Connor and Mike went too soon.
There, I said it.
There have been too many times during Hannah's season that I have been utterly at my wits end watching some of the men be so inconsiderate, so frustrating, and just downright gross. It goes without saying that, without a select few of these men being absolute darlings, I would find it really hard to continue to watch. Here is an ode to two of the really good ones who unfortunately left last episode and took a little bit of my happiness in watching the show with them: Connor S. and Mike.
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I adored Connor S. from the moment he stepped out onto the live stage, after Colton's season came to a ceremonious end, and wooed Hannah with his deep voice, gentlemanly charm, and clever use of a step-stool. He was cute, clever, and not all about himself like others (*cough, ABC Always Be Cam and Luke P., cough*). He reminded me a lot of Blake from Becca's season, and frankly, I was smitten. Little did I know that this man would not only remain unproblematic throughout the entire season (seriously - when has a guy made it this far without getting close to even a little bit of drama?), but he also would do one of the sweetest things I have ever seen on the show.
For those who do not remember, on the day of his first one-on-one date with Hannah, Hannah fell ill and was unable to carry out their sailing plans after needing bed rest. She called him to her room, and then this man did the most. He got her flowers and then spent the time he had with her not bemoaning their lost time, but making sure she was okay and comforting her with kisses and kind words. When all was over and he left her to sleep, he went on to grab some sticky notes and leave a plethora of things he loves about her stuck around the room for her to find when she woke. They culminated in "Get well soon, Love Connor" and got him a well-deserved dinner date and rose later on.
First of all, I thought that kind of romantic kindness only existed in movies. Guys don't just do that stuff anymore, at least not after being let down in the way he was with his date cancelation. When I tell you I was sitting there with my hands covering my mouth, squealing about how cute of a gesture it was...ugh, it was just so good. The best part about it is that he did not need to do it at all. Nothing about it was necessary for him to move forward. Hannah already felt bad about the whole situation, and I am sure she would have brought him on something to make it up to him later. Yet, Connor went out of his way and did it because he wanted to. He wanted Hannah to smile and to do something that would brighten her rough day, not aid his. On a show where men too often cut each other down or do ingenuous stuff to get ahead (*cough, "sick puppy" Cam and "Mike leaving will make my day" Luke P., cough*), this was so refreshing. It stood out to me.
That was why it hurt so much to see him go. He was a kind, romantic guy with zero intentions of drama who wanted nothing but the best for Hannah when others simply wanted to get ahead of the competition or push their own ambitions ahead (looking at you, Jed). It was heartbreaking to see his lack of wanting to be in the spotlight through drama inevitably make Hannah forget he is around and still interested. He deserves someone who will appreciate his kind gestures and more reserved nature, and I am under no doubts that he will find it someday if he keeps it up.
My roommates and I nicknamed this man "Smiles" for a reason. I would wonder what was wrong with you if you did not immediately find his smile swoon-worthy that first night. What made me really like Mike was how, time and time again, he always stood up for Hannah when she was not there. As soon as Luke P. went off on some tirade that put Hannah in a saddened state, he was putting him in his place in a respectable way. He had her emotions always first in his mind, and when something stood poised to harm them, he jumped into action to protect them.
On a related note, this man's respect for women blew me away. I could have listened to him talk about the strong women in his family for weeks on end. He did not treat Hannah like a prize to be won ever, and he recognized her strength through how he interacted with her and spoke about their future together. Hannah always stood as the missing third strong woman in his life that he would honor and serve alongside. While Luke P. felt the need to give her strength, Mike already acknowledged the strength within her and bolstered it.
The third thing I adored about Mike was how he simply let Hannah have fun. He let her be her goofy self and never questioned their time together. This could be seen in their final date when he took having to strip down into a robe to be painted like a champ. He teased Hannah, he challenged her, and he simply let her enjoy her time to be free. Equally important to this fact was how he bowed down from his spot on the show without turning the situation back on her. Instead of begging and pleading or guilty Hannah, Mike let Hannah feel emotional, let her be confused and conflicted, and ultimately let her make her own decision. I was screaming at the TV "Why God, Why?" but Mike respectfully understood her decision, accepted it, and hugged her goodbye. He had every right to be upset, given Luke P. still existing, the blindsided nature of the goodbye, and his built up idea of Hannah being that third woman in his life, yet out of respect for Hannah, he left with grace and calm.
Many people are calling on Mike to be the next Bachelor, and I sincerely hope it happens. It has been a while since we have seen a man as calm, charming, witty, respectful, and wholesome as Mike takes the ropes. I legitimately feel like I could root for this man's happiness without a doubt, and that is not something I could whole-heartedly say with Arie or Colton. If he for some reason does not get his rightful second chance on The Bachelor, I sincerely believe he will find love on Paradise or just out in the world. If he is even as half a pleasure to know in person as he was to watch on The Bachelorette, I can only assume he will have little trouble once he heads back out onto the dating scene.