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Culture > Entertainment

‘The Bachelor’s Arie Supposedly Followed His Heart, But I’m Not Buying It

I’ve been an avid watcher of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette since Ben Higgins’ season. For the guilty pleasure show that it is, I’ve loved watching the twisted version of a sped-up fairytale that I ultimately know won’t work out according to historical precedence. Chris Harrison has been a constant companion of mine during times of procrastination, heartbreak and failure. In the past, I’ve dropped everything to watch the season finale and been rewarded with a broadcasted, candy sweet happily ever after through which I could live vicariously.

However, Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s season finale (and honestly most of the season) left me feeling unsettled and uncomfortable in the wake of his ultimate decision to break off his engagement with Becca Kufrin. Throughout the last few weeks, I found myself becoming more critical of Arie’s decisions and explanations. Why did it take him so long to realize Krystal’s double identity and send her home? Why couldn’t Arie communicate his sudden decision to not give Seinne a rose during the one-on-one? Why did he pull Kendall aside during the rose ceremony only to send Tia home, despite his present confusion?


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I don’t think any of us could imagine being his shoes and having to find a future spouse among two dozen highly attractive people. He had to learn to compartmentalize every individual relationship, and then weigh the pros and cons of each like he was investing in a prospective home or buying a car. One mistake could send his soulmate away from the mansion forever without his knowledge. I think many of us judge the process and the contestants too harshly, but Arie made one unforgivable mistake of the heart: he let himself fall deeply in love with two women.

Not only did he hurt Lauren when he proposed to Becca, but he also crushed Becca when he broke off the engagement to pursue a relationship with Lauren. The last 40 minutes of the finale were excruciatingly painful for viewers as we watched an interaction that should’ve been private. I felt uncomfortable watching Becca sit there and realize the web of lies Arie told her during their short time of engagement after the show ended. Claiming to think about Lauren every night before he goes to bed and every morning when he wakes up, Arie had no other explanation for Becca other than he couldn’t give her the love that she deserved.

While I wholeheartedly agree with the prospect of breaking a relationship off to prevent leading someone on (as I’ve been led on myself), I believe Arie should’ve proposed to Lauren in the first place. He could have spared Becca the delayed and much more painful heartbreak by setting more boundaries and spending more time thinking about the future. I really do hope Becca gets swept off her feet by Prince Charming and that Arie learns to reconcile with the consequences of his mistakes.

Emily Schmidt

Stanford '20

Emily Schmidt is a junior at Stanford University, studying English and Spanish. Originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia, she quickly fell in love with the Californian sunshine and warm winter temperatures. Emily writes a hodgepodge of pieces from satiric articles for The Stanford Daily to free-verse poetry to historical fiction. Just like her writing repertoire, her collection of hobbies are widely scattered from speed-crocheting to Irish dancing to practicing calligraphy. When she is not writing or reading, Emily can also be found jamming out to Phil Collins or watching her favorite film, 'Belle.'