The finale of The Bachelor is so close I can almost taste it, and, even though I've resisted all season, it might be time to finally choose a favorite. I'm Team Raven on Nick Viall's season of The Bachelor. Up until now, I've put off going public with my preference, because Nick is so unpredictable. He's sent home either no one or six people in the same episode, with no middle ground in between for me to get comfortable opening up and sharing which of the remaining women has my heart. But she's stuck around for long enough now that I'm finally starting to let my walls down and be vulnerable
But anyway yes, the girl of my dreams, owner of my heart, and love of my... season is Raven Gates, that Hoxie, Arkansas, native with the long black hair and the winning personality. The 25-year-old business owner may be a decade younger than her prospective husband, and six years and four years younger than her remaining competitors Rachel and Vanessa, respectively. But, for once, I don't think it matters. Raven is bringing a whole lot to the table — dare I say, the whole package — and Nick would be lucky to end up with her. And, based on the look in his eyes on their dates recently, he knows it.
But this isn't about Nick, this is about me. So here are the biggest reasons I'm pulling for Raven to win this whole thing.
1. She's A Badass
Ever since Raven told that story on a date about jumping into the car and driving hours out of her way to catch her boyfriend cheating, I can't get it out of my head.
2. She Seems Really Into Nick
Just look at her face anytime she's on a date with Nick, or talking about Nick, or even thinking about Nick. She's blushing and googly-eyed, and it's really important to be that into someone during the early stages of a relationship.
3. She Has A Great Attitude
Another thing that has always stuck in my mind about Raven is her response to that infamous volleyball date. When all the other women were (understandably) melting down about not getting alone time with Nick, she never got emotional; she was just there to have a good time, and, if Nick got his crap together enough to talk to the women one-on-one, then great.
4. She Speaks Her Mind
But having a good attitude doesn't mean she just goes along with everything with a smile on her face; Raven does also speak her mind. If something is up, she is not keeping quiet about it. And, because of the truthful way she phrases her commentary, nothing ever comes off mean, even in her talking head interviews.
5. ...But Also Comes To Nick's Defense
Nick has given the women plenty of reason to wonder where his head is at this season, but Raven always seems to know, and to give him the benefit of the doubt, which is huge in a partner. When it was looking like he might walk off the show after he eliminated each of the Danielles, I was ready to write him off. But Raven pointed out that it must be really hard for him to be going through this process again and watching his previously-strong feelings for some women fade away.
6. She's Emotionally Intelligent
I guess what I'm getting at with these last few points is that Raven is emotionally intelligent AF. Emotional intelligence has been a hot topic this season, but we've never talked about how much of it Raven seems to have. Any time there was a conflict in the house, I'd rely on her to be the voice of reason and cut through the BS. Like in the Corinne and Taylor feud, for example. She pointed out that she didn't understand why Taylor had such a problem with Corinne, and it made me see Corinne in a completely new light.
7. She Made Me Cry With That Speech
The speech where she told Nick she loved him wasn't even about me, but just watching it happen on my TV screen still made me weep openly at home. It was so open and vulnerable and well-phrased and just honest that I couldn't deal with it.
8. She's Not Too Fancy
Get you a woman who can show up in a gown on the first night, but also uses her free time to go mudding in her hometown.
9. She Has No Beef With The Other Women
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I can't remember anyone having anything bad to say about Raven throughout this entire process. That would be bizarre in any situation, but, with 30 women living in one house and competing over the same guy, it's virtually unheard of.
10. She's Tight With Alexis
Any friend of Shark Girl is a friend of mine, and, according to Instagram, the two were close during the show and have stayed close after.
11. She's Close With Her Family
Speaking of being close with people, Raven is super tight with her family, which I always love to see in a contestant.
12. She's Sex-Positive
Raven has been open about only being intimate with one person and what a big deal sex is to her and the fact that she's never had an orgasm. I'm obsessed with the fact that she feels comfortable saying all this on television without even a hint of embarrassment. Because why shouldn't she? It's all part of it.
13. She Didn't Come Out Of The Gate Hot
Raven and Nick's relationship has bene more of a slow burn, starting as a friendship while gaining momentum over time. For me, that makes it much more likely to last the long haul instead of abruptly losing steam when those giddy feelings start to fade.
14. She Understands What The Show Is About
I'm sure I'd be behaving the same way, if I was a front-runner and then had to be confronted with the Bachelor's feelings for other women as the finale neared. But Raven has never struggled with the conceit of the show the way Vanessa is starting to. She knows why she came here, and what she'll have to go through to get what she wants, and for all intents and purposes, she seems ready to do that.
Whoever Raven ends up with, whether it's Nick or me — ahem — or someone else, they'll be one of the luckiest people on the planet. This girl is pure gold.