This week, the nation (or a large percentage of the nation) watched with bated breath as Bachelor Ben Higgins proposed to Lauren B. and sent your dream BFF, Isla Fisher lookalike JoJo home to up her extension game and come back as the next Bachelorette.
I wasn’t a Bachelor/Bachelorette watcher until Kaitlyn Bristowe’s season, but my friends started brainwashing me and now I’m hooked. I was admittedly ride or die for Ben throughout this whole season. He appeared to be my dream man, and I selfishly hoped that his engagement wouldn’t work out so that I could have him for myself. But somehow during the three-hour final episode, I jumped off the Ben bandwagon HARD.
First of all, his cheesiness factor just got to be tooooo much.
“What are you thinking about?” asks Lauren B.
“How beautiful you are,” replies Ben.
Eyeroll City, next stop.
But my main issue with Ben was that I think he made a huge mistake in letting JoJo go. I think he doesn’t fully grasp what constitutes a healthy long-term relationship. He’s too caught up in the Nicholas Sparks definition.
You gaze into each other’s eyes on some beautiful island, reaffirming your devotion to one another.
Over and over again you talk about how your love is too perfect. Too good to be true.
Conflict? Heavy discussions? Tension? No, thank you. Pass.
That’s great for the movies, or for the confines of a reality TV show where you fall in love in two months and never have to worry about paying bills or going to work or buying groceries. That’s not how you build a life with someone.
Meanwhile, he’s over here telling JoJo about how he feels like she takes him to a calm place where he can be himself. How she’s his best friend. And yet that’s not the kind of relationship he wants in the long run.
I don’t think the situation is unique to this show though. We grow up watching movies and reading books that teach us that the kind of relationship you want is the one that’s totally effortless. If bad things happen, you need to immediately exit stage left. You should constantly want to tear your partner’s clothes off, and never their face because you think they’re being such an idiot from time to time.
I totally agree that you should think your partner is an amazing human, absolutely. But when you’re in it for the long haul, life isn’t always light-hearted or sexy or easy. People lose jobs. You come at issues from different viewpoints. When you have kids, things get even more complicated, I’m sure. You need someone who will keep you calm when you’re panicked. You need someone you can laugh with, and who will listen to your insecurities without judging. Sometimes you will fight and think your significant other is being a moron. That’s okay. You just have to be invested enough to want to work through that.
I hope it works out for Lauren and Ben because I think they’re a Barbie and Ken-perfect couple. You know they were both Homecoming King/Queen who never got cut from any team in their life. And that’s sort of adorable in a sugary sweet way. But personally? I want a relationship like he and JoJo had. Killer chemistry with a real, deep friendship. Sign me up for that.