Why Cassie's Dad Was Wrong —​ Having Doubts About 'Bachelor' Colton Doesn't Mean She's Not In Love

Photo: ABC
cassie and colton, is love at first sight real

Everyone has doubts. Only fools believe otherwise.

I think we can all agree, at this point, that most of reality TV is about fake, drummed-up drama.

Real moments of love and connection are rare on reality TV — even on a show like The Bachelor, which plays into the fairytale notion that "love at first sight" is real, and that you will know "the one" the moment you see him or her.

Most of these Bachelor couples break up soon after they stop filming and promoting the show. It's just too much pressure, and their romance was too rushed.

This season of The Bachelor has felt a little different, though. It's felt kind of ... dare I say it? ... real.

Bachelor Colton seems to have actually found someone he loves: Cassie Randolph, a 23 year-old speech pathologist from Southern California. You can see it in his eyes.

RELATED: Who Is Cassie Randolph, The 'Bachelor' Contestant Rumored To Win Colton's Heart?

You know those memes, "Find someone who loves you the way Kanye loves Kanye" or "Find yourself a man who looks at you like my dog looks at Beggin' Strips"? In this case, it'd be fair to say, "Find a man who looks at you like Colton the Virgin Bachelor looks at Cassie".

And here's the thing: Cassie seems to love him back.

The way she looks at him, the empathy she has for him, the way they connect is so authentic, it's actually jarring. Their interactions on the show remind you that the "relationships" you've seen blossom on every other season of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette have been shallow, made-for-TV garbage.

It was going well for these two until Cassie's dad flew to Portugal to intervene.

And now I'm pissed.

Cassie's dad, who seems like your standard run-of-the-mill churchgoing white dude, shows up at the "fantasy suite" to surprise her. But this guy didn't come just to give his daughter a hug. He came to wreak havoc.

He tells Cassie that he didn't give Colton his blessing to marry her (which is patriarchal BS in the first place, but that's a whole different article) because he didn't see his daughter all lit up and glowy the way he thought she should've been if she were truly in love. He tells her that when he met her mom, he knew instantly that she was "the one" and he never had a doubt.

At this point, Cassie's face fell.

She didn't know instantly Colton was "the one". She still wants to get to know him and spend more time with him. It wasn't love at first sight. Her dad encourages her to go with that doubt, to "follow her heart".

RELATED: The Scientific Answer To Whether Or Not Falling In Love At First Sight Is Possible

And so Cassie dumps Colton, telling him he deserves someone to be truly crazy in love with him and to know instantly he's "the one". She wants the best for Colton, and Colton tells her, in essence, that the best for him is her. Then he starts shaking, clearly trying not to start bawling.

After they split, Cassie leaving the show altogether, we see Colton angry-walk off the compound grounds, chucking his mic pack and eventually jumping the fence like he's Batman.

Chris Harrison is called in to handle business, but he chooses not to jump the fence (probably a good choice, as no doubt he couldn't have done it in the smooth and otherworldly way Colton did), instead, he calls out, "open the gates!", giving Colton time to escape into the woods like a fleeing animal.

Suddenly, a foot chase commences that turns this week's Bachelor episode into a special Portuguese edition of Live PD. Roll credits and we are left to our own devices for a week while we wait to find out if Colton was caught in a bear trap or just hounded by ABC's lawyers until he returned to the compound.

So why, after all this drama, am I so mad at Cassie's dad?

I'm pissed because what he told his daughter was pure, unadulterated garbage. It's fairytale romance BS of the variety that actually ruins lives.

The first part of his narrative that's garbage is the fact that we are supposed to believe that Cassie's dad knew instantly that he was going to marry Cassie's mom, and he never had a single doubt.

Sure, maybe that was true. But more than likely, he loved her and they were compatible and he was attracted to her, and she felt the same way. They may have had some doubts or fears early on, but they had time, like any normal couple, to work those things out. It's clearly been at least 25 years since then, and it's possible that, in that time, Cassie's parents' memory of their story has grown sweeter over time, as love stories tend to do. Any sense that there were doubts, erased along the way.

RELATED: What It Really Means When People Talk About Finding 'True Love'

But here's the truth: Everyone has doubts.

No matter how sparkly your eyes are when you look at him, in the time between meeting him and marrying him, you will have doubts.

You will wonder if he's going to be the right person for you forever, you will wonder if you can be the person he needs forever. You'll wonder if his weird mole is going to stop being cute and start being disgusting in a few years. He's going to wonder if you'll still love him when you find out he watches naughty videos while sitting on the toilet, or if he'll ever have the guts to tell you that he hates the way you pick at your toenails.

You're both going to wonder what life is going to throw at you that'll make your marriage hard.

That is normal.Not all great love stories start out with love at first sight. In fact, most don't.

RELATED: Love At First Sight Never Works Out — But Here's What Does

The problem is, the truly greatest love stories aren't told in movies or storybooks (or by guys like Cassie's dad, apparently).

The greatest love stories are quietly lived in normal houses by normal people who work hard and squabble over the dishes and roll their eyes behind their partner's back. Truly romantic love stories are the ones where people commit despite being nervous, despite feeling insecure, and despite nobody giving them a guarantee that they will love that person forever.

Truly great love stories are based on faith. The faith you have in your partner, the faith you have in the love you grew together and share responsibility for, and the faith you have in yourself.

Falling in love at first sight is easy. I fell in love-at-first-sight with about fourteen guys between the years of 1996 and 2004. One of those was the guy I lived with for two years, one was a guy I hooked up with and then discovered he drank his own urine from tiny Evian bottles, another was a guy I was absolutely crazy about — whom I believed was my soulmate— until he cheated on me with at least five other women and probably some men.

The guy I didn't have love at first sight with was my husband.

He was handsome, I really liked him, he was nice, we talked all day and all night and saw each other whenever we could. But it wasn't fireworks-exploding-in-the-sky and the absolute certainty that I was going to spend the rest of my life with him on day one. It was a fierce but slow-growing love.

RELATED: 10 Things People In Long-Lasting Marriages Do Differently (That The Rest Of Us Can Learn From)

Our love increased when we found out I was pregnant early on in our relationship and ncreased even more when we had our sons. Our love increased when we survived financial and emotional meltdown during the recession. It increased during the surprise pregnancy, eleven years after our younger son was born, that brought us our beautiful baby daughter just at a moment when we thought we weren't going to have another child.

Sure, it's possible to have long-lasting true love with someone with whom you know right away you're meant to marry. But it's more likely that you'll meet someone you like and respect and that your crush will grow into love over time, and that the doubts you have in your head will grow quieter. With that, your confidence in your relationship grows and that's when you become ready to make the leap of faith required to commit to "forever" with someone.

Cassie's dad assumes she's the type to fall in love quickly and never have a single doubt, and maybe he's right.

But it's more likely that Cassie just needed some more time with Colton in order to find out if those doubts would fade, and if her love for him would grow.

And that's OK.

And dang it, if Cassie doesn't return to The Bachelor I'm going to be pissed. For once, this show got something right— these two had something authentic— and I want to watch what happens.

RELATED: 10 Lessons My Time On 'The Bachelor' Taught Me About Love

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Joanna Schroeder is a feminist writer, editor, and media critic whose work has appeared in publications like Time, Vox, Redbook, Babble, Cosmopolitan, and BuzzFeed. For more, follow her on Twitter.

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