What Last Night’s Episode Of The Bachelor Can Teach Us About Dating

Before I drop my opinions into the well of Internet recaps and write-ups about last night's episode of The Bachelor, I first need to come out of the reality-TV closet and admit that I, as you now can tell, watch the show. There, I said it. I'm not sure if it makes it better or worse that I haven't tuned in every season. Regardless, I record it and look forward to it. I discuss it with my few fellow colleagues who know what "The Fantasy Suite" is. And, you can bet your last few cents that I get plenty anxious when the suspenseful music rises, just like the producers want me to. So, I feel comfortable voicing my thoughts about Andi Dorfman's exit. Frankly, this girl is the sh*t.
To catch up all you normal people non-watchers, Andi is a 26-year-old district attorney from Atlanta. She happens to be gorgeous. And, she happens to have a chill family who answered Juan Pablo honestly when he asked them about marrying their daughter. (Her father, Hy, said that JP should check back with him if it gets to that point — that he couldn't give his blessing to a man with three other girlfriends.) And, she happens to have had a fun time with Juan Pablo on her dates up to this point. However, after a "nightmare" situation in the aforementioned "Fantasy Suite" — the hotel room where the bachelor and contestant get to spend one solid night of off-camera love making conversation — Andi decided to leave the show. In the most badass way, ever.
While we may never know what actually went down in that heaven-turned-hell hotel room in St. Lucia, what we have gleaned makes for a formative case against Juan Pablo and for Andi the attorney. Andi claims that Juan Pablo never asked her about herself, name dropped, and spoke over her. Worse, he said she was only there by "default." And, while he retorts that that word is not in his vocabulary (ahem, we believe that), he rubs salt in the wound by saying that what he did say was that she "barely" made it to this round. Mind you, this was spoken while the two were sharing a bed — in a hotel room — in St. Lucia. Also insulting? JP's insistence on talking about his previous romp with Claire just a few nights before. "There's a difference between being honest and being an assh*le," Andi reads our minds.
But, really, I'm writing this post to stand by Andi's best point in the argument. The most infuriating part of the situation to Andi, and to me, was that Juan Pablo reportedly ignored every story she told, every attempt at honest conversation, instead brushing it away with a callous "It's okay." Guys everywhere, please take note: Telling a woman "It's okay," is not an okay answer to an outpouring of emotion. It's dismissive, and, quite frankly, unhelpful. Sometimes things are not okay, and instead of uncomfortably reassuring a girl with a "besito" or a stock phrase, you should tell them you're listening. Or, as Andi herself suggested, repeat back to her what she just said before saying it will work out in the end — and only if it's what you truly believe. "I'm not in love with you, and I don't think I will be in love with you," Andi explained. "It's okay," Juan Pablo responded. Cringe, cringe, cringe!
Dating a guy with three other girlfriends on national television seems stressful, turbulent, and unnatural to say the least. But, we all have our breaking points. For Andi, it was feeling like she wasn't being heard — or even considered. Sometimes, it takes one night, or, in this case, one simple phrase repeated over and over, to flip the switch — no matter if your relationship is televised or not. And, what was even more disturbing to me, was that Juan Pablo said the argument would have gotten Andi sent home even if she was interested in staying. How can it be that the trajectory of a relationship progresses without growing pains and bickering? Had he been receptive to her feelings, he would have felt embarrassed for being so self-absorbed — instead of being emboldened by the power to send her home for expressing them in the first place. In his own words "Ay yay yay!"
The fallout of the argument was twofold. First, it highlights a weakness in Juan Pablo's ability to communicate. Whether this is due to a language barrier or true callousness is unclear. Have I mentioned, yet, that skimming over attempts at emotional intimacy is generally not the way to win a woman? Second, it suggests that Andi may be a front runner for the upcoming season of Bachelorette. She took charge; she knows what she wants; and she's not afraid to be vocal about it. And yet, she's fun to watch and easygoing enough to roll with the punches of a fresh bunch of bachelors. Problem is, with this experience behind her, we doubt she'll be signing up for round two.
Anyway, how's your bracket looking? Any predictions for next week's "Women Tell All" or the finale episode? One thing we can all likely agree upon, no matter who JP chooses: "It's okay." Or, you know, not.

More from Movies

R29 Original Series