Bekah is 22 years old. She's on The Bachelor, and she's 22 years old, and Arie is 36 years old. Had to get that out of the way, since it's been a plot point for the first few episodes of The Bachelor (supervising producer: Deborah Read). Arie is older, and Bekah is so young that the producers didn't reveal her age to the public in the beginning (it was widely reported in the press, though, because of advanced screeners and press materials). Arie and Bekah have chemistry, but how did Arie react to Bekah's age on The Bachelor?
Bekah didn't tiptoe around her age — she asked Arie point-blank if he knew how old she was. Arie was talking about how much they had in common, and they can talk so much, and are you ready to get married, blah blah, and Bekah was like, "Um, dude. Do you know that I'm 22?" She didn't mean it as she wasn't ready, but she was just checking to make sure. Bekah told Arie that she didn't disclose it at first because she didn't want Arie to "see [her] through the lens of her age." Arie's reaction was... not great? I can't say it made Bekah feel good. He said, "You're so young! Gosh. Have you ever dated anyone my age? I obviously knew you were young when I met you, so that's why I was hesitant. I wanted to make sure you were ready for this." Dude, keep it together.
Arie is on The Bachelor to find a wife, and that makes sense. That's the whole point, to get a relationship to go the distance with. Fine. But he's so dead-set on trying to get a wife that he's overlooking the amazing woman in front of him. Arie says that Bekah could be the most incredible person he's ever met, but he needs a wife. Dude. Stop.
Bekah shut that down, telling Arie, "Stop looking for me to give you the assurance you're not going to get. 'Cause you don't get that in love. And trust me, I want it to. And I want to know that I'm ready for something that I don't know if I'm ready for."
This woman should write greeting cards or something, because that is a line right there that I'm going to use should I ever need to. File that away. What struck me the most about Arie's reaction to Bekah's age admission was how much he assumed what she could or could not be ready for. Arie kept coming back to not knowing if Bekah was ready for marriage when Bekah repeatedly told him to his face that she could be ready, and that all of this scared her, too. His response was mostly something along the lines of, "But I wasn't ready at 22, so you can't be ready." Basically, Arie mansplained age and relationships to Bekah, which she didn't seem to appreciate.
That being said, Arie did give Bekah a rose because they have such an amazing connection. And it really seems like they do. This won't end well, though, unless Arie can get over his own rules about relationships, live in the moment, and see what's happening in front of him. Arie is afraid that Bekah hasn't lived enough life to settle down. He wants to make sure that she's had enough adventures, but there's no law that says you aren't allowed to have adventures when you're married. You just have them with the person you're married to. The greatest adventures of my life have been with my husband, and they take on different meanings than the ones I had as a single lady. There are no rules to relationships, and Arie's reaction to Bekah's age shows that he may be too by-the-book to fall in love with such a free spirit.