Arie Made A Huge Mistake About Bekah M. On 'The Bachelor'

Craig Sjodin/ABC

Bekah is the cutest and coolest person (probably) to ever be on The Bachelor. She’s funny and smart and adorable and so hip, but she’s had an uphill battle the entire time she’s been on Arie’s season. Why? Because she’s a mere 22 years of age. Normally, this could be OK. But Arie is 36, and that is one heck of an age difference. These two tried to work it out, but ultimately, Bekah packed her bags and left the show. Why did Arie send Bekah home on The Bachelor?

Bekah’s age was such a kerfuffle on the show that it wasn’t originally announced to the public — writers and editors and press (like myself) saw that Bekah was 22 because her age was included in the press materials, but Bekah had the distinct pleasure (or displeasure?) of telling everyone in the house (and everyone watching) just how old she was. She and Arie clicked immediately, but when Bekah admitted her age, Arie didn’t take it so well. Bekah told Arie that she didn’t disclose how old she was because she didn’t want to be seen simply as a 22-year-old, and Arie 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." Sigh.

After much back and forth about what ready meant and all that jazz, Bekah and Arie were on good footing… until the week before hometowns, when the stakes are high and the tissue counts higher. On a group date, Tia told Arie that she didn’t think Bekah was ready for marriage, and as soon as Bekah said, “I think I am starting to fall for him, and I have a lot of hope for our relationship,” the edit was obvious — Bekah was going home.

Right before Arie gave Tia the rose, he said, "I haven't taken this decision lightly ... I am confident in this decision." Welp, I guess there's no changing your mind then, huh, Arie? He walked Bekah out, she cried in the car, and Arie told the camera, "I've been talking myself out of it ... I don't see our lives fitting together, but I really, really liked [Bekah]. She made this fun, and she captured my heart. It just sucks."

It sucks for Bekah, too, because she just got her heart smashed to bits on national television. She'll get over it. She'll move on. But one of the most frustrating things about The Bachelor is that they seem to put a premium on contestants that are age-wise "mature" and have been in love before, as if being in love at some point in your life makes you more qualified to be in love on The Bachelor. Bekah is 22, but so what? She's never been married before, but does that mean that Bekah and Arie couldn't live happily ever after? I don't really buy that argument. Bekah is a sentient human being, and she is capable of feeling however she wants to feel. Arie doesn't get to tell her how to feel or judge her readiness.

Unfortunately, though, this is Arie's show, and he was not feeling serious enough things with Bekah in the end. Left for hometown dates are Kendall, Becca, Lauren, and Tia, and Arie will get to choose between them as to who he would like to marry. Nevermind the fact that they also have not had a truly successful relationship. Know how I know? They are all also on The Bachelor looking for love on national television. If Arie's real reasoning for casting out Bekah is her age, well, that's unfortunate. Bekah has plenty to offer, and Arie missed out because he got hung up on a number.