Only 12 years late to the party, I first watched The Bachelor in 2014 when I was a high school senior living in Seoul, South Korea. My aunt called to tell me that the current bachelor (Juan Pablo) was in South Korea and he went to the very noraebang (rentable karaoke rooms with couches or beds, cheap echo-ey microphones, and lots of alcohol) that my friends and I frequented in a part of town called Hongdae! VPN cloaked, I found the episode online and began watching.
I preface this theory with the caveat that I'm not a super-fan, not a member of "Bachelor Nation" if you will. Have I watched every season and spin off series since the moment I found out about the show? Yes. Have I become emotionally invested in the cast? Well, ok, yes. Do I have wine-filled Bachelor-Monday parties? Does it count if I'm the only one in attendance?
The latest #BachelorNation news to circulate the web is Peter Weber and Kelley Flanagan "quarantining" together as evidenced by their vaguely relatable and only mildly humorous TikTok videos. This got me thinking about how The Bachelor has "evolved" (I cringe to use that word in this context) and as I stood in the shower (where profound thinking usually occurs) my 'The Bachelor' theory was born.
The last three Bachelors have ended up with the slow to open up, emotionally unavailable, skeptical girl and it's refreshing!
While the Bachelorette's commonly end up with the man to whom they award their "First Impression rose", recent Bachelors have all ended up with the most emotionally unavailable woman. The woman who doesn't "give him what he needs", doesn't share her "vulnerable" story week one, and doesn't profess her love for him on their first one-on-one date (look, I know this sounds ridiculous, but in Bachelor Nation that girl is the odd one out).
Arie and Lauren
Lauren was slow to open up to Arie. Throughout the season Arie mentioned feeling like Lauren had a "wall up" but like DUH he had MULTIPLE girlfriends. Anyone who ignores that is setting themselves up for disappointment. Lauren was Arie's clear pick throughout the season but other girls were more open about their feelings and well, bachelors fear rejection too. Arie went with his head and proposed to another woman who he then proceeded to break up with on a TV special to pursue a relationship with Lauren. Arie ended up proposing to Lauren ON LIVE TV and honestly it was all a bit too much! Anyway, now they are married with an adorable baby and flip houses together in Arizona (random, but goals).
Colton and Cassie
Colton 'the virgin/fence jumper' Underwood was one of the most over-hyped bachelors ever! While Cassie started the season as one of the token young, gossipy girls she quickly won over Colton's heart. She wasn't shy to admit that she wasn't sure if she was ready for an engagement…but like, DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS SHOW IS?! Cassie even tried to leave the show to get away from Colton. Naturally Colton, who was terrified of rejection, chased down the girl who was rejecting him (people never learn) and agreed that they could keep dating after the show with no expectation of an engagement. Basically, the season could have been condensed into one conversation at a bar and the outcome would be the same. They are now still dating and being Insta-humans who inexplicably have talent agents.
Peter and Kelley
Peter Weber, who appeared on Barb's season of the bachelor, was one of the most polarizing Bachelors in franchise history. Kelley and Peter met prior to the start of the season and she was quickly a fan favorite for being "genuine and real" (<—this is a Madison joke). She was dry and sarcastic and found the whole "journey" quite ridiculous. She stuck around long enough to be sent home for being slow to open up and not giving Peter enough affirmation. While Kelley was Barb's pick and despite everyone's best predictions that Barb's iconic "bring her home to us" moment was about Hannah Ann who Peter initially chose and quickly tossed aside for the prospect of exploring things with Madison. Barb went in on Madison during the "After The Final Rose" live special and in one fell swoop took her out of the running. Where is Madison now? Well, she dribbles basketballs on TikTok with her 14 year old Dad or something…idk. Peter is now "quarantining" with Kelley and they are Instagram official.
The lesson here, kids, is that men are hunters and they like the chase. So, if you are emotionally unavailable, closed-off, and not ready for a relationship, you might win the game of love.
Actually, I think the lesson is: do not do anything you see on The Bachelor.
But really, it's this: the best "loves" frequently find you when you least expect it. Be open, but not too open. Be spontaneous, but not dramatic. Relationships are not a competition. You can't force someone to love you just because you're more vulnerable or more aloof. You "click" or you don't. I think it's why the Bachelorettes have more successful relationships. They choose their man by the "click" not the drama or the chase.
And, if you're lucky in love, you won't even have to step foot in Stagecoach.