With Hometown Dates around the corner on The Bachelorette and only six men remaining, Charity Lawson’s roses carried more weight than ever in the July 24 episode. Though cast member Sean McLaughlin made it to the final stop in New Orleans before the contestants’ families enter the picture, he was painfully aware that he’d yet to score a one-on-one date with the Season 20 lead. Instead, Charity chose him and Tanner Courtad for a two-on-one date, leaving Sean feeling confused and “pissed.” By the end of the episode, Sean was heading back home — but without Charity — asking, “What happened?” Here’s a rundown of what led up to the 25-year-old software sales rep’s Bachelorette exit.
After a boat tour of the gator-filled Louisiana bayou and a dinner afterward, Charity still wasn’t sure if she wanted to give her rose to Sean or Tanner. “When I think about Sean, he’s sweet, he’s thoughtful, he’s really like embracing all that this is,” she said, acknowledging the “weird predicament” they all were in. “But is that enough for me to feel like this is my person?” Still unsure — and developing a stress rash — Charity ultimately decided not to give either man the two-on-one date rose and asked for more time to weigh her options.
After Joey Graziadei and Dotun Olubeko scored one-on-ones and he found his name on yet another group date card with Aaron Bryant and Xavier Bonner, Sean went to Charity’s room, rather than wait for her decision. “I’ve gotten pretty much zero validation this entire journey, yet I’m still here,” the “confused, frustrated, and hurt” Tampa, Florida, resident vented to producers. “How can I envision a future with Charity when I’m still not getting the validation or any of that? So it definitely makes you think I’m feeling things that she’s not. I don’t know what else to do.”
After Sean said that he was “totally in the process of falling in love” with Charity, she tearfully told him how she felt. “There are connections that are stronger,” she explained. “I can go on and on, truly, all night about everything that you are. But as of right now and what this is and where I’m at, what you want from me, I can’t give. And I’m very fearful of not being able to get there. I don’t think that I can. And I know that’s not what you want to hear, but that’s just what it is.”
Following their breakup, Sean described feeling heartbroken, confused, and “crushed,” still not fully understanding what happened between them. After The Bachelorette wrapped filming in late April, he seems to have gotten his groove back, though. When several of his Instagram followers commented on a May 3 post from Hawaii that he was back, Sean joked that he “never left.” Less than two weeks later, he posted more comments, assuring his social media followers on May 14 that “life’s great” and that he’s “thriving” now.
In the post, which he captioned, “Life lately,” the self-described “huge Swiftie” shared clips of himself at Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, along with snippets of him working out, spending time with his dog Bane, golfing, and attending a wedding with friends. Sean also has used Swift’s lyrics and references while promoting his run on The Bachelorette, naming “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” and “Love Story” as his go-to tracks. Though his own Bachelorette “love story” has come to an end, Sean had been looking back fondly at his time on the show — particularly the Barbie-themed group date in Oceanside, California, prior to his July 24 elimination.
“Oceanside will always hold a special place in my heart,” Sean, aka “Double Denim Ken,” captioned a July 11 post. “Watching it back, I remember the pure happiness I felt watching the sunset on the pier with Charity. It was special and I was giddy… clearly. For a group of guys with no karaoke / song writing experience (and it showed) they all crushed it. Every guy embraced the moment, stepped outside their comfort zone, and had a ton of fun (a few shots too). That memory is something we will always share.”