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Culture > Entertainment

Jacqueline Choosing to Leave ‘The Bachelor’ Meant She Was Validating Her Own Dreams

One moment on this season of The Bachelor, we were still trying to tell the four Laurens apart, and the next, we’re suddenly anticipating hometown dates. I’m still unsure how we got here, and apparently so is Jacqueline. The 26-year-old research coordinator panicked on this week’s episode after she, too, realized that she was getting into the territory of being a potential Bachelorette pick. Okay, so her freakout was actually over her “swirling doubts” over her relationship with Arie, aka what we’ve all felt this year toward the lead.

Venting to everyone’s favorite guidance counselor Kendall, Jacqueline said, “I don’t think that introducing somebody to my family…after a date where I had doubts is, like, the right way to go about my relationship.”

ICYMI, a good chunk of Jacqueline and Arie’s one-on-one date last week focused on the logistics of their hypothetical post-show relationship. Jacqueline is a PhD candidate in New York City and has six years of school ahead of her, so her plans don’t exactly fit with Arie’s life as a racecar driver/real estate agent in Arizona.

Cue Jacqueline visiting Arie in his Tuscany hotel room and nursing a glass of wine while explaining her doubts to him. Taking inspiration from every movie about a disenchanted housewife ever, she told him, “I’m worried I’m going to end up in Scottsdale with you, married, and wonder, ‘How did I get here?’”

We obviously don’t have major insight into the contestants’ mindsets when they’re in a particular moment, but I would bet that this stage of the competition is always a pretty doubtful time. Some women are going on their second one-on-one dates, while others are just left to consider whether or not this relationship with Arie is valid. In likelihood, even if all of these women had the chance to move their lives to Arizona, the chance of success is slim, and what your life was like beforehand does matter.

You could argue that the other women’s careers are more easily adjustable to a new location. However, Jacqueline’s unique position of being committed to a certain program in a specific state has forced her to consider how Arie fits into her life, not the other way around. How many Bachelor winners do you see dropping everything and moving to their new fiancé’s hometown? In the case of Sean and Catherine Lowe, poor Catherine standing by for Sean’s Dancing with the Stars experience and then moving across the country to Texas happily worked out, but they are the rare success story.

Jacqueline’s case is also a circumstance of the female contestant having a way more impressive career path than the male lead (most of the women usually do, TBH). Perhaps if Arie was closer to Jacqueline’s age and less set in his own ways, Jacqueline wouldn’t have to feel that her dreams negatively affect this relationship. She and Arie already had locations across the country from each other and a decade’s age difference working against them, but Jacqueline ultimately choosing to accept her own validation over Arie’s was a great example of winning the guy not always being the best prize.

The best part of this is that Jacqueline is clearly doing amazing after being so emotionally torn at her departure. She’s having Instagram photoshoots with fellow Arie-reject Maquel in New York—what’s not to love?

Props to Jacqueline for taking control of her own Bachelor fate. Now if only she managed to give Lauren a pep talk before she left…

Kristen Perrone is a Siena College Class of 2018 alumna. She studied English during her time at Siena.