We’re down to the wire, Bachelor fans: There are only two lovely ladies left from which Chris Soules can choose his beloved bride. Will it be Chicago-based fertility nurse Whitney Bischoff, or will it be virgin chiropractic assistant Becca Tilley? Tough choice, I know. One is young and blonde, and the other is young and blonde. Life is really hard sometimes, you guys. Anyway, a lot is said on The Bachelor about “being there for the right reasons” and “opening yourself up to love” and “being available”: it’s part of a script that viewers have become accustomed to after 52 seasons of Chris Harrison looking concerned and helping grown men hand out flowers. Plenty of room for roses.
What there isn’t room for, though, in the world of The Bachelor is any sort of misgiving. Women who actively question their motives for being on the show typically don’t do well because they recognize how silly a situation being on The Bachelor is. You meet a man, he dates you and 25 other women for two months, you go squid fishing in Borneo, and you fall in love (or what you think is love) and get engaged. In real life, you have your first fight, you pretend you have never farted in your whole life, and you pick your zits together before committing to marriage. The Bachelor is romance, sure, but it has nothing to do with the bad and the ugly of relationships. The women on The Bachelor who poke holes in this journey are accused of not being romantic or “open” to a new relationship when really they are just realistic about the prospect of Chris Harrison marrying them and their betrothed in a televised ceremony on ABC.
We forget in watching The Bachelor that, by the last rose ceremony, the Bachelor/ette and his/her potential suitors really have only known each other for like, eight weeks. These relationships only seem sturdier because the contestants have a whole host of shared experiences — I could fall in love with a broom and scream to the world about how we’re meant to be together if we went diving with sharks in Bali. The going gets tough when the cameras turn off and suddenly you have to go back to real life, and the only contestant on Chris Soules’ season that seems to realize this is Becca.
Becca’s made it pretty clear that she’s not 100 percent sure that she’s ready to move to Arlington, Iowa, population 429. And you know what? Why should she be sure? Chris’ hometown is literally an hour away from any sort of civilization — there are no restaurants, no movie theaters, and no possibilities. Becca is 26 years old, dating a man that is also dating other women, and ultimately just getting to know him. Being the picky person she is (her family says this about her like it’s a bad thing, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being choosy), Becca doesn’t seem like she’s going to jump into anything without really mulling it over. She is a 26-year-old virgin, which takes plenty of mental fortitude. And I’m not kidding — it’s not easy to stick your beliefs like that. More power to her. What made anyone think that Becca wouldn’t contemplate what her life would be like if she got hitched to Farmer Chris and his faux hawk?
Farmer Chris and his aforementioned faux hawk (as well as many other Bachelors before him) see her uncertainty as a lack of devotion, not as typical human emotion. (There is no room on The Bachelor for human emotion: You must be freshly pressed, waxed, bleached, and mascaraed to be on The Bachelor.) In a successful, rational, and real-life relationship, both parties would talk out their feelings and would (hopefully) reach a compromise on things like “where are we going to live?” and “how much time are we going to spend with your parents?” Chris can’t fathom that Becca (or any of the other women on the show) may not want to move to Arlington, because that would mean Chris would have to take someone else’s feelings into account. Pulling a page from the “Es OK” Juan Pablo playbook, Chris is really good at assuaging bad feelings and doubts, but not necessarily abating them. Chris’ favorite contestant on the show is the woman who is currently saying the nicest things to him.
The solution? Becca needs to dump the zero (that’s Chris, for all of you playing at home) before the last rose ceremony, and get with a hero (preferably a man who, you know, listens to her and respects her opinions and choices). Or don’t get with anyone at all! Just travel the world and read bad books and watch She’s All That with your gal pals every Friday night. Don’t even give Chris the chance to dump you (I think he picks Whitney, personally). Becca, there is a man out there for you who wouldn’t take your unwillfulness to move to the prairie as a personal attack. I promise.
Images: Terri Eddington/ABC; giphy (3)