Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay reflects on hometown dates

The reality star says which one made her nervous and who surprised her the most.

ByABC News
July 18, 2017, 12:04 PM

— -- Before Rachel Lindsay's "journey" as the Bachelorette could come to an end, she had to crisscross the country to meet the families of the four remaining men.

On Monday night's episode of the ABC reality show, Lindsay visited the hometowns of Eric, Bryan, Peter and Dean -- Baltimore, Miami, Madison, and Aspen, respectively.

Lindsay told ABC News hours before the episode aired that it was a tough process.

"First of all, you have to get over the idea that you're walking into four separate homes, you have four boyfriends and you're meeting four families. The main question they ask is, 'OK, I understand you feel this way about my son but what about these three other men that are left in this journey?' That was a question I had to anticipate," she said. "I tried to gauge how the families were a week prior by asking questions ... but you can't prepare. I went over everything in my head in true lawyer fashion -- I knew exactly what I was going to say, how I was going to ask [questions], but there were surprises in every hometown."

Ultimately, Lindsay said goodbye to Dean, who reunited with his father, whom he'd previously described as "eccentric," for the first time in two years on camera. Though his family dynamic was not one of closeness, Lindsay told ABC News that she felt very comfortable in Dean's father's home.

"Dean and I had talked about his family before so I wasn't shocked. I think I was more excited that when I walked into the house, everybody was sitting on the floor, barefoot, and I was like, 'Where do I take my shoes off? Where do I sit down?'" she said. "I really care about Dean so my concern was Dean, and that was my focus. I knew he had some unresolved issues and he wanted to have some conversations [with his dad] but I felt like it was my job as his girlfriend to let him know that I was there for him."

The date for which she was most nervous, she admitted, was Eric's. It was revealed that Lindsay was the first woman he ever brought home to meet his family, and as a result, neither quite knew what to expect.

Still, "I thoroughly enjoyed myself during Eric's hometown. I'd never been [to Baltimore] before but seeing how he grew up and how that made him into the man he is today, it was just such a beautiful story and I gained so much respect for Eric," she said. "[And his family was] great. They had the same energy and spirit that Eric has."

By contrast, Peter's hometown date in Wisconsin surprised her more than the others. In her interview with ABC News, she recalled how shocking it was to hear his mother tell her that he may not be ready for marriage, and admitted that she never discussed the conversation with Peter afterward.

"It was my worst fear [realized]. You're putting yourself out there and you don't know if the other person is doing it in the same way and I was already starting to have concerns about Peter -- about him having his walls up -- but I was very empathetic to it because that was me during Nick's season," she said. "It was so much to hear his mom say that that I wanted to process it and I never really talked to him about it. I never told him what his mom said."

Her conversation with Bryan's mom was also noteworthy, but for different reasons. An only child, Bryan is very close to his parents, and his mother told Lindsay that if she wasn't good to her son, she would kill her.

"He told me his mom was a fireball! I am too so I can relate and I like the passion that she has for her son," she said. "Family's big to me."

In next week's episode, the tables will turn, and Lindsay will bring the suitors home to meet her family. She told ABC News that there will be plenty of tough questions posed, mostly by her protective older sister.

"My family's had a taste of it before. They met Nick, and they're skeptical. They're like me! This is where I get it from!" she said. "They know what I want for myself and at this point, I've always been told to guard my heart but I'm out here wide open, so I felt like they kind of do it for me."

"The Bachelorette" returns Monday at 8 p.m. ET.

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