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I actually feel really bad for Bachelor in Paradise‘s Ashley Iaconetti

Poor Ashley Iaconetti is back on Bachelor in Paradise, and she is still hopelessly hung up on Jared Haibon even though it’s been about a year since they were ever even a glimmer of a couple.

More: I may not like Josh Murray, but Evan Bass is not Bachelor in Paradise‘s hero

Now, before you start tweeting all the jokes about her you can muster in an hour-long episode, let’s take a step back. Here is a girl who is exposing her feelings shamelessly for the sake of being with someone she thinks is worth embarrassing herself for. And Ashley knows she’s embarrassing herself. She’s laughed at herself plenty of times before.

Still, the heart wants what it wants.

Now, I actually agree with what Nick said during tonight’s episode. Ashley doesn’t really love Jared. She’s just stuck on him, and it’s a vicious cycle. She doesn’t think she can move on from him, so she’s not looking for anyone else, which means she’s just spending her time sulking and holding on to false hope that she and Jared could maybe happen.

I mean, Evan was just doing that same thing with Carly last episode. What Ashley’s going through definitely isn’t just a girl thing. It’s a human thing.

More: Josh Murray may be the shadiest guy in Bachelor in Paradise history

In my opinion, Ashley’s hangup with Jared is about her own insecurities and less about Jared. She may be 28, but she still hasn’t come into her own yet. She has a lot of self-growth she needs to focus on before she’s ready for love.

I say this from a place of personal understanding. I had a relationship with someone a long time ago that I thought was it. I thought he was the one. I thought I had found my Prince Charming. One heartbreak and a lot of self-discovery later, and I can look back and recognize that not only was he not the guy, but I wasn’t in the place in my life to find the guy. At all.

Ashley is going through the same thing. It’s just taking her a lot longer than most.

More: Lace Morris found love on Bachelor in Paradise and wants everyone to know it

I say that instead of making Ashley the butt of every joke this season, let’s take a second to understand her situation and encourage her to move on in a healthy way.

Do you feel for Ashley I., or do you think it’s been too long to have any sympathy left for her?

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