updated 08/06/2013 AT 7:30 PM ET
•originally published 08/06/2013 AT 12:50 PM ET
Former Bachelor contestant Desiree Hartsock is calling the shots and handing out the roses as the current star of The Bachelorette. The bridal stylist will blog all season long on PEOPLE.com about her dates, the guys and the difficult decisions she must make. You can also follow Desiree on Twitter.
I want to start by thanking everyone who watched my journey to find love this season on The Bachelorette. It is a challenging and emotional position to be in so I can’t express how grateful I am for the love and support from my family, friends and viewers. I appreciate the encouraging words from many and the understanding that love can be unpredictable.
My relationship with Drew flourished in affection and through in-depth conversation. I enjoyed seeing the compassion and love he had in his heart and the sincerity that showed through his eyes. After our last date in Antigua, I felt like our relationship didn’t move forward and I started to question if we were right for each other. He has so many qualities I was looking for in a partner but I had to put qualities aside and see if I could really picture our future together.
It was extremely difficult for me to say goodbye to Drew because I cared deeply for him and never wanted to hurt him. I knew the decision I had to make in order to put my focus on Chris.
True and Lasting Love
I was given a rare and beautiful opportunity to find true and lasting love – and I found it with Chris. Our time in Antigua was so incredible. The moments we shared will last a lifetime. That last date was something truly special. When he handed me that journal and expressed again how he felt, I never felt so loved and I knew I wanted to love him the way he deserved for eternity. It gave me so much hope to realize what was in front of me all along – the love he show through it all.