Suburban man sent home on 'Bachelorette'
Emily Maynard said her hometown date with Bartlett native Chris Bukowski was "a perfect day," but it wasn't enough to keep him in the running for an exclusive relationship with her.
Last week, after battling with worries and fears that Maynard — the star of ABC's reality dating show "The Bachelorette" — wouldn't give him a rose Bukowski, 25, was named a final four contestant.
Monday night's episode started off well for Bukowski, as he was the first bachelor to bring Maynard home to his family. But at the end of the night he was the only man sent home by Maynard, who said her other relationships were growing "faster and deeper."
As he drove off in a limo, Bukowski said Maynard broke his heart, and he didn't understand why she let him go.
"It's definitely hard to say goodbye to someone you love," he said. "Everything seemed like it was perfect."
Prior to walking around downtown Chicago with Maynard on his hometown date, Bukowski said he felt it was "probably one of the most important days" of his life.
The couple went to a Polish-American restaurant before heading to Bukowski's parents' house in Hanover Park, where his father, mother and two sisters were waiting.
"My parents are going to be pumped to meet their future daughter-in-law," Bukowski said, adding that Maynard wouldn't get to truly know him unless she met his family. "I'd be devastated if today goes badly."
Maynard was all smiles while she talked with Bukowski's father, to whom she admitted how much she liked Bukowski.
She also understood the concerns Bukowski's sister Renee expressed about not wanting to see her brother's heart broken.
"If he's not going to be the one … end it sooner rather than later," she told Maynard.
While Maynard talked with Bukowski's father and sisters, his mother, Rose, told him that she knew Maynard was his "type of woman."
"You may get hurt, and if you really love this woman then you've got to get out there ... and you've got to fight," she said.
Their time together ended with a surprise party outside the family's home, complete with traditional Polish music and dancing.
Before Maynard left for her dates with the remaining contestants — including Arie Luyendyk Jr., 30, of Scottsdale, Ariz.; Jef Holm, 27, of Salt Lake City, Utah; and Sean Lowe, 28, of Dallas, Texas — Bukowski admitted he was not just falling in love with her — he was already there.
"I am in love with Emily," he said. "To be able to say that is amazing. After tonight, I do believe Emily and I could be together forever."
Longtime friend Dan Walsh said it was hard to watch Bukowski get sent home, but that he knew he would bounce back from the breakup.
"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," he said of Bukowski's appearance on the show, adding that Monday's episode accurately portrayed how "tight-knit" his family is. "I think it probably helped him learn a lot about who he is as a person."
Bukowski's college roommate, Jon Cohen, said before the episode that Maynard was exactly what Bukowski was looking for with "looks and attitude and personality," but he knew, like Walsh, that his friend would be able to move on.
"Chris would be the first to admit if it doesn't work out, learn from it," he said.
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