Listen, hear me out on this, because I love her as much as you do, but it's likely Raven Gates won't win The Bachelor, and we need to start preparing ourselves for that possibility. And again, don't get me wrong — do I believe that she's the best option for Nick Viall out of the three women remaining? Absolutely, yes. Would I marry her myself if I was attracted to women and in a position to do so? Without a doubt. But also, am I dreading the moment when Nick sends her home and breaks her (kind, generous, emotionally aware) little heart? One thousand percent.
As much as I want to will the opposite into happening with my mind, I am fairly confident that Raven doesn't walk away from The Bachelor with a ring on her finger. I think Vanessa Grimaldi is coming away with Nick's heart, and I think that outcome was set a long time ago, as early as her first date with Nick. Raven is a lovely girl, and one of my favorite contestants ever, but I think her beautiful Arkansas goose is cooked, as sad as it makes me to say it.
But even though I am never wrong — please do not attempt to verify this — you don't just have to take my word for it. I've put together a list of reasons why I'm sure Raven doesn't win The Bachelor, for your perusing pleasure.
1. It's What I Want
Not to make this is all about me, but any time I choose a favorite from the field of Bachelor or Bachelorette contestants, that person goes home. The last time the person I thought should win actually did was Shawn Booth on Kaitlyn Bristowe's season, and I can't remember the time before that. My likes and dislikes are very powerful.
2. Nick Is A Love Dummy
No shade: There's a difference between being a real-life dummy and a love dummy, and I'm just talking about the love dummy part. Nick has done this four times now, so there are a lot of names and faces tangled up in his head, and I'm not convinced that can see what's standing right in front of him anymore.
3. He's Been Calling Raven First
Something that I've noticed the show does, presumably to try to throw viewers off the scent of a clear frontrunner like Vanessa, is to try to make it seem like she goes home by repeatedly having the Bachelor/ette call someone else first.
Think about it — the producers talk to Nick throughout the process, so they know who's at the top of his list, and they wouldn't want his preferences to be clear from the outside, otherwise there'd be no element of suspense, right? It would make sense to mix things up, so I get suspicious anytime someone is consistently called first this close to the end.
4. Her Age
Personally, I don't think it matters, because Raven is one of the most mature people I've ever seen on this show, but the fact that she's 10 years younger than Nick is definitely a factor, as is her relative inexperience, and I can imagine him using both as part of his reasoning for eliminating her.
5. Nick Has A Stronger Connection With Vanessa
Like I said, I think this all comes down to the bond Nick formed with Vanessa on their very first date. I've made a habit of watching his face when he interacts with the other women, and he doesn't get all goo-goo ga-ga for anyone but her.
6. There Was No Drama With Raven's Family
If there's one thing I've learned about Nick it's that he likes a challenge, and my instinct is that Vanessa's father's hesitance to give his blessing will prove more compelling to the Bachelor star in the long run.
7. Nick Has Responded Pretty Oddly To Her Dad's Health Problems
Speaking of families, I really haven't been overwhelmed with Nick's response to the things Raven has shared with him, but specifically her father's lung cancer scare. She talked to him about it on the show, and he couldn't muster much feeling or follow-up questions about it, and then when Mr. Gates announced he was cancer-free during Hometowns, once again I wasn't blown away by Nick's response. He just didn't seem invested the way he would if he thought they were gonna be engaged in a few weeks.
8. She Told Him She Loved Him
Once again, I think Nick likes a challenge, and it makes me wonder if part of the reason he was so interested in Raven is because she hadn't really opened up to him in that way, or gotten emotional in front of him. It makes me curious how he'll respond now that it's all out there on the table, that's he's the first person in her life that she's ever said "I love you" to in a romantic way.
9. Their Relationship Has Moved More Slowly
Nick's connection with Vanessa was pretty much instant, and you could see it, whereas he and Raven have taken their time a little more, building a foundation of friendship on which to build a romance. For me, that sounds amazing, and I'm totally on board, but Nick strikes me more as a "love at first sight" type of dude.
10. Vanessa Is Who He Should Want
I actually firmly believe that Nick and Corinne would have been a great match, maybe the best of the final four. And I think Raven is the best option for Nick of the final three, of the type of woman he needs. But as you might expect from someone who's on his fourth finding-love reality TV show, Nick appears not to know what he needs, and is instead going for the person he wants. Or at least, the person he thinks he should want — the one furthest out of his league.
11. Because She Has To Go To Paradise & Meet Luke Pell
Honestly, start fueling up the plane to whatever Mexican beach they choose for Bachelor in Paradise right now, and I'll scoot ahead to let Luke know to expect her. I feel so strongly that Raven and Luke would be a perfect match, and now I need to see my dreams come to fruition.
At the end of the day, devastated as I know she'll be — and me too! — Raven will pick herself up from the inevitable disappointment of not being chosen, and realize she's better than all this anyway. She's a one-in-a-million lady, and there are plenty of guys who will be flinging themselves at her, especially after all the emotional work she's just done in front of all of us on national TV.
Or, y'know, maybe Nick will wise up and choose her, and they'll live happily ever after together. There's no way to know for sure in advance.