Is it possible to fall in love immediately after a heartbreak? One expert weighs in.
Come on, admit it. You watched it; I know you did. This confession comes out in the privacy of my therapy office more than you can imagine. On Monday night you, along with so many others, curled up in front of the TV, grateful to have survived another Monday, and, popcorn in hand, watched the gut-wrenching saga of Des' and her final choice between Chris and Drew. This followed a tear-soaked shocker the week before when Brooks, in a first in Bachelorette history, left stunningly picturesque Antigua and a decimated Desiree because he just wasn't feeling it.
The viewers went mad with speculation: Would Brooks change his mind and come back? (He didn't). Would Desiree go home? (She didn't). And could she possibly turn one of the two other men into the Prince Charming that The Bachelor franchise promises? Well, yes, she did.
Now to the part that interests me as a couple's therapist. Could Desiree actually go from being utterly broken-hearted and devastated one day by Brooks' rejection to being in love and willing to say yes to Chris' proposal the next? I say yes.
Those who were listening carefully heard Desiree repeatedly confess, "I have never been loved by someone I loved." In psychological terms, Desiree has always been the pursuer in relationships. (The reasons for this could be found in a close look at her family of origin, but we will save that for another piece). A pursuer is naturally drawn to a distancer.
A good pursuer and distancer can have the same fight about closeness and distance, or their preferred patterns of intimacy, over and over. While these two types are magnetically drawn to each other, it can be a long and difficult struggle. Had Brooks stuck around for the final rose ceremony, it would have likely gone the way of oh-so-many other disappointed singles who auditioned for the show for "all the right reasons."
And to preface the real question, I'm thinking about the lyrics of the old Rogers & Hart song: "This can't be love because I feel so well, no sighs, no sorrows, no highs... This can't be love, I get no dizzy spells..."
Can Chris, the wordsmith poet, Dudley Do-Right and nice guy, really catch the beautiful girl and create the real deal? Yes.
So, granted, this is TV and who knows what is actually real. But I'll put my money on Desiree and Chris. Here's is why: She's a smart lady and can use this national televised heartbreak wisely.
She will realize that either Brooks brought some integrity to this when he took himself out of the running, or he was doing what distancers do: Distance. Either way, it doesn't matter. That is for him and his therapist, not his ex-girlfriend functioning as an unpaid social worker. Desiree is too smart to take on that role.
But mostly, she will learn this: now is the time to stop knocking on walls of unavailable, distancing men and open your heart to the sweet gem of a man who is right before your eyes, promising to be there forever. Maybe he really will. Stay tuned.
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