Sorry, But The Bachelorette Men Need To Grow The Hell Up

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Bachelorette Clare Crawley finally broke up with everyone in her The Bachelorette men — Dale Moss is her fiancé, and they’re out. She made sure to phrase it much kinder than I did, and yet some of the men were furious, inconsolable, and downright petulant because Clare found love with someone... which is literally the point of the show. “Each and every one of you have so much to offer,” Clare told the group of non-Dales. “I’m a woman who knows what I want, and I’m going for it [with Dale]. I just have so much respect for you guys, I would never ever want to lead any of you on.”
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Kenny, the boy band manager, wasn’t satisfied with that explanation, and berated her for wasting his time and “faking it” in her conversations with him. But let's pull back and look at this situation: Clare made a realization about her connection with Dale, and then ended the whole thing early because of it. That’s literally the opposite of wasting these guys' time — it would be wasting their time to keep going on group dates for 8 more episodes knowing full well she didn't care about them. Still, Kenny demanded an apology from Clare, and she gave him and the rest of the men one, even though she'd already spoken her piece and didn't need to. Dating sucks. Break-ups are hard. Clare didn't do anything wrong by breaking up with them because she found that she just liked someone else more than them. That’s literally how this works. Does it hurt to have it happen early? Of course. Does it hurt to come into a production bubble and not be The Guy? Yes! But the way this works is that everyone but one person always goes home, and Clare speeding up the process is just ripping that bandaid off.
“I truly did not want to waste anymore of [your] time,” Clare said, explaining why she ended things early. She started to cry as she added, “I’ll apologize if I wasted your time. I’ll apologize if I hurt you. But I’m not gonna apologize for love.”
It’s worth noting that a couple of men admitted that while they were disappointed at Clare’s early exit, they did wish her luck and commended her for letting them know. Jason, Ivan, and Ben — you’re good. The rest of you? Not so much. Especially Canadian Blake M. who tried to pull the textbook "Nice Guy” schtick. He even bought a book about dementia and Alzheimer’s so he could talk to Clare about what her mother was going through, as though that meant Clare owed him something. “Why did I invest so much and not get anything in return?” he asked. Blake, you don’t automatically get someone’s attention and love just because you did nice things. Also, Clare did talk with him and invite him on dates and invest time in their budding relationship. She just stopped when she realized she liked Dale more. Which again, is the right thing to do.
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Several of the men also couldn’t understand how Clare knew so quickly that Dale was the one for her. I'd like to introduce them to a little show called Bachelor in Paradise, which has led to multiple lasting marriages after contestants dated on the show for only a handful of weeks. Clare’s situation is hardly different.
What Clare did on The Bachelorette is unorthodox because usually the lead slowly eliminates contestants slowly, stringing most of them along for months. Then week by week, the lead utterly shatters someone’s world, all the way up to the moment they send their runner up crying into a black SUV.
Clare cutting things short early on was the kindest thing she could have done in this situation, and instead of being grateful that she didn’t waste their time or lead them on — most of the men threw a fit. Good luck, Tayshia.

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