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The Bachelorette: Men Tell All gets it wrong about love

The main focus of The Bachelorette is to fall in love fast enough that filming can capture it for a reasonable proposal by the end of the show. But in the real world, this is not always how true love can form, but it doesn’t mean falling in love slower is any less real or magical. Lesson of this season: Don’t discount someone because he is less expressive or shows love more slowly than his louder counterparts; you might miss out on great people. Two great examples of this are the last two men sent home from this season whose stories we saw in the Men Tell All special.

Chase and Luke showed their declaration of love in a way that did not look as loud as the others but were genuine feelings and just as meaningful as anyone else.

Luke told us in Men Tell All that he was shocked when JoJo sent him home. He told Chris Harrison that he should have been more expressive with her instead of waiting until later (compared to the others) to tell her that he loved her. He said he was looking for a lifetime moment to say “I love you.” He and Harrison both agreed that he has to tell someone his feelings a lot sooner than he did on this TV show. Harrison told him to not miss the moment next time. JoJo told Luke that she struggled with him not saying the word “love” in the last night they were together, so she had to follow her gut. But I as a marriage and family therapist, I could not disagree more with this statement. I think Luke’s timing was genuine and was right for him. I applaud him for taking his time and wanting to see the relationship develop instead of just saying the words when he was not ready. He should be praised for this. But, here again we see pressure to voice strong words before someone is ready to verbalize it.

Chase, who was sent home during the fantasy date, had more challenges throughout the season opening up about his feelings. When he finally told her that he loves her, she sent him home in that moment. He told Harrison that he was also shocked to be sent home and did not see that coming after getting the fantasy suite, as that seemed misleading to him. He says he did not understand and was confused by the timing of events.

JoJo told Chase that she felt anxious. Chase wanted to know why she has to hear the word “love” and not just feel it. He makes a really great point here about saying verbal words and doing actions that might speak louder than words. He ended the discussion in a great way, saying that he learned a lot, which is a great comment Chase shared with her.

The lesson is that if you are looking for love, try not to discount someone just because he has a challenge sharing verbal emotional communications; the actions are significantly more important. Anyone can say the words “love,” but showing love is just as important. Look for this action or behavior, and the verbal communication can grow if he has difficulty saying the words at first. Give him a chance.

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