Whatever your feelings about The Bachelor are, the rose ceremony is a sad moment. During this ritual, a group of women have made themselves vulnerable in front of a guy they care about, and one of them is about to be very, very publicly rejected. But last night's rose ceremony was particularly hard to watch because Ben Higgins sent home single mom Amanda Stanton — just after spending a day at the beach with her adorable kids. This wasn't the first time a single mom got so far on The Bachelor, but in Season 15, Brad Womack ultimately wound up choosing single mom Emily Maynard in the end. Last night's episode featured the infamous hometown dates, meaning Higgins got to visit Stanton's home to meet her two young daughters. Higgins was pretty cute with them, easily slipping into a game of chase and helping them run after seagulls. It was an even weightier moment because Stanton explained this was the first time she had introduced a guy she was dating to her kids. It made it that much more painful to watch Higgins tense up when the girls got fussy on the ride home — you could see him visibly reconsider whether or not he was ready for real parenting moments, and not just as the fun guy they hang out with for an hour at the beach.
Things got even more uncomfortable for the audience when, after meeting Stanton's understandably worried parents, Higgins reads the girls a bedtime story, which is actually the Disneyfied version of his courtship with their mom. We only see the first few lines, leaving the viewer wondering how you wrap up a fairy tale if you can't end it with, "and they lived happily ever after."
Even though JoJo Fletcher introduced Higgins to her two creepily protective brothers (if your drinking game involved taking a shot every time they reminded Higgins how much they loved their sis, you'd be very drunk), you could still feel Stanton's dismissal coming.
When Stanton and Higgins had their awkward post-rejection chat, she was super calm, explaining she only wished he would have told her he wasn't feeling it sooner. You know, before meeting her young, impressionable daughters, who might get really confused when they see their mom in a romantic relationship. When it really got sad, though, was when she broke down in the car, explaining, "I wouldn't have introduced him to my kids if I wasn't falling for him." Bringing Higgins to hang out with her daughters was a big step for her and for her family. While all the other roseless girls get to go home to a rom-com marathon and their breakup food of choice, Stanton had to return home with a smile, ready to explain to her girls why they wouldn't be seeing their new storytelling friend again.
Not cool, Higgins.