Charity Lawson Explains Why She Welcomed Aaron Back on 'The Bachelorette': 'I Needed More Time' (Exclusive)

Charity eliminated Aaron after hometowns, but he flew to Fiji to ask her for one more chance before she got engaged

This post contains spoilers from Monday's finale of The Bachelorette.

Charity Lawson ended her Bachelorette journey engaged to Dotun Olubeko, but not before giving Aaron Bryant one more chance.

After Charity, 27, eliminated Aaron, 29, following hometowns, he decided to take a risk and fly to Fiji to ask The Bachelorette for another opportunity to explore their connection.

“I knew that there was more I could’ve given,” Aaron told Charity when he showed up in Fiji. “And then when you said also you wasn't sure if you were making the right decision, that’s really what got me stuck and in shock. So I mean, that’s really why I’m here, to talk about that. Also see where your head’s at. I want to know if you’ve been thinking about it as well.”

Related: Bachelorette Charity Lawson Tells 1 Ex She Gave Him 'A Lot More Grace' Than She Should Have During 'Men Tell All'

Charity told Aaron she’d “been thinking about it every single day” and that she “was falling in love” with him. Then, on Monday’s finale, Charity decided to welcome Aaron back officially.

“Aaron coming back was obviously something that caught me by surprise,” Charity tells PEOPLE. “I was not expecting that, but if we look at the hometown ceremony, it was a very sad departure. I had a great hometown with Aaron. We're not taking that away. I simply needed more time to just see, can this connection get to where it needs to be? Or is this just going to be this?”

<p>ABC/Craig Sjodin</p> Charity Lawson and Aaron Bryant on 'The Bachelorette' season 20 premiere

ABC/Craig Sjodin

Charity Lawson and Aaron Bryant on 'The Bachelorette' season 20 premiere

Considering Aaron made the trip to Fiji, Charity says she felt like she owed him at least one conversation.

“He flew across the world to come back, so I was like, let's just have a conversation. Let's see if this time is going to help any,” she explains. “That's what helped me make initial decision to accept Aaron back.”

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But Charity felt that missing out on a Fantasy Suite with Aaron meant their relationship lagged behind where she stood with Dotun and Joey Graziadei.

“At that point, I had already had two overnights with Dotun and Joey, so our connections at that point extremely surpassed the point of where I needed to feel extremely comfortable of, ‘Yeah, this is going to be my forever person,’” Charity says of Aaron. “It just wasn't that.”

<p>Ricky Middlesworth/ABC</p> 'The Bachelorette' star Dotun

Ricky Middlesworth/ABC

'The Bachelorette' star Dotun

So Charity, once again, said goodbye to Aaron — but that didn’t mean making her final choice came easily.

“That was why you see me ask my mom or my dad a lot of, ‘What are your thoughts?’ Because I literally couldn't even think straight,” Charity says. “I knew they were going to support it and be happy for me, regardless, I just wanted an answer, which was not okay for me to do. But that's all I knew what to do at that time.”

Related: Bachelorette Charity Thinks Xavier 'Still Has Room to Grow' After 'Men Tell All': 'Accountability Is Everything' (Exclusive)

<p>Ricky Middlesworth/ABC</p> 'The Bachelorette' star Joey

Ricky Middlesworth/ABC

'The Bachelorette' star Joey

Overall, Charity says being The Bachelorette “comes with a lot of emotion” and “a lot of exhaustion,” which she felt immensely by the end of her season.

“On the season finale, you see I am struggling and going back and forth a little bit. I'm tired, and my emotions are running high,” she says. “I'm seeing my family for the first time, so I'm experiencing a whole lot, and that starts to take a little toll on me. But ultimately, I had the opportunity to sit down and reflect — I journaled throughout this whole process — and so, looking back on what I made notes on, or my thoughts up until to the end, it really was so clear to me that Dotun was the one.”

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