In an attempt to hold onto my last shred of sanity, I am not going to rehash the painful details of what transpired on the finale of The Bachelorette Monday night because, much like the day after the presidential election, I feel extremely confused and still think that I am being punked — and so do many other fans. In addition to being straight up baffled by Rachel's heart-wrenching breakup with Peter, Bachelor Nation had a bone to pick with the words that Rachel used to describe her plans with her fiancé, Bryan. Fanstook to Twitter to express their frustration, confusion, and feelings about Rachel's comments on the After the Final Rose special.
Up until the final episode, Rachel had pretty much only been praised for her role as the Bachelorette — and for good reason. She stayed true to herself, she roasted racist commenters on Twitter, and told DeMario to "get the f*ck out" after his ex showed up. Fans were not used to being disappointed by Rachel, and this complete 180 is part of the reason why the backlash was so extreme. Fans of Rachel, including myself, were prepared to sing her praises until we developed John Mayer-esque vocal chord nodules, but things changed Monday night.
Rachel ended up breaking things off with Peter because he wanted to take things slower and wasn't ready to propose after a few short weeks of "dating." (Can you call it dating if there are 25 other guys present?) This impatient approach to engagement and marriage had fans turning on Rachel faster than Roose Bolton turned on Rob Stark at the Red Wedding, and, because this is 2017, they took to Twitter to voice their grievances.
Even Jimmy Kimmel got in on the action:
But what really set things off was what Rachel said during the After the Final Rose special when Chris Harrison probed her and Bryan about their plans now that they are able to go public. They said that they were focused on "bringing their lives together." They said they hadn't explicitly discussed wedding details, but Rachel said she wants to have a winter wedding. (She didn't share what year that winter wedding would be.) Then she added:
"We're not rushing anything. We just want to see — to build our lives together and get to know each other in a normal sense."
This is where the whole world imploded. Peter wanting to take things slow seemed to be the main reason she broke things off with him.
It's no secret that Peter had a bigger fan base than Bryan and people were bound to be upset when he was sent home, but Rachel saying that she and Bryan aren't rushing anything just added salt to the too-fresh wound.
As viewers of the show we never truly know what happens and it is very possible that the producers played up the drama with Peter and downplayed Rachel's real relationship with Bryan. It might be totally plausible that if both men proposed, Rachel still would have picked Bryan because he is truly is "the one." When it comes down to it, all us fans have is the version of the events that we were given, and what we received ended up breaking hearts.