Ben & JoJo Are Better Off As 'Bachelor' Friends

by Molly Freeman

It's been a minute since that emotional preview for the rest of the season of The Bachelor aired at the end of Episode 6, so maybe we can start to dissect what happened — or, for those of us that immediately began dissecting the preview, we can share some theories about what all those scenes and bits of Ben talking actually mean. One of the biggest questions from the preview is what does Ben mean when he claims he made a mistake by saying goodbye to one of the contestants? Did Ben send Jojo home too early?

OK, bear with me as we gather all the facts. First off, there is a part of the preview in which Ben talks about making a pretty huge mistake. Here's a transcription of what he says:

I have to say goodbye to a woman who doesn't deserve it. Saying goodbye to her doesn't feel right and this is the biggest mistake I've made. I want to keep her in my life, I don't want to say goodbye 'cause that's how much I love her.

Provided the producers haven't pulled some editing trickery — splicing together clips of him talking about different women to form this sound bite (which may seem entirely possible if you listen closely enough) — it certainly sounds like Ben sends someone home before he's truly ready to part with them. So, could Jojo be that person?

Well, anything is possible, what if Ben is talking about platonic love, rather than romantic love in that sound bite? If that's the case, I have a theory about Jojo and Ben: What if their connection is more friendship than romantic relationship? Look at this way: Who rescued Ben from explaining to the contestants on the group date why he sent Jubilee home in the middle of the cocktail party? Who did Ben go to when he needed someone to be honest with him about why the swimming-with-pigs date was so awkward?

The fact is, Ben can always count on Jojo to be honest with him and to swoop in when he needs saving from a group of women. That sounds like more of a friend than a romantic partner to me — not that honestly isn't fundamental to romantic relationships, but the conversations in question between Ben and Jojo feel more like a friend telling him how it is than two people discussing their romantic future.

Of course, I could be totally off base. Perhaps Ben and Jojo have what it takes to make it all the way to the end. Maybe she's one of the women he falls in love with by the end of the season. But, call it a feeling or call it a crazy theory, I think Ben sends Jojo home early and regrets it because he has feelings for her — they're just not romantic feelings.

Images: Jean Whiteside/ABC (2); Giphy