Another season of The Bachelor comes to a close. Chris Harrison teases us by promising the most dramatic finale ever. Jamaica is again the scene for Ben to tell two women he loves them, until all of the sudden in the end he tells us he is fully in love with one of them. Was this for TV, or was he not able to understand his own feelings until the end?
The process and format of the show allows for this confusion to ensue. Reality TV does not make clarity an easy thing, as there wouldn’t be an entertaining show without the drama.
For a guy whose greatest fear is to be unlovable, Ben’s worries seem to have faded into the past by the close of this season, as he says he has indeed found love. His young age and fears seemed to be challenges, but maybe the journey of the show allowed him to learn about himself, understand his emotions and self-reflect in order for him to find love. Hopefully, he has learned enough for that love to continue after the show, when the real relationship begins.
Looking down at the rings, Ben tells the camera that he knows who it is he is fully in love with. In the blink of an eye — or shall we say in the blink of a Neil Lane diamond — he is now fully in love with one woman. (I imagine he knew this all along but the audience was not told till now.) Ben tells the camera he “cannot wait to fully love one woman” until he says goodbye to another women that he loves.
The confusion inherent in this type of reality-TV dating might have led to the multiple feelings, and The Bachelor‘s format does not make things simple for contestants. There is a strong need for having emotional management skills and emotional IQ to help everyone in relationships understand themselves in relation to others. Throughout the end of the season, Ben fights to figure out where true love is, and emotionally this is quite a scene for feelings to be all over the place.
The Bachelor presents a journey most people cannot relate to, though most can relate to the feeling of loving someone fully — a concept that is a powerful statement and goal.
Ben’s fairy tale ends with him professing his full love for Lauren B., as he tells the camera he has found a love he cannot lose.
In “After the Final Rose,” he tells Harrison falling in love with two women — and expressing his feelings — is something he cannot say he regrets. He says he was just being as honest as possible. Runner-up JoJo, tells the audience she saw that Ben and Lauren B. had a connection from the beginning. We know that emotional insight or gut feeling in love and that chemistry from the first meeting with someone can be a good precursor to love — at least in this case. Both people seemed to feel something unspoken from the beginning.
In the words of John Gottman’s Method for Healthy Relationships, follow these concepts for finding and maintaining love:
- Build love maps (to know your partner’s inner psychological world)
- Share fondness and admiration
- Turn toward (state your needs)
- Have positive perspective (positive approach to problem solving)
- Manage conflict
- Make life dreams come true
- Create shared meaning
These concepts are the ingredients for success in creating a healthy relationship, so if the Bachelor couple can succeed at these, they have a chance of going the distance after the final rose.