There have only been two episodes of The Bachelor so far this season, but Monday night's episode gave us plenty to talk about: The fact that Olivia's mouth is always open, Lace freaking out because other people got more time than she did, and that really weird love chemistry date. And I couldn't even begin to understand what kind of high school would offer bobbing for apples in "lunch class" as part of their curriculum while watching that Bachelor High themed date. But despite all of that, the one thing about the second episode of The Bachelor that we really need to talk about is the fact that Ben gave out gifts. He was basically a rose carrying Santa Claus.
It started at the cocktail party before the rose ceremony. After an episode that featured two group dates and the first one-on-one of the season, Ben took the time to chat with everybody individually before he decided who he was sending home, like all Bachelors do. But then, he did something that is unprecedented in Bachelor Nation: He started handing out gifts, mostly to the women who he didn't get much quality time with since their arrival, to let everyone know he's been thinking about them. OK, seriously. How sweet is this guy?!
First, he gifted Lauren B. a printed out photo of their first meeting from the night of limo arrivals since he felt a connection with her right away, which was really thoughtful. That would have been enough to totally blow me away, and it was obvious that Lauren appreciated it. But then, they just kept coming. After Amanda told Ben she has daughters, they made barrettes for them together, and that was even more precious. Why is he the cutest Bachelor ever?!
This is just one example that shows that Ben's approach to The Bachelor is different. Just like he banned kissing on night one, he also seems to be viewing each of the women as individuals instead of a group, and trying to create separate relationships with each of them. Watching those gifts happen really made it seem like these could be dates happening in real life, under totally normal circumstances.
It's practically tradition for the runners up to give the Bachelor or the Bachelorette gifts before he or she makes the call on who the final pick will be, like that insanely cute baseball card Josh Murray gave Andi Dorfman during their fantasy suite dates. But for Ben to be handing out presents this early in the game, it really shows that he's taking this process of falling in love on reality TV seriously, and it's really refreshing to see.
Ben, keep up the good work. I had a feeling you'd be one of my favorite Bachelors, but this really seals the deal. I can't wait to see if he keeps up his gift giving routine in future episodes... or if the gifts get more elaborate as the weeks go on. Ben, if you're still in the giving mood, I would like a car, please.
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Image: Greg Zabliski/ABC