Heartbroken Lee Thompson opens up about his journey to find love on TV

Cape Town – 12 weeks ago South Africa's first ever bachelor Lee Thompson, embarked on the journey of finding love.

It was a rollercoaster ride as he started off with 24 eligible women to choose from and finally whittled it down to just two.

In the 90-minute finale episode, Lee revealed that 31-year-old make-up artist Gina Myers stole his heart – but unfortunately the pair have broken up since then.

READ MORE: Bachelor SA: Here's the woman who stole Lee's heart

We chatted to Lee about his journey, what he based his final decision on, what it was like when the cameras were off and whether he is still on the lookout for love.

What did you base your final decision on when choosing between Gina and Jozaan?

Gina and Jozaan are both beautiful women inside and out. I felt that Jozaan wasn't willing to move for me and I've had a couple of long distance relationships in the past which never worked out. It was always going to be a tough call with Jozaan having a solid foundation with her career and family in her city. Gina has one of the most beautiful hearts I've ever experienced, and that's what got me in the end.

When did you know who you were going to choose?

That morning of the final day. I struggled to sleep that night. I was going through so many different thoughts, thinking about our dates and times we've spent together. I wanted to make the right decision, and it was difficult.

On the show, dates were planned out, and it was very extravagant. When the cameras stopped rolling was it tough to make real love with Gina work?

It had many challenges, but love was still there. Having to adapt to the real world, which was challenging after coming off such a high from our journey, we had the pressure of having to keep the secret and we were apart for a long time after filming.

After the show aired, it was revealed you and Gina are no longer together. What led to your relationship ending?

I was extremely emotionally confused after the show and was going through a tough time, as was Gina. I wasn't fully there for Gina when she needed me through that emotionally tough time. Keeping things a secret also put pressure on the relationship and things got off to a rocky start and never recovered. We were also apart after the show for a few months, and I don't believe that helped our relationship.

Lee and Gina on The Bachelor SA.

Having watched the episodes now, how do you feel knowing that Gina wanted to leave at one point?

I was hurt and disappointed when I heard it. We had a couple of arguments about it after the show. I think she was concerned about the lack of time we had spent together then having to introduce me to her family.

You have been open to remaining friends with Jozaan and Michelle R. Do you see that happening?

Yes, I truly do see us all being good friends once the dust settles. Emotions are still running high, and I think that when things settle down, we will all look back, smile and talk about the once in a lifetime experience we shared together.

What was it like being confronted by the other ladies who you let go?

It was challenging and inevitable. I believe a lot of the ladies just wanted closure and to understand why I made certain decisions. I understand where they are coming from and I answered all of their questions, and I hope they have the closure they were looking for.

Lee and Jozaan in The Bachelor SA.

What have you learnt about yourself doing this show?

That it's okay to be vulnerable and lay your heart and feelings on the line; once you fully open up to love, love will find its way to you.

What were your expectations going into the show and how did the experience live up to it?

I expected to find love and build an emotional connection with someone, so it lived up to that, even more so having formed more than one emotional connection.

Are you going to jump straight back into the dating pool or are you going to take a break?

I know I have a bright future in store and I'll be focusing on building my career and businesses so that when I find the one to settle down with I'm able to support them and give them all that they want and in turn my children. I want to share a beautiful life with someone truly special. My heart is still fully open to love.

(Photos supplied: M-Net)