Has A 'Bachelor' Said "I Love You" Before? Ben Higgins Isn't Alone In Expressing His Feelings

Oh boy, America — Bachelor Ben Higgins seems like he’s about to be in a whole bunch of trouble. On last week’s (and the very last of the season) Bachelor Live, Chris Harrison previewed a clip of Ben telling not one, but two women that he was in love with them. That’s right — he said those three words that not even Chuck Bass could say to Blair. Isn’t that like, the biggest no-no if you’re a Bachelor or a Bachelorette? It’s always seemed as if the producers could pick you up and drop you in Siberia, never to be seen again, if you were a Bachelor and told a contestant who was not yet your fiancée that you loved her. Apparently, though, according to producer Elan Gale, at least, there are no Bachelor rules. Still, it seems like a rare occurrence, so have any Bachelors said “I love you” while on the show?

I’m not really sure how the lore started that no one was allowed to say, “I love you” on the air. I suppose from the producers' standpoint, I get that it can suck all of the mystery out of the show — if the Bachelor is telling just one woman that he loves her, it’s like, “Gee, I wonder who he’ll propose to at the end of this whole thing.” Some, like former Bachelor Sean Lowe, decided to avoid the L-word altogether and any trouble it may cause. He thought of so different synonyms for “I love you” on his season that he should have his own dictionary. (My personal favorite? His repeated utterances of "I'm crazy about you.")

It’s all to maintain a bit of mystery, but there is no definitive, hard-and-fast rule that a Bachelor or Bachelorette faces any distinct consequences for professing their love before a finale. It's just not that simple. And, if it really affected the show's ending, I'm sure the producers would just choose not to air the moment.

So, there have indeed been Bachelors who have said the L-word. In Brad Womack’s second season on the show (if you remember, he’s been the Bachelor twice), he told Emily Maynard that he loved her after she said it to him first, saying, “I’m falling in love with you too. I’m not going to sit here and listen to that and not say anything back. It makes me the happiest guy in the world to hear you say the same thing.”

Chris Soules also confessed his love during his season — on his Fantasy Suite date with Kaitlyn Bristowe, he told her that he was “falling in love with her,” and he also told Witney Bischoff (who he eventually chose) the same thing. Another man who couldn’t make up his mind!

While I understand that the whole process of The Bachelor makes for a confusing time, Ben probably dug himself into a hole in expressing love for two different women. It has to be hard to have such strong feelings for more than one person, but that’s what The Bachelor loves to do — cause drama. Will it be “the most dramatic episode ever of The Bachelor,” as Chris Harrison likes to taunt us every week? Maybe, maybe not. But, if I had to decide between Ben telling two women that he loves them and Juan Pablo picking Nikki and refusing (even after months and months) to express his feelings, I’ll take Ben’s confessions every time.

Images: Ronda Churchill/ABC; Giphy