Does 'The Bachelorette' Winner Have to Propose on The Finale? Maybe Juan Pablo Was a Rule-Breaker

We've seen it all before, well at least you have if you watch The Bachelorette. The show lasts for about seven or eight weeks, and we fans drive ourselves crazy over who will win, who will become the next Bachelor, and most importantly what will the engagement ring look like? But does The Bachelorette have to end in love and an engagement? (I'm personally more concerned about the impossibility of making Chris Harrison the next Bachelor, or perhaps Marquel, so give me a second while I work that out in my head.) But back to engagements. Are they required or not?

We need to back up a bit, before Andi's time, to really get to the heart of the matter. At the end of Emily Maynard's season, I was head over heels in love with Jef Holm. His name had a cool and unique spelling (well, it had only one F). He was quirky and super cute. He seemed to be an underdog in a season where I was absolutely sure Ari would take home the prize, aka Emily's heart. When Jef, was looking at wedding rings during the Final Rose that year, I remember thinking to myself, "Wait, does everyone always propose at the end of their season?" So, yadda yadda yadda, Jef proposes, Emily looked surprised and shocked, she accepted, and all is right with the world. Except, all was not right with the world.

The two ended up not getting married. Six months after the show ended, the couple split. Jef was quoted as citing a desire for "different things" as the cause of the breakup. He also said he was in search of a "normal girl," to which I have to say I'm a normal girl, Jef! Maybe it would have worked out a little better if that proposal never happened and as it turns out, there is no contractual requirement to propose (or even say "I love you," as Juan Pablo demonstrated last season on The Bachelor).

But since it's not actually required, I'm having a little trouble figuring out if Josh, who is definitely going to win, should propose to Andi at the end of this season. As someone who has seen Flavor of Love Seasons 1, 2, and 3, I can attest to the fact that just because something seems like love in the midst of the show doesn't mean it will necessarily pan out once the cameras stop rolling.

Whether it's traveling around the world together, having a helicopter take you to some deserted island where you build sand castles all day, having a picnic next to the Hollywood sign, or slow dancing at your own private concert, ABC knows how to plan a date. That's indisputable. The problem is what happens when Andi and Josh are thrust back into their normal daily routine. Suddenly, that shiny new convertible turns back into a pumpkin. The gorgeous flowing ball gowns become jeans and a t-shirt. The prince is still a prince, but instead of whisking you away to Paris for a week, he's back at his nine-to-five.

When the glitz and the glamour of The Bachelorette lifestyle fades away, all that's left is the love shared between two people. If that love isn't strong enough to survive without all of the crazy trips and the celebrity guest appearances, then maybe it wasn't meant to be. During the show, it's sort of unwritten that the Bachelor or Bachelorette will find love. That amount of pressure is immense. Add that to the fact that you only see the person you're "dating" in small bursts, you're competing with fourteen or so other guys, and you'd feel compelled to propose if you made it to the end.

I'm just like any other red-blooded Bachelorette viewer. I want to see the proposal. I want to see Josh get down on one knee. I want to see Andi's reaction. At the same time though, part of me thinks that maybe they should wait for a couple months. They have to get acclimated back into being normal people again.

I hope to see their wedding pictures one day in some magazine, but I also hope that they actually get to the alter. There's nothing better than the excitement surrounding the proposal, but worrying whether the couple will actually make it to their wedding day spoils the fun.

Images: ABC (3)