My roommate is a Bachelor(ette) fanatic. She has a fantasy league, knows about all the where-are-they-nows, and remembers contestants and dates and drama from seasons long since passed. I, on the other hand, had never watched a single episode. That all changed with Arie Luyendyk Jr. – or should I say Arie 'Lyingd*ck' Jr.
I sat down to watch The Bachelor for the first time with my roommates about three episodes into Season 22. The entire concept made me a little nervous. I didn’t love the thought of watching one man date a lot of women at the same time. As someone who doesn’t have the most romantic luck and also has far too much empathy, I thought the show would break my heart on a weekly basis. Those women are much stronger than I am for putting themselves in that kind of situation. I didn’t think that I could trust a man to be surrounded with so many *stunningly beautiful* women and still be a good person. At first, I thought it was wrong because it all seemed to be going well. He was a good listener, he had adult-cute salt-and-pepper-hair, he was gentle but knew what he wanted at the same time (or so we all thought).
But then he said “I love you”. To two different girls. On the same day. I had bad feelings about this but what did I know? This was my first viewing of The Bachelor, maybe that was normal. My roommates informed me that this was not, in fact, normal. Arie was playing games. For an episode or two I cut him some slack. Getting so close to two people so fast is hard, we’ve all been in situations where our brains can’t catch up to our feelings. He’s figuring it out, it’s fine, he’s not satan incarnate, he just needs a hot minute to figure it out. But no, he really was not smart enough to figure it out.
The night of the finale, we had already gotten wind of what had happened. We sat down and turned on the TV and just the sight of Arie’s face made us scowl. We were aghast that he had the audacity to bring a film crew to ruin Becca’s hopes and dreams. He was completely unapologetic. He was the worst man on TV, maybe even on the planet entirely.
I thought that watching The Bachelor would give me a little bit of a break from the stresses of my own romantic issues, that maybe I would be able to watch a love blossom from beginning to end. Instead, Arie Luyendyk Jr. burned the concept of love and trust to the ground. Will I watch another season? Of course I will - I need to know that Becca finds love. I need to watch her be happy. Do I trust men when they use the “L” word and get down on one knee? No. No, I will not. Thanks a lot, Arie.