Ben's season of The Bachelor has come and gone like a brisk spring, giving life to another cycle — runner-up JoJo on The Bachelorette. In preparation for the March 14 Bachelor finale, conversations swirled about whether Ben would choose JoJo or Lauren on The Bachelor finale. While it perhaps seems obvious now that Ben was going to choose Lauren B., during the finale, it was a close call until Ben broke up with JoJo. Yet, I'm here to say that in retrospect, Ben and JoJo's bathroom scene held a clue to her demise.
I almost wanted Ben to chose JoJo solely based on that already-infamous bathroom floor discussion between an emotionally distressed JoJo and a struggling Ben. While it could be said that JoJo and Ben arguing was an indication of a strained relationship, the fact that they were having this honest conversation before they got engaged (whereas Ben and Lauren had it after) is, to me, a much better start to a healthy, trusting relationship.
Yes, dating someone new shouldn't be too hard, but this is The Bachelor — where the whole atmosphere thrives on drama. When he had been vacillating between JoJo and Lauren, Ben had referred to that fact that Lauren and he never had a rough patch, but that, with JoJo, they'd already had to work through some tough emotions, like when her ex-boyfriend sent her a letter during Ben's home visit.
While I'm a believer that relationships can sometimes benefit from a little healthy tension, unfortunately the conversation in the bathroom during The Bachelor Season 20 finale may have been the exact reason why Ben didn't choose JoJo. You can re-watch the heartbreaking scene again in the three videos below.
The fact that Ben told JoJo he loved Lauren, while he didn't offer Lauren the same courtesy was fascinating and made me hopeful that this sharing of information was a sign of the respect and love you'd share with your future wife. Unfortunately, such a mature thought was completely incorrect, and I should have known by the exchange between JoJo and Ben in the first video above that Ben would be choosing Lauren.
JoJo said to Ben, "I need something from you. I'm losing my mind" after trying to get some privacy from the cameras in the bathroom. Ben's response? "Look at me. I'm sitting here on a bathroom floor with you tonight." This line seems innocent when written out, but you have to listen to Ben's tone to really understand why this flippant response hit me particularly hard. While you could argue I'm reading into the line too much, hear me out.
In arguments with significant others, I am 99.99 percent usually the more emotional one. JoJo, in one of the most realistic conversations I have ever heard on The Bachelor, revealed that she was not doing well with being in constant competition for Ben. Upon hearing this, Ben thought it was appropriate to show how far he has gone for JoJo by citing his physical location at the time of the argument.
For all of her talk about it being hard to open up to Ben, JoJo was the one who was extremely emotionally exposed in the bathroom. Ben's response — a response I have heard in various forms throughout my life before — is one of almost sheer exasperation that I thought disregarded JoJo's feelings. It's barely a step above from him just coming out and saying, "C'mon! I've debased myself by sitting on the bathroom floor! Can we just have fun now?!" As if his inconvenient seat at the moment is on par with the legitimate turmoil JoJo is going through because he's in love with another woman. And, that's the exact moment Bachelor nation should have known he wasn't ready to make JoJo his wife.
At this point, I'd like to point out that I'm probably giving too much credit to the woman who signed up to be the next Bachelorette after being rejected by Ben. If I was really that upset about losing a man I loved, I might take a cycle off of the reality TV circuit. But, here I go again trying to logic the completely mind-boggling world of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. And, while I may think that Ben, JoJo, and Lauren all used the "L" word a bit too loosely for my taste, I guess I believe that JoJo and Ben thought they loved each other at the time. And, if they did both believe they loved each other, then Ben should have handled telling JoJo that he also loved Lauren better.
Often people are told that insecurities are unattractive to a partner, and when it came down to JoJo and Lauren's feelings toward Ben, JoJo ended up being the more insecure one. She was the one who flat out asked Ben if he loved Lauren too, which he replied to affirmatively. And, in one of Ben's most genuine moments he asked JoJo, "Do you not want me to tell you this?" Yet Ben's truthfulness ended up not being a sign of choosing JoJo — it put the nail in her Bachelor coffin.
So, while fans watching on March 14 should have known by Ben's dismissive nature toward JoJo that he was going to choose Lauren, that's Bachelor history now. JoJo was so gracious toward Ben during After the Final Rose, and she'll be breaking hearts herself when she's on The Bachelorette. And, while I don't want her to be haunted by her past with Ben, I hope she'll remember that low moment in the bathroom with Ben and is more emotionally understanding when she is handing out roses of her own.
Images: Matt Dunn (2), Jean Whiteside, Rick Rowell/ABC