The "most controversial Bachelor finale ever" was pretty cringe-worthy. Can we learn something from this disappointment? Yes, we can.
Some people are not cut out for reality television. Juan Pablo is one of them. He has made so many alienating moves that it's no wonder we saw Chris Harrison in rare form last night. I'm surprised Chris didn't challenge J.P. to step outside and settle this like "men!"
But rather than throw stones at Juan P, let's cut right to what can be learned from a finale that had many of us covering our faces and watching through our fingers.
- Sensitivity makes the difference on whether your dating life will go well or leave you with bitter exes.
Juan Pablo made Clare cry, Nikki cry, and his mom admitted that he made her cry. When he said good-bye to Clare, and she got mad, he muttered under his breath: "I'm glad I didn't pick her."
He left most of the women from this season not feeling fondly toward him. How did this trail of bitterness get so thick? It's because he failed to exercise kindness and compassion. Heap on the foot-in-mouth disease he seems to have—the helicopter comment to Clare, the overnight with Andi —and there was not a lot of love lost on JP.
The Lesson: It's perfectly valid to tell someone you don't see it with them. But kindness, compassion and sensitivity in doing so will make all of the difference.
- Rose-colored glasses are fine. Blinders, not so much.
Until the end, Clare hung in there with Juan, seeing the best in him. Rose-colored glasses in love—seeing the best in your date—is a good thing. If you go in with a judgy (my made-up word) attitude, you'll look for and find flaws. You won't be seeing someone properly.
But Clare's rose-colored glasses turned into blinders when Juan Pablo reacted badly to their late night swim. It hurt her, and she cried a great deal over it. Plus during the finale, she ignored another blatant warning sign. Whatever he said in the helicopter that had her in tears should have been the final straw. But again, he soothed her, and Clare admitted in the After the Final Rose Special that she should not have ignored those signs.
Nikki, too, seems to have on blinders. When a man that you have now been dating for four months is so adamant about not admitting love for you on national television, it's not a good sign. Bless her heart, I hope it works out. But there's a point where the writing is on the wall.
The Lesson: Always attempt to see the best in your date. But don't put on blinders, rationalizing obvious signs that he's not enthused about you.
- Release is best done with a clean break.
When Juan Pablo let Clare go, she surprised me. She did not completely fall apart, but instead lashed out at him with some pretty reasonable comments. Well within her rights on that one. And then at the ATFR Special, Clare said her piece but decided against seeing Juan Pablo again on the show. She had let him go, was done and didn't want to bring it all up again. Good girl!
The Lesson: Always err on the side of staying detached rather than beating a dead horse. It's the fastest way to healing after a split.
Finding love on a reality dating show is difficult. More matches have been found on reality shows not geared to romance (Survivor, Real World) than those that focus on it. It's just awkward, which was way too apparent on Juan Pablo's season.
Andi's the new Bachelorette! I wish this Southern girl well in her quest for romance. Love can thrive in any environment, even on a show, as evidenced by The Bachelor's handful of successes. So, maybe, just maybe, her future husband awaits her. You never know. But it'll be fun finding out, right?
Kathryn Alice has helped thousands of people date successfully to find the love of their lives. Her ebook Dating for the One is free today.
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