If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that hometown dates on The Bachelor will never disappoint. Last night’s episode was no different, involving the usual screaming kids, crying moms and overprotective siblings.
This season has been admittedly more predictable than most, but one thing we didn’t see coming was JoJo Fletcher’s hometown date being comparable to a never-ending roller-coaster ride.
After a rocky start and an uncomfortable yet mature conversation (thanks to JoJo’s ex), Ben thought the date was going to be smooth sailing, but he was sorely wrong. Long story short, JoJo’s brother not only accused Ben of having “rehearsed” his answers, but claimed he had “brainwashed” all the girls into falling in love with him. They blamed Ben for making JoJo “more emotional than they would’ve liked” and questioned if he had any feelings for her at all.
While it makes sense for the brothers to ask the guy dating their sister some tough questions, it’s how they treated JoJo that really crossed the line. In a private conversation, JoJo opens up to her brothers about how she is falling in love with Ben. Before she can finish, though, her brothers interrupt her vulnerable moment with condescending remarks and overall bad advice.
One brother patronizes his sister, saying, “JoJo, I’m going to put this in perspective. You’ve only been on two dates with the guy. And you’re my sister and I love you. But how can you fall in love with someone you’ve only been on two dates with?”
Love is unpredictable, everyone knows that. But this condescending comment makes JoJo feel like an idiot for having any feelings at all. You can tell JoJo feels foolish, because she prefaces her emotions with “I know it sounds crazy, but…” to validate the way she feels about Ben. She tries explaining the depth of their relationship, but her brothers refuse to listen to her side of the story, thereby making her thoughts irrelevant.
Instead of allowing her to express her feelings, they advise her to “keep your heart guarded.” I can’t think of worse advice than this. If JoJo’s brothers really cared about her happiness, they would support her decisions instead of telling her to run from the man she’s falling for. It’s no secret that JoJo is scarred from her past relationship and already guarded as a result. Rather than encouraging her not to give up on love, her brothers are contributing to the problem.
To make matters worse, they manipulate JoJo into thinking that Ben doesn’t feel the same way about her and warn her that he isn’t as invested as she obviously is. As a result, JoJo becomes even more paranoid about opening up her heart to someone new. The brothers’ bad advice was most likely their way of keeping her from being heartbroken, but they can’t expect her to never fall in love again.
JoJo becomes visibly emotional, something the brothers blame Ben for and can’t stand. The thing is, emotions are never a bad thing, but the brothers make it seem otherwise. Their reaction to JoJo’s vulnerability only serves to convince her to be closed off and not take risks for love.
Throughout the season, JoJo has felt uncomfortable and scared to open up, and her brothers only made those fears worse with their comments. Although they probably thought they were doing their brotherly duty, they actually did more harm than good. If they keep encouraging her to be tough and closed-off, and she keeps listening, then JoJo will have a hard time finding love.