Regrets? Former Bachelor star Juan Pablo Galavis tells Life & Style exclusively it “wasn’t easy” for him to let Clare Crawley go in season 18 of the reality dating series. “Every once in a while, I think of what could have been if I chose her instead of Nikki, but that’s life,” the 38-year-old admits of the new Bachelorette lead.

“You put your heart out there hoping to find ‘The One’ and the reality is sometimes it just doesn’t work out and people get hurt,” the former soccer player continues about his choice in 2014.

Juan Pablo Reflects on How Hard It Was to Say Goodbye to Clare Crawley

As far as how things ended with the 38-year-old blonde, Juan Pablo did feel guilty about how it all went down. “With Clare, it was one of the hardest decisions I had to make for sure. Now, some time has passed and looking back, I could have handled that and a few other moments better,” he explains. “I remember having a hard time every time I sent a girl home. I don’t like to hurt people and I knew some of them were getting hurt.”

Believe it or not, the divisive Bachelor Nation alum plans to support his ex from his couch this season. “I think I will, why not,” he says of watching Clare’s stint on the series. “I would love to see her finding happiness after all and seeing the entire process … My hope is, again, that she finds what she has been looking for a long time.”

Clearly, these two have quite the history. On season 18 of the reality dating series, Juan Pablo chose finalist Nikki Ferrell over Clare, but their relationship was short-lived and ended months later. Interestingly enough, he thinks she may see what happened between them differently after appearing on the series — because the starring role is no easy position to be in.

“Roles are reversed now and she will understand how hard it is to decide between the last three,” the Ithaca, New York native muses of Clare’s eventual hindsight. “Who knows? She might see things from my perspective for once.”

Reporting by Diana Cooper