Now that the new season of The Bachelor is finally underway, less people seem confused about who Arie is, and more annoyed with his choices on the show. But, even though newer fans of the show might not be super familiar with Arie's story, they should know that this is far from the first time Arie has tried to find love on TV. Before he was the Bachelor, Arie was just a race-car driver left heartbroken by finishing in second on Emily Maynard's season of The Bachelorette. And details of Arie and Emily's Bachelorette love story, and their dramatic breakup, were written about in her tell-all book, I Said Yes: My Story of Heartbreak, Redemption, and True Love.
Like many Bachelor love stories, the chemistry that sparked between Emily and Arie from the very beginning wasn't enough to guarantee him the final rose — something that came as a surprise to even Arie. Arie was the frontrunner of his season, and fans were shocked when he was sent home before he even got a chance to have one last date with Emily. But the smoldering Arizonan realtor seems to have recovered from the heartbreak just fine, considering he's currently wooing over 20 women in an attempt to find love on television, once again.
But what did Emily actually think about Arie? Selections from her book reveal that Emily was just as smitten with Arie as the rest of America, and honestly it's still a little confusing why she ended up engaged to Jef. Here's what Emily had to say about her relationship with Arie in the pages of her memoir.
Sparks Flew From Night One
From the very first night, Emily gravitated towards Arie. She describes him as "smoldering," and wrote about that first meeting, "We had the strongest connection and he knew how to make me laugh." It's significant that she felt that way from the very beginning, because often it's the people who stand out on night one who end up sticking around for a while, and Arie was no exception.
But She Had Her Doubts From The Beginning
Though Emily writes that she was immediately attracted to Arie, learning about his profession immediately gave her some doubts. When he told her that he was a race car driver, Emily thought about the late father of her first child, Ricky Hendrick, who was a NASCAR racer. "A part of me felt like it was a setup, as if the producers hoped I’d pick him and create this redemption-like fairy-tale love story" she writes. Based on how far Arie went, it seems she got over that particular fear, though.
He Was Easy To Talk To
Emily felt "like a giddy schoolgirl" when she knew that Arie's turn for a one-on-one date was coming around, and part of that was because their conversations flowed so easily. Though she writes that talking to some contestants was so much like pulling teeth that she would "practically beg the producers for some direction or guidance so we wouldn't stay stuck in silence," talking to Arie always felt easy and natural. (Wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall to see what producers would suggest as discussion topics for failing dates?)
Their First Kiss Was Magical
If you're known as the "Kissing Bandit" then it stands to reason that you should be a great kisser, and Arie seems to live up to the nickname. Emily only says that their first kiss, shared while being serenaded by country queen Dolly Parton herself, "left quite an impression."
She Was Most Disappointed In Arie For Not Standing Up For Her
Longtime Bachelor Nation fans might remember one of its most infamous villains, Kalon, was on Emily's season. The Bachelorette rightfully went off on him after other contestants informed her that he had been referring to her daughter Ricki as "baggage." "If you'd asked me about Ricki you'd see that she's the furthest thing from baggage. Get the f*ck out," she told Kalon before sending him home on a group date. But Emily wasn't only left disappointed in Kalon's despicable behavior. She was also upset that though she had confronted Kalon in front of many of the other men, no one really said anything to support her or back her up. And the guy she was most mad at? Arie.
"I was most disappointed in Arie. He and I shared such a strong connection. And he clearly knew I was upset. I hoped at least he would step up on my behalf. But nope. I got zilch," she writes in her book. Yikes. But Emily was willing to forgive him, and they moved forward with their relationship.
The Producer Drama Rattled Her
Even though Emily was starting to fall for Arie, some serious drama quickly put a damper on the romance. Emily learned while in Prague that producer Cassie Lambert had dated Arie briefly in 2003, a fact that neither Lambert nor Arie had disclosed to her. Though Arie later explained the whole thing, and emphasized how brief the relationship had been, Emily was understandably rattled by the whole thing. "My feelings for Arie started getting shaky at this point," she writes in her book. Maybe this was the beginning of the end?
His Hometown Date Was Super Awkward
Arie is Dutch, and warned Emily before his hometown date that she might notice some cultural differences. But in the end, it was more the language barrier that caused the sent the evening downhill. At one point, Arie's family began speaking in Dutch in front of Emily, excluding her from the conversation and seemingly talking about her. Emily shares that the whole thing made her feel "quite uncomfortable" and although Arie eventually encouraged everyone to switch back to English, Emily was left feeling like the date was less than perfect.
They Talked About Faith
On a date in Curacao that had the couple swimming with dolphins (Emily reveals this was actually totally frightening for her, but Arie was a champ about it) the conversation took a serious turn. Emily writes that Arie asked her where her faith in God came from, and they discussed how she relied on her religion after fiancé Ricky Hendrick died in a plane crash in 2004. "I appreciated his deep questions," Emily writes of the conversation. "He was willing to go beneath the surface with me, something that made our conversations run deeper than the run-of-the-mill Bachelorette 'How- are-you-I’m-having-fun-and-I-like-you-a-lot' conversations."
Her Dad Was Rooting For Arie
Join the club, Pops. Just about everyone was rooting for Arie to win, including, according to Emily, her own father. Though she says her family liked Jef and Arie, Emily thinks her dad preferred Arie because he was supposedly "more of a man's man than Jef." (Not that that should really matter, anyway.)
Their Breakup Was So Sad Even Crew Members Cried
In a twist that shocked the nation, Emily dumped Arie before he even had a chance to have his last date. She explains in her book that even though she knew she wanted to be with Jef, she was still very upset about the looming breakup with Arie. Emily reveals in her book that the couple spent a significantly longer time together than was aired on TV, and "the experience was much more emotional" than audiences even knew. And Emily wasn't the only one shedding some tears over the breakup. Crew members there to film the scene were crying as well, and I don't blame them one bit.
Arie Sent A Middleman To Help Win Emily Back
A lot of people know that Arie flew to Charlotte to try and win Emily back. But what you might not know is that he brought a friend with him. Emily shares how after filming wrapped, Arie's friend Christina knocked on her door and made a case for the relationship on Arie's behalf. "'Arie’s here,' [Christina] continued. “He’s in a car right around the corner and wants to talk to you.'" Emily writes of how the conversation went. "'He’s not ready to give up on you. He loves you. And he knows the two of you are meant to be.'" I'm not crying, you're crying.
But even though Emily spoke briefly with Arie on the phone, and she admits that part of her really did want to see him, she ultimately decided that out of respect for her new relationship with Jef, it wouldn't be a good idea to see or speak with Arie again. Arie left Charlotte heartbroken once again.
Emily Sent That Journal To Producers
It was revealed to the nation on After The Final Rose that not only had Arie flown to Charlotte to try and win Emily back, but he had left her a journal he had kept during his time on The Bachelorette. It turns out that Emily had actually given that very journal to Arie during their Dollywood date, because she could sense he was "on a soul search." But even though Arie asked her to read through it in a text message that allegedly read, "I left you my journal so you can read through it and see how I feel about you," Emily actually sent the whole package to producers without ever opening it. She writes that she didn't want to dredge up old feelings and complicate her new relationship with Jef, and that's totally fair. But Emily can't blame us for crying over the Nicholas Sparks ending we never received.
Despite the drama that went down between the couple, there are no hard feelings from her about the breakup, and it seems like Emily, who is now happily married to Tyler Johnson, is rooting for her ex to find his own fairytale ending. She told Us Weekly in a statement that she thinks Arie will be a great Bachelor:
“I can’t think of a better person to be The Bachelor than Arie and I’ve been hoping this day would come since Season 8 ended! He’s a gentleman through and through and all the girls on his season are lucky to have him.”
So whatever happened between them, both Emily and Arie can take comfort in the fact that they are on to exciting new things. Let's just hope that this time, Arie's televised romance doesn't end in tears.