Dean Doesn't Owe Anyone An Explanation About His Relationship With His Father On 'The Bachelorette'

Josh Vertucci/ABC
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The Bachelorette hometown dates are usually a chance for the men to show the Bachelorette where they came from, but not all family situations are totally positive, and, this season, Bachelorette star Dean's relationship with his father is clearly strained. But despite Rachel's urging, Dean shouldn't have to apologize or defend himself for not speaking to his dad, or for holding on to his pain from his mother's death. Not everyone is ready for a breakthrough when cameras happen to be filming, and there's nothing wrong with that. Dean already went way outside his comfort zone by inviting any of his family members to meet Rachel, so there's no reason why he should have had to atone for previously keeping his distance.

This might be what kept Rachel and Dean from going to the altar, because she was clearly looking for Dean to be farther along on his emotional journey. Rachel got along wonderfully with Eric's family, and she had productive conversations when she met with Bryan and Peter's mothers for the first time. However, when she went home to see Dean's father, the couple's differences were highlighted. Dean was the only man who was dreading meeting up with his family. He was preoccupied with his family's past and with the unresolved issues from his teenage years, even with a supportive Rachel by his side. But, that's OK.

It may be easy to say that Dean should apologize, talk to his dad, and have the perfect moment that's evaded them for the past 10 years, but things don't always work out that way, especially when real trauma is at the core of the problem. And it's worth pointing out that Dean, at the time, was 26, while Rachel is 32 now, putting them at slightly different parts of their life. No, there's not a huge difference between mid-20 and early 30s. But Rachel said she saw herself married with more than one kid in four years, when Dean will only be 30 years old. He may need more time to continue maturing and to work on getting over his past. So, perhaps it's for the best that Rachel ended things between them if she wasn't happy with how Dean was handling it.

Ultimately, Dean has to be the person who decides how to navigate his familial relationships. While on the hometown date, his attempt to talk about the past doesn't go as planned, but even so, it's still obvious that Dean has a long way to go with his family. And he shouldn't have to apologize, second guess, or change a thing about what he's doing in his relationship with his father to please anyone else. Hopefully he's able to find a woman who respects that his timeline is his own. No prodding, well-intentioned as it might be, can change that.