Finding your soulmate in “real life” is hard enough. Finding that perfect someone on a TV show with the world watching presents a whole new set of challenges and drama. With the rise of social media and even more chaotic seasons than ever before, the Bachelor journey has become even harder with fans chiming in every step of the way.
I’ll say this straight out – I was not a fan of the show choosing Arie as the new Bachelor because he was not relevant at the time and it seemed like they were settling for a lack of better options. I even went so far as to say that I wouldn’t watch the season because: 1. It didn’t seem like it would be interesting, 2. I thought it was the perfect time to take a break from my Bachelor addiction. I know you know what I’m talking about! We’ve all had our moments where we question why we’re even spending our precious time watching, but we keep coming back for more. So, in the end I caved and watched the first episode. It was all downhill from there.
Race car driver and famous kissing bandit, Arie Luyendyk Jr., started his season like any other with a trove of single ladies excited by the possibility of finding their one true love and potential husband. They were ready and willing to compete for their mystery love on national television. I couldn’t help but wonder if some of the women were disappointed to find out it wouldn’t be the personal trainer from Rachael’s season, Peter Kraus. I have to say, Peter was way too normal to be the Bachelor so I’m not surprised he turned it down and went back to his somewhat normal post-Bachelorette life. Even though there were countless disappointed ladies and men, Bachelor Nation stuck with the second best Bachelor until the very, very messy end.
We all understand the basic premise of the show – date a bunch of people and narrow it down to the top three contenders the lead has the strongest feelings for. The way it seems they typically decide if things will work out for the long haul is during the fantasy suites where the couples are able to have alone time to finally figure out if the physical chemistry is there, or not. Arie’s problem was that after getting physical with all three ladies, he still couldn’t make up his mind and continued to make the case that he was genuinely in love with both Becca and Lauren. How is that possible you might ask? The answer is somewhat simple and I’m not even sure Arie realizes what caused the confusion for him.
Becca became a prize to Arie in the final days leading up to the proposal. He was so intent on giving a ring to someone that he lost sight of his own true feelings in the process. This is how I see things went down, and ultimately how Arie made a mistake when he proposed to Becca. A very crucial turn of events occurred right after the fantasy suites that caused Arie’s feelings to falsely intensify for Becca and overshadow the even stronger feelings he had for Lauren. It all started with Becca’s ex-boyfriend crashing the show and threatening her and Arie’s relationship at such a critical point. You could tell right away that Arie was upset and worried about Becca’s ex showing up out of the blue. The way it works in the normal dating world is like this – guys and girls are attracted to someone they think is a catch. There are many things that can make someone seem like a catch, and being in-demand is one of them. When Arie saw Becca’s ex go to such great lengths to try and win her back, it made her seem like a catch and it increased her desirability without her having to do anything. On top of that, Arie was now in competition with this other guy which also subconsciously influenced his feelings towards Becca by making him feel protective of her and their relationship. Again, falsely inflated feelings for the wrong person due to outside influences. It’s no excuse for how he told both women he loved them or how he handled the breakup with Becca, but it does provide some explanation for why he couldn’t get it right the first time.
Then there was meeting his family. This one is a little more obvious for those who watched the show, but important to the outcome nonetheless. When Arie’s family met both women, they first had the chance to meet Lauren whom they seemed to like quite a bit. Lauren seemed loving and genuine to them, but that clearly was not enough to seal the deal in their minds. Once they met Becca and were able to compare the two women, they decided that Becca’s outgoing personality, confidence, and independent nature would be a better fit for Arie as a wife. In all fairness, it’s easy to understand why they would feel that way. Parents want their children to end up in a marriage that have all the characteristics of a happy, lasting relationship with the least potential for issues. Even though Lauren was sweet, they must have felt like there was some potential for bumps in the road if Arie and her were to get married. At the end of the day, Arie was in a mindset of pleasing his family, pleasing viewers (I know that’s hard to believe), and choosing the right person to spend forever with.
I don’t think anyone who has not been in the Bachelor/Bachelorette’s shoes can possibly imagine how it feels to date 25 people, seriously date 3-5 people, and ultimately get engaged in less than two months. It’s absolutely nuts, and that’s why everyone watches! I know people say they don’t have to propose at the end, but let’s be real, everyone watches in hopes of the ultimate ending – the dramatic proposal – and the show does everything in its power to make it happen. Arie royally screwed up by allowing Lauren to pour out her heart in the finale, only to send her home and then give Becca a half-hearted proposal that he should’ve thought more about. I do believe he was being selfish when he made the choice to propose to Becca because if he had considered her feelings more and weighed the possibilities of things not working out, he might have come to his senses sooner.
In the end, we can’t fault him for following his heart. No one should stay in a relationship just because they think it’s the right thing to do, they don’t want to hurt the other person, or they’re afraid of being alone. In this case, Arie realized his heart was elsewhere and didn’t want to lose his chance to get back with Lauren. In my opinion, I think the reason he chose to have the breakup on camera was to make a statement for Lauren and prove his love for her. I think he was not concerned with Becca’s feelings and only hung around because he felt like a jerk after seeing how upset she was after being blindsided by him. But, all is well that ends well and Arie and Lauren found their happy ending, and Becca is on her way to finding hers as the new Bachelorette. Here’s to Becca finding her happiness and person in love and life!