When Arie Luyendyk Jr. was first introduced to Bachelor Nation, he was but one man amongst many competing for one woman's heart. As such, he introduced Bachelorette Emily Maynard to his family during the show's hometown visit and America then met new Bachelor Arie's mother, Mieke Luyendyk. Now that he's about to anchor his own season, fans of the show can expect to see Mieke return to provide input on the women Arie dates on the show. But will she react to them the same way she reacted to Arie's first reality television romance?
When Arie introduced Emily to his family during her season of The Bachelorette, he gave her a warning that his mother might not be as enthusiastic about their relationship as he was. He predicted that of all his family, his mother would be "the least open-minded" about him actually finding love on a television show. Once Emily and Arie's family actually met, things seemed to go well between the Bachelorette and Mieke, until Arie's mom started speaking the family's native Dutch, effectively (if not intentionally) isolating Emily from the conversation. Arie and Emily obviously didn't end up together, but will Arie's Bachelor contestants be expected to impress his mother and further open her mind to the possibility of a Bachelor-based daughter-in-law?
The initial introduction of Emily to the Luyendyks was tense. After Arie defused the issue about language barriers, Emily and Mieke's one-on-one talk got to the root of his mother's skepticism. Mieke was interested in nothing more than making sure her son was dating someone she approves of, so much so that she revealed to Emily that she had watched her season of The Bachelor to learn more about her. She even asked Emily questions about why she decided to break things off with former Bachelor Brad Womack prior to seeing Arie. Eventually, they seemed to reach a common ground of wanting the best for Arie, and Mieke talked about the trials and tribulations of being married to a race car driver.
While Mieke's first interaction with reality-show romance may have started off awkwardly, her interaction with Emily seemed to end on a positive note. Now that Arie will be introducing multiple women he's interested in to his mother, will her opinions change? Mieke was able to watch Emily fall in love with someone other than her son before getting to meet her, but she won't be able to do similar research on her son's newest romantic partners before meeting them. Arie's mother likely won't be show up until the tail-end of the season, but considering that Arie mentioned his mother to Emily long before hometown visits, Mieke may at least have an emotional presence for much of the journey.
Mieke's interest and skepticism isn't unusual, however. Just like all the other mothers who have appeared on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette in the past, Mieke ultimately wants to know the people that her child is considering committing to. She's not active on most social media, but Mieke's Twitter timeline is filled with retweets of her son, all in anticipating of his becoming The Bachelor. It seems that, whoever he has chosen, Mieke is happy enough with the results that she's regularly promoting Arie's season.
Even though Arie admitted on Good Morning America that his parents didn't learn he would be The Bachelor before it was announced to the world, it looks like Mieke right now is simply happy that her son has found love. Ideally, the season will reveal not only that Arie created a really strong connection to someone during his season, but that his family are ready to open their arms to that person.