Suitor Frank Neuschaefer, who furiously romanced Fedotowsky and won enough of her heart across nine episodes to make it to the final three guys, was flown halfway around the world to Tahiti only to deliver a heartbreaking cliche: "We need to talk."
Neuschaefer broke up with the Bachelorette in favor of an old flame he rekindled on the side during his hometown visit to Chicago.
"There's something that was holding me back, and basically it was unresolved feelings for an ex-girlfriend," he said to Fedotowsky, who broke down in tears. "Before I came to Tahiti, I went to Chicago to see [ex-girlfriend] Nicole. The second I saw her, all the old feelings kinda came rushing back. Ali, I'm sorry."
But it's the two-timing that takes all the sincerity out of a phrase like "We need to talk," a phrase that's become loaded with meaning.
According to the Urban Dictionary, "We need to talk" has become code for "I need to talk. You need to listen."
"It's shallowness," said one woman on the streets of New York City.
"It means I've already made up my mind, and you have to comply," another explained.
But it's always a warning signal, aimed at softening the blow before heartache.
No matter what catchphrase is employed, getting dumped cuts like a knife. On "Seinfeld," George Costancza was floored when a woman gave him the "It's not you, it's me" routine, and on "Sex and the City," Carrie Bradshaw was stung when a flame dumped her on a Post-it note.
Join the conversation. Weigh in on GMA's Shout-Out Board.
Nathalie Kohen, 22, knows the sting of deception and the sucker punch that comes from a breakup with a college beau.
"He started going to New Jersey every so often, saying that he was playing hockey or teaching hockey lessons. And I didn't really know what was going on," she said.
Then came "the talk."
"I knew something was up, and I asked him what's wrong and it took him a little bit of time to come out and say it but he finally did," Kohen recalled. "He tells me that he's not ready for a relationship right now. I was devastated, of course."
How do you survive a breakup you didn't even see coming?
Experts say breakups cause people to easily confuse feelings of separation with rejection.
"The best way to heal a breakup pain is to remind yourself that just because he doesn't love you, doesn't mean that nobody will love you," said psychoanalyst Bethany Marshall.
"It may feel painful, but it is not impossible you can grieve, pick up, rebuild your life and learn to love again," she said.
As for the Bachelorette, Fedotowsky still has two men in the running, both vying for that coveted final rose.
For those recovering from a broken heart, relationship gurus have a lot of advice:
Don't get sucked into the "poor me" syndrome. Try not to dwell.
Learn to grieve. Sometimes writing things down can help you work through it all.
Surround yourself with friends for support.
Finally, move on, but don't do it with a rebound relationship.