Brayden Bowers continued to rub the other guys the wrong way on the July 17 episode of The Bachelorette. On the group date, it was clear that Brayden was the odd man out. The two men who were particularly frustrated with him were Sean McLaughlin and Aaron Bryant, who had already warned Charity Lawson about Brayden’s behavior on the July 10 episode.
At the group date after-party, Brayden doubled down on his feelings about having to see Charity date other men. Aaron accused him of not being completely honest with Charity about where his head was at. “Brayden has told the guys in the house that he has doubts about whether or not he’s ready for an engagement,” Aaron explained. “He said he told Charity everything, but then why was she so upset? He probably didn’t tell her the whole truth.” Sean also pointed out that since Brayden already got the first impression rose AND a one-on-one date, he should have less doubts than anyone.
Charity walked in in the middle of the conversation and pulled Brayden aside. He complained to Charity that he wasn’t having a good time in Washington because he didn’t like how their last conversation went. “All of a sudden you were mad at me for something I thought we had already talked about,” Brayden said. “It hurt.” Charity explained, “I wasn’t mad at you. I came to you to address what I had heard. Feeling so strongly about you…to have to hear the guys voice how they feel you feel about this whole thing..it scares the hell out of me.”
Brayden said he had no idea where he stood with Charity after the previous conversation, and she said that that “aggravated” her. “I feel like I have made it so plain and clear how I feel about you and that’s still not enough,” she pointed out. By the end of the conversation, Brayden admitted that he was over it. “I feel like I like you, but I feel like I don’t want to be here right now,” he said. “I don’t feel like I’m capable of getting there in this environment.”
Charity was “disappointed” to see such a “strong connection” fall apart, but once she knew where Brayden stood, she wasn’t fighting it anymore. “I deserve someone who is going to wholeheartedly put their whole heart in this,” she told him. “So let’s go, I’ll walk you out.” In the end, she knew it was the right decision. “I’m disappointed that this was somebody I thought I could’ve seen a forever future with,” she admitted. “I am not in the position to fix Brayden. He is reminding me so much of my past relationship — playing the victim, not taking accountability. That’s not a road I want to go down and something I know I can avoid.”
Later in the week, Brayden shocked everyone when he returned during the cocktail party before the rose ceremony. He interrupted Charity’s one-on-one time with John Buresh to talk to her one last time. “I didn’t like how I left the other day,” Brayden said. “I was really emotionally charged and I really wanted to come back and let you know that I’m really sorry about the whole thing. There’s a lot of things I feel like I haven’t been able to tell you. I wish I could’ve shared those things with you and opened up, but I haven’t been able to trust myself at all through this process.”
He told Charity that she didn’t do anything wrong to make him feel the way he did, and explained that he was just in over his head on the show. “I wish you the best of luck in this process,” he concluded. They parted ways and Brayden left for good, but not without getting into one more screaming match with Aaron.