Despite early predictions that Peter would take home Rachel's final rose, Bryan seems to actually be the one to win her heart during Monday night's Bachelorette finale, since she sent Peter home. Still, it was quite obviously a tough decision for Rachel: She seemed to have strong, genuine feelings for Peter, and their goodbye was one of the season's most heart-wrenching. So why didn't Rachel pick Peter on The Bachelorette?
During the commentary from Rachel that played throughout their first one-on-one, she said she was very close to breaking up with Peter before his fantasy suite, but decided she wanted to "see [it] through." Their conversation, which continued their stalemate from the end of the penultimate episode, was still weighing on her during her time with Bryan, but she decided to keep Peter in the final two nonetheless. As the finale pressed on, Rachel visibly struggled with whether or not to send Peter home, including, quite frankly, one of the most emotional head-to-heads on Bachelor Nation in recent memory. Ultimately, though, she didn't want to risk settling for less than what she wanted, and after an extended (like, really extended) goodbye, finally sent him home.
Looking back, there was noticeable tension toward the end of their relationship. Rachel made it abundantly clear that she didn't go on The Bachelorette to leave with just another boyfriend, and while Peter was adamant that he wanted a committed partnership, he and Rachel had different views of what engagement meant, and he was hesitant to get down on one knee after only a few weeks of dating.
Realistically, that made him the most pragmatic suitor, but this is The Bachelorette, so at the same time, he should have known what he was signing up for. Perhaps he and Rachel could have made it work had they met IRL, but Rachel wanted to be swept up in an epic love story only reality show television can provide, and unfortunately, Peter just wasn't on the same page. In a way, it's telling: Compromise is a big part of marriage, and if they couldn't find common ground this early on, they surely would have faced similar hurdles down the line. And, hey, now Peter is free to be the Bachelor, so maybe Rachel did us all a favor.
So yes, there were a lot of boxes Peter checked off — he was handsome, grounded, and even had the same charming, gap-toothed smile — but there was one crucial benchmark he missed, and if there's one thing to be taken away from this season of The Bachelorette, it's that Rachel Lindsay isn't the kind of woman who settles.