It's always shocking when a contestant opts to leave The Bachelor rather than waiting to not be given a rose. But the reason why Elyse left The Bachelor actually makes so much sense. She'd been feeling upset for a while, because she really wasn't gelling with the structure of the show. "It’s been weeks since our one on one and I feel like shit," she told the camera on Monday night.
The reality of The Bachelor is that once you get a one-on-one date, you usually don't get another one right away. And watching other women go out with the guy you like while you're stuck at home waiting for more time would be hard for anyone. It's ultimately why Elyse chose to exit The Bachelor on her own. In Thailand, Elyse was heartbroken to hear she would be on a group date while Cassie and Heather got private dates. Once Colton returned from his day with Heather, Elyse visited his room to voice her concerns. She explained that she understood she couldn't just call up Chris Harrison and book all the one-on-one dates for the next year, but she also needed to be with someone who prioritized time with her. That's just not something the show really allows for. It's that lack of time that had Elyse doubting their relationship, and ultimately her ability to get engaged at the end of all this.
Refinery29 previously reported that seasons of The Bachelor usually film for about two months between late September and late November. That timeline would already be super short even if you did get to see Colton every day. But most of the women don't get that kind of time. You can get all the way to the finale and only go on as little as two or three one-on-one dates. So it makes sense that Elyse didn't feel she'd be ready for an engagement in just a few weeks. "I can’t, I mean literally can’t accept a proposal after a few months of sharing your time with other people," Elyse told Colton. If you take away the wrappings of Bachelor Nation, her explanation is 100 percent perfectly normal because The Bachelor timeline is wildly short.
Colton kept focusing on how Elyse was supposedly giving up on them and that it made him concerned someone else would do the same in the end. But, really, Elyse went to his room wanting some validation about their relationship and probably hoping to hear that Colton would prioritize more time with her if their relationship was important. "I know how much work I would put into a relationship, and I just want someone who can work just as hard to make this work," Elyse had previously said. She echoed a similar statement to Colton, saying, "I want the time and attention that a relationship deserves."
It's true that Colton's hands are kind of tied in this. He can't ignore all the other women to make Elyse feel better. But it's equally true that Elyse was right to feel the way she did. The show is a difficult (odd, abnormal, unreal) environment to date in. Not only are you sharing your boyfriend, but you're also not always getting the time or validation you need to persevere. The process has been challenging for many a contestant before Elyse, and it's good to see a contestant know enough about herself to know she just couldn't go on that way anymore.
She kind of beat herself up afterwards, wondering if she made a mistake. But if you're unable to withstand sharing your boyfriend in order to be exclusive with that boyfriend (again, a perfectly normal feeling), The Bachelor isn't for you and getting out of that toxic environment is important for your mental health.
So despite Colton's reading of the situation (and anyone else who seemed to think she was being dramatic), Elyse didn't give up on her relationship. She gave up on the contrived timeline the show and the producers demand. And that's honestly not only brave, it's the epitome of doing something for the right reasons.