Hunky Bulky sat on a wall, Hunky Bulky had a great fall...for Jillian.
theres a lot of speculation about Ed:
*appearing guilty during Jillian's confrontation pre RC in episode 4.
and more so,
*being the one to leave the show, for personal reasons.
We as viewers only know about Ed through his interactions with Jillian, and I think there is sufficient information to deduce something a little more credible about Ed.
Like Jillian said, he was a "late arrival" but that she saw something in him and and was attracted to him from the get-go. Their first conversation pre RC1 reflected their similarities regarding their social lives...Ed saying he is an "open and positive person" who "looks at the bright side of things" and his observation that she too has an open mind and outgoing nature. So while Ed has a quiet confidence about him, Jillian exudes her confidence by her outgoing personality.
Their mutual attraction and compatibility is then emphasized during their one-on-one date. While this was an early date for the season, again I think there was a lot we could extract from their interaction during the date that supports why Ed is a strong contestant and will probably remain this way to the very end, if not, the very last RC. They were affectionate throughout the entire date, from the helicopter to the romantic rooftop dinner. If the "rapelling down the building" was a test for Ed, he passes with flying colors. (Jill says: "It was a romantic thing that we did, in its own weird way. In love you have take a leap of faith, and that's what we kind of did".
I think both Ed and Jillian are very mature and confident people, that there's no need for pretentious communication and interaction. People might think that their date was boring or not revealing enough of the *spark* between Ed and Jill, but i think it's because they see enough "eye-to-eye" that there's no need for niceties. They talked about their similar passion for their careers and how much it has hampered their ability to focus on their personal lives. For both of them, I think their confidence and maturity is due in great part to their successes in their careers...both feel comfortable where they are in their careers and like Ed said, have "the ability/flexibility to do what i want" because of the stability and security of their careers.
Ed and Jillian are pretty much in the same place emotionally and mentally.
While there's much more to learn and know about both of them, we can say that their relationship would have a pretty solid foundation, if not already(from what we've seen).
Regarding Ed being the one who has a girlfriend back at home, I do not think this is the case. Yes, outside information acquired about Ed labels him as a "fratty" type who enjoys spending time with his guy friends and sowing his wild oats when he's not keeping busy with his career. Facets about him that we've seen since he came on the show would suggest that he is very much a career-man. And for someone who is looking to be "secure" and "stable" so that he can start his family would not, in his right mind, come on the show to meet Jillian while still carrying on a relationship at home. Ed is on the show for the right reason and i think it does mean a lot to him to be there with Jillian.
Emphasizing his career, Ed possibly is the one to leave. If it is for work reasons, this is very plausible. If it was for other personal reasons like a girlfriend at home, we would not see him again in the season. But because apparently we do...we can say that his reason for leaving is something that just has to be done and that Jillian understands. I think they have an already solid foundation anyway and so nothing can keep them apart for too long if Jillian realizes that he is a good match for her and she for him.
While it will come off as a "dramatic cliffhanger" to keep up with viewer ratings, Ed's possible leave would be a valid one. Further it would only strengthen the romantic connection between Ed and Jillian. If both are successful in their careers but at times suffer because of it, Ed leaving would emphasize this, but his return would be a validation of their love.
Of course, I'm an Ed&Jill fan, 100% and i wouldn't be surprised if he is given the final rose. While certainly Jillian has an attraction and connection to all of the guys remaining, her motivation for coming into all of this appears most compatible with Ed's reasons for being here with her. I think they deserve each other and already make each other happy.
As Ed worried(during their one-on-one), "there's not enough time"...
but for them, timing is everything and things will come as they should.
If both Ed and jillian are looking for "the One", it's better for us to see serious challenges and heartbreaks(if he leaves and Jill is sad) than physical chemistry on the set. Career challenges and personal obligations and emotional intensity are real life matters that can, at times, get in the way of love. If Ed leaves, it is to prove this point.