protect myself, I'm not going to let myself feel any more things, because I don't want to get hurt. So that's why you've seen me shut off."
Meanwhile, Brendan doesn't regret how he left things with Tayshia. On the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast, he said that they had a true "connection," but he couldn't commit to getting married a second time. He said, "I was protecting myself in a sense, you know, I was protecting myself from getting hurt and as corny as that is, as stupid as that sounds, I have been married before and I feel like it would be a disservice to Tayshia in a way if I went into an engagement and I got down on one knee and I wasn't completely, 100 percent all in and ready."
And while Brendan may not be the man for her, he expressed hope that she would be engaged at the end of all of this. "Tayshia is a special woman who deserves every amazing thing life has to offer and I'm so thankful to have been a part of her journey. I wish her the very best and many blessings in life."
Will that man be Zac or Ben? We'll just have to wait and see.