Watching this week's episode of "The Bachelor" (the show is my one guilty pleasure ... I love the exotic locals and watching the fun thrill of first dates), I felt sad for Kacie B. when The Bachelor's Ben Flajnik sent her home. She seemed devastated and confused.
"What the #*?! just happened?!" she repeatedly exclaimed.
"You were saved from making one big mistake", I would tell her if I had the chance. "And I would give your parents a huge hug for saving you. You're lucky to have them care so much about you."
I realize my view is largely an unpopular one.
Ben seems to be a nice man just looking for a good relationship. He doesn't seem to want to harm anyone.
Kacie's parents, on the other hand, can be perceived as living in the past, answering to a moral code that belongs in the dark ages.
However, in Ben I see more than just kindness. I also see a man who is typical of a large group of men (but, thankfully, not all men) who are in the dating marketplace today.
Let me explain.
During the hometown date, when Ben had a one-on-one talk with Kacie's mother, Kacie's mom told Ben that if he picked her daughter, she would "have a serious problem" if he asked Kacie to uproot her life, move away from her friends and family, merely to move in with Ben. She stated that this was a concern for her because, as in so many "The Bachelor" season's past, it had only ended up in heartache and break-ups. She felt that in moving in together, the commitment level was not high enough to warrant the high risk for heartache that would be placed on her daughter.
Ben reassured her, "I do have traditional values."
Ben, in his response, was unveiling one of his flaws: he was lacking in courage and integrity. He was not able to express nor stand up for his belief system in the face of adversity (in this case, Kacie's parents). In his belief system, he feels that a couple should live together before marriage in order to get to know one another. But he did not have the courage to say so in a caring and respectful manner to either of Kacie's parents.
Later on in the show, Ben, in talking with the host of the show, Chris Harrison, did not stick with his assertion that "I do have traditional values." Instead, finally, he stated what he truly believed. He did not emphasize an understanding of this mother's concern for her daughter (remember, Ben, a mother's instincts -- in fact, her job -- is to be protective of her child's well-being). Rather, in referring to Kacie's mother's statement, he spoke with a petulant, childish rebellion, "Compromise. If that is the road I am going to take [being with Kacie], their will be compromise." Viewers can safely assume he is implying that all the compromise would be on the mother's part.
Ben didn't fair any better in talking to Kacie's father prior to speaking with her mother.