Bachelor in Paradise has a fuckboy problem. The fourth season was understandably weird — production halted for approximately 10 days in early June due to allegations of sexual misconduct, and that kind of scandal tends to linger — but by the season finale, a pattern seemed to have emerged. The men on the show were branded "indecisive." "Indecisive" is a generous euphemism for the all-inclusive millennial insult "fuckboy," and fuckboys are precisely the type of men the Bachelor franchise seeks not to feature.
The fuckboy, as defined by Urban Dictionary, is the modern Casanova: He dates multiple women, but insists he only wants to date one. Trouble is, he can't put his finger on which woman. Urban Dictionary also points out that fuckboys cannot stand when their former paramours reject them — they hold themselves in high esteem, and they don't like when that facade is permeated. The term emerged in the past two years. Some might argue the term and the proliferation of fuckboys themselves coincided with the debut of Tinder.
Interestingly, Bachelor In Paradise is only four years old itself. The show itself is troublesome; it's organized to force contestants to "string each other along." The first few seasons delighted in casting "villains" who would woo one contestant for a few weeks so they could remain in Paradise long enough to date someone else. For the most part, though, these characters were bonafide villains. They knew what they were doing, and even went so far as to tell the cameras what was happening. A fuckboy isn't quite a textbook villain, because he very much believes he's a nice guy. He's just, you know, confused by all the pretty women.
Take Dean Unglert. The 26-year-old California native was a favorite before the season began. He had dimples and a professed love for dogs, as evidenced by his Twitter account. He seemed devastated when Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay turned him down. It's easy to be decisive on The Bachelorette. There's only one woman to woo.
On Bachelor In Paradise, Unglert embodied a fuckboy. In fact, Chris Harrison told Entertainment Tonight that Unglert is one of the two "biggest F-boys" on the show. He first started dating Kristina Schulman. He then urged Schulman to date other people, all the while still expressing an interest in Schulman. This is a hallmark of fuckery — Unglert encouraged Schulman to be just as indecisive as he was.
Unglert then started dating Danielle Lombard (D Lo) as well. Both women stayed on the show for Unglert, because he wouldn't decide between the two of them. Ultimately, he chose Lombard. But then he wanted Schulman. Then, on the season finale, Schulman and Lombard explained that after the show he continued to waffle between the two of them. (He broke up with Lombard then called her an hour later. They continued to hang out, perhaps concurrently with Unglert's revived relationship with Schulman.)
"Sorry for being an idiot," he told Lombard during the season finale. He started to cry. He said he hated himself. The fuckboy hates when the women in his life realize he's a fuckboy.
"To watch someone cry because of you is an absolutely horrible feeling," he said to Chris Harrison during Monday night's reunion special.
Harrison, when speaking with Entertainment Tonight, also named Diggy Moreland as an "F-boy," as he likes to say. Moreland dated a total of three women on the show: Lacey Mark, Dominique Alexis, and Jaimi King. His longest relationship was with Alexis, whom he left Mark for in the early episodes. When King arrived in Paradise, he promptly ditched Alexis. Later, he broke up with Alexis in the interest of dating King. King declined his offer, and both women seem to be doing just fine. Moreland's actions amount to light fuckery — nothing as hurtful as Unglert's actions, but it still reflects the new Bachelor in Paradise ethos: Date whomever you can, whenever you can.
The finale had two more instances of this kind of behavior. There was Robby Hayes, who patiently courted Amanda Stanton on the show, and there was Daniel Maguire, who was loathsome from the beginning. Hayes and Stanton didn't leave Paradise together, but they were photographed holding hands after filming. Shortly after that, however, a Twitter user sent Stanton a photo that allegedly showed Hayes kissing another girl at a concert. The two ended their relationship.
"I gave him, like, 20 chances," Stanton told Harrison on the special. Both of them insisted that they simply wanted different things, but it seemed clear there was something else at play. On the show, Hayes corralled an array of glow sticks for a romantic evening alone with Stanton. As per Stanton himself, he made sure her avocado toast was at the ready by the time she woke up in the morning. (Millennial romance at its finest.) After the show, though, he wasn't as sure about the relationship.
"History is repeatedly showing that some people thrive off of using the media and their 'army' to manipulate viewers to place one-sided blame, constantly play the victim and use their friends to try and assassinate one's character," he wrote.
Maguire's reveal is less surprising — his relationship with contestant Lacey Mark seemed forced from the start. Still, he told her he was falling in love with her. Then, he told her that he wasn't interested in a relationship at all. In short, he did it for the cameras.
This doesn't seem to be just a Bachelor In Paradise problem, either. The newest Bachelor, Arie Luyendyk, Jr., has been accused of similar acts. His fellow Bachelorette contestant Jef Holm tweeted that Luyendyk was "disgusting" — the implication being that he's disgusting with women — and Luyendyk's ex-girlfriend claimed they were dating only weeks before the Bachelor announcement.
Maybe the Tinder apocalypse, which Vanity Fair wrote about in 2015, finally reached the hallowed halls of the Bachelor franchise. By the time they reach Mexico, the men on Bachelor in Paradise have become stars. Their DMs are littered with declarations of love from fans, and they can now hang with a more elite crowd. Why choose one girl on the beach when you can have many in real life?
The fuckery wouldn't be so offensive if it existed outside of Bachelor Nation. The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor In Paradise all uphold traditional values. Fall in love with one person, be sincere, and then marry that person. Modern folk don't necessarily operate under those norms anymore. Maybe the Bachelor standards need to change. Or maybe it's unrealistic to expect two people to meet on a beach and fall in love in just ten days.
But hey, Taylor Nolan and Derek Peth did it.
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