Why Corinne's New Anti-Man-Pleasing Attitude Is Problematic
In a not-super-surprising turn of events, everyone's favorite controversial Bachelor contestant Corinne Olympios got sent home in tears during this week's episode. From day one, it was clear that Corinne had chemistry with Nick, but she was quickly marked as the season's "villain" because of her assertive, confident, sexual approach to courting Nick (none of which she should be shamed for, btw). Bachelor Nation might not have been expecting her to make it all the way to Hometowns week and the final four, but it's obvious that regardless of her controversial approach, the relationship she and Nick built was genuine, and that they both cared about each other a lot.
Unfortunately for Corinne, Nick just felt a stronger connection with the other remaining women, and that's why she was sent home. Naturally, Corinne was devastated by the breakup — and her monologue in the limo as she was being driven away is proof. ICYMI, here's her post-breakup rant in full:
“I’m trying to say things that men think are appropriate. And you know what? I’m done. Done! I’m done trying to show my men how much I worship them and I love them and I care for them and I support them. I need that. So, if someone feels that way about me, they can come and tell me and they can bring a ring to go along with it. I’m done trying to impress these men. I’m going to be me, and whatever happens, happens. But I will never kiss up to a man ever again in my life. I’m tired and I’m done. I want to go to sleep.”
Corinne, I feel you, girl. Getting dumped sucks enough as it is, and I can't even imagine how hard it must be to be broken up with on national TV (and on a cold, windy rooftop no less). What's concerning is that Corinne's post-breakup interview seems to imply that she wasn't being fully herself with Nick: "I'm done trying to impress... men. I'm going to be me." Even in Bachelor-world — aka one of the most unique and extreme dating environments — it's crucial to be yourself when you're dating, not put on a front to 'impress' someone. In a healthy relationship, your partner should know and accept the real you — so in order to find someone with whom you're truly compatible, you have to be authentic.
When I first heard Corinne's comment about never "kissing up" to a man again, my initial reaction was to think, that is NOT a healthy attitude. (Granted, she had literally just been dumped and was in a lot of emotional pain, so we should probably take her seriousness about this new anti-man-pleasing attitude with a grain of salt.) Still, her comment irked me, because relationships are all about give and take and mutual support — which is what Corinne should really be focusing on going forward.
"What Corinne should be telling herself is that she will never kiss up to a man again who does not reciprocate [those] feelings, which is a more empowering statement," Samantha Burns, relationship counselor and dating coach at Love Successfully, tells Bustle. "Pursuing someone is great, but only if there’s equal effort being put back in on [their] part. It takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable and develop emotional intimacy, and Corinne felt blindsided despite the fact that due to the nature of the show, Nick never declared similar feelings of love."
I understand that the knee-jerk reaction to heartbreak is often anger and self-blame, and it's totally OK for Corinne to be upset in the moment and want to change her ways in order to (hopefully) get better results in her next relationship. But my heart broke on her behalf when she tearfully asked Nick if she ever "did anything wrong" that caused him to send her home. In Corinne's case (and in non-televised breakups too), it's not healthy to heap all the blame onto yourself and think 'what if' when a relationship ends. Sometimes, things are out of your control, and not all relationships can — or should — last a lifetime. It sucks, but being dumped can often be a blessing in disguise, and all you can do is work on finding happiness within yourself, and reflect on what you want in a future partner.
"For a successful dating life, you need to date with intent and learn from each experience by collecting ‘dating data,’ analyzing it, and making smarter choices," Burns says.
She might have gotten a lot of hate early on in the season, but Corinne grew on a lot of viewers, and if you looked past the drama, it was easy to see that she was funny, giving, playful, and had a lot to offer Nick. It was hard to watch Corinne's heartbreak, but I have a feeling she'll bounce back in no time. Corinne is only human, and like anyone else, she deserves to find a fulfilling, loving relationship. She might not have gotten her fairytale ending on this season of The Bachelor, but I'm confident that someday, she'll find someone who appreciates her for exactly who she is. And if we're lucky, she'll try to find that person on the next season of Bachelor In Paradise — hey, a Corinne fan can dream, right?