• Stephanie Hinds

The life lesson to be learned from The Bachelor

Last night, millions of people tuned in to one of the most dramatic scenes to ever unfold on reality television on ABC’S The Bachelor.

This season’s star, former Bachelorette contestant, Arie Luyendyk Jr. faced the tough decision on who would he would make his wife.

Arie had two amazing women to choose from. There was Becca K., above, a stunning brunette that he shared a smooth relationship with from the very beginning. They had strong feelings for each other, lots of laughs and were a fun couple overall.

And then there was Lauren B., below.

His relationship with Lauren evolved much later into the season. But once it started, it picked up at lightning speed and it was impossible for the two, smitten in love, to mask their feelings for each other.

While Becca exuded confidence, both in herself and in her relationship with Arie, Lauren was a lot more reserved, guarded, even. But she surrendered herself to the experience, opening up wholeheartedly to Arie.

At the beginning of the finale, it appeared that Lauren would be his final choice. He had more passion with her than with anyone in the entire season. He lit up from the inside out whenever he spoke about her, and especially when she came around.

But things took a turn when he introduced both women to his family. With Lauren meeting his folks first, his family said it would be difficult for Becca to surpass the impression Lauren left. But the next day, Becca did. So much so that the family advised Arie to choose her.

So he did. He got down on one knee, asking Becca to marry him, to which she replied an ecstatic “Of course!”

Weeks after proposing to her, breaking Lauren’s heart into a million pieces, he called it off with Becca, informing her of his struggles with his final decision, still holding on to the thought of Lauren. He described it as there being some type of parallel in his mind; whenever he experienced something with Becca, he’d wonder what the experience would be like if he was with Lauren.

At first, he thought it was just a natural part of the process, but he realized that as time went on, he was growing distant from Becca. It got to the point where he knew he had to follow his heart—something he didn’t do ahead of making his final decision.

Upon receiving the devastating news, Becca held it together, not even shedding a tear until getting a moment alone in the bathroom. The awful sound of her crying broke hearts all over the world as Arie paced the hallway back and forth pondering his next move.

While this was going on, social media erupted, slamming Arie for calling off the engagement.

But in my living room, I silently applauded him for what he did.

Sure, it was a dick move. But I can’t fault anyone who chooses to follow their heart and pursue their happiness in a world that tells us that other people’s feelings are more important than our own.

In a national survey of 500 redivorced people, 88 per cent of them said they married the wrong person.

Both my parents, who were previously married before meeting each other, admitted that they knew they were walking down the aisle to the wrong person. When I asked each of them why they followed through, they said they had already come so far and would try and make the best of it. And where’d they end up? In messy divorces and ultimately, a new partner.

I can think of so many other instances in which I’ve heard firsthand accounts of men and women who either married the wrong person or walked away from someone they knew was not the right person for them.

So why is it such a shitstorm when someone decides to follow their heart?

It’s because he broke Becca’s in the process. I get it. But you know what’s worse than a broken heart? Being with someone who is always thinking of someone else. Being with someone who might call you the wrong name at any given point. Being with someone who is mentally and emotionally checked out.

Becca’s going to survive. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Becca became the next Bachelorette. If not, she’ll surely end up on Bachelor in Paradise, or some other spinoff that’s become widely popular.

But as for Arie, he realized that he made the wrong decision. And rather than just settle for the mess he made, he knew he had to tidy it up, even if that meant making more of a mess in the process.

If there’s one thing we can learn from him, it’s that we all deserve happiness, no matter the cost of it. And should we ever find ourselves unhappy, unloved or unloving, we speak up, speak out and come back to the middle.

#TheBachelor #BachelorNation #ArieLuyendykJr #LaurenBurnham #BeccaK

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