I should probably state for the record that I don't think what Brooks "did" to Des on her season of The Bachelorette was really that bad. It could just be my questionable affinity for shaggy hair blinding my judgment, but Brooks broke up with Des because he didn't feel as strongly for her as she did for him two months into the relationship (where he had been sharing her with 25 other bros). And then she turned around and did the exact same thing to her resident third place-er, Drew, just a day later. That's all for the best, right? It is hard to feel like something is for the best though when you look across the dock from you and the woman you're trying to let down gently is releasing most of the water in her body through her tear ducts. Which is definitely what happened when Brooks tried to break up with Des shortly after she visited his family in Utah.
There's not much more explaining you can do when the reason for breaking up with your shared girlfriend, "I like your bangs and I think you're cool, but I guess I'm just not as into you as you are into me. Because you seem, like, super in love with me." It seems that all the solo concerts, and romantic settings, and helicopter rides blinded wee Brooks, and when he stepped into his family home in Utah, and then out into the honest airs of Thailand, he simply couldn't get to where he thought he should be with Des. But hey, what am I here for, if not to over-complicate the simplicity of emotions (or lack thereof) with all the sordid details. (Spoiler: They're not that sordid.)
Brooks, oh he of the "secret Mormon" tradition of the Bachelor franchise, a severe pattern-mixing habit, and that lusciously greased head of hair, was Desiree's number one husband draft pick from the beginning. And truly, he had a pretty winning run on the show as far as not having a secret girlfriend, or trying to slut same her, or trick her into the fantasy suite or anything.
But everything kind of went down the drain when he broke sweet, simple Desiree's heart in real time. Brooks had been having a good time dating Des: she was sweet, she laughed at his jokes, and she has a hairline that always keeps you guessing. And while in the real world that could add up to five days, maybe even meeting the friends, in Bachelor world, that added up to two solo dates, four group dates, meeting his family, receiving an invitation to a sex suite, and a proposal in a week's time. That was just a little too much for Brooks, who was left with more questions than answers after taking Des to meet his family.
He expressed those hesitations when he arrived in Thailand for the Fantasy Suite round of dates with Des, himself, and Des' two other boyfriends. Brooks took Des to a deck on the water that he probably thought was secluded, but actually ended up making the sun cast an extra bright glow on her many many tears of rejection. It's not often on these shows that we see a contestant break up with the Head Bachelorette in Charge, and even when there are cases like Juan Pablo and Andi, it's usually not the Bachelor(ette)'s number one pick. But up until that point, Desiree was just sort of biding her time with Chris and Drew, expecting to see Brooks on one knee at the end of this thing, and to be able to be not too embarrassed for dating 25 dudes on TV.
But if you get out of The Bachelorette without at least a little (a lot) of embarrassment, then you've done something wrong, and you definitely haven't fallen in love. And on the the latter point — perhaps unpopular opinion alert — Brooks did Des a bit of a favor. I can't fault the guy for doing to Des what she was planning on doing to two other men if she had chosen Brooks in the end, but I definitely can't fault him, considering the guy she ultimately chose is Des' soon-to-be husband. What actually happened is Des ended things (sure, not by her choice) with the guy who was wrong for her, and had her eyes opened up to the much more boring, but perfect choice of Chris Siegfried.
So, while some may say that Brooks broke Des' heart for an hour and a half on national television in an unflattering balmy climate, I might say that he gave her a chance at that forever kind of love.