- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Over the last 19 years, there's been no shortage of memorable moments on "The Bachelor."
We asked five relationship experts to react to the most famous moments in the show's recent history.
They unanimously commended Derek's mature response to Demi coming out as bisexual on "BiP."
When "The Bachelor" first premiered in 2002, it would've been impossible to predict the impact the franchise would come to have on both the television landscape and its loyal fans, Bachelor Nation. Over 25 seasons of "The Bachelor" and 16 seasons of "The Bachelorette" later (plus various spin-offs), it's worth asking the question - what can we learn from the show's depiction of relationships?
We asked five relationship experts, Jessica Dubron, Monica O'Neal, Rachel DeAlto, Jaime Bronstein, and Susan Winter, to react to five of the most well-known moments (both controversial and heartwarming) in the show's recent history.
They shared their thoughts about the on-camera break-up of Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Becca Kufrin during "The Bachelor," Hannah Brown eliminating Luke Parker after a season of manipulation and gaslighting on "The Bachelorette," Zac Clark proposing to Tayshia Adams on "The Bachelorette," Demi Burnett coming out to Derek Peth as bisexual on "Bachelor in Paradise," and Ivan Hall and Adams' moving conversation about the Black Lives Matter movement on "The Bachelorette."
Keep scrolling to see what each expert thinks - the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Jessica Dubron, a clinical psychologist, called the on-screen break-up between Arie and Becca "brutal" yet relatable for many people.
Any "Bachelor" fan remembers watching this break-up for the first time during "After the Final Rose." Arie told the cameras that he had decided to end his engagement to Becca and pursue things with his runner-up, Lauren B. (whom he later married). Viewers watched as Arie broke the news to Becca, who appeared more blindsided than anything else. She begged to be left alone — but Arie wouldn't leave.
"Watching Arie breakup with Becca is brutal — no question. What's really evocative about this clip is how relatable they both are as they are forced to navigate this painful situation," Dubron told Insider. "Most people can relate to the stomach-churning feeling of having to hurt someone you care about, and most people can relate to the piercing rejection of being broken up with."
Dubron praised Becca's ability to ask direct questions, as many times people avoid asking hard questions in order to avoid hearing the equally hard answers, but Becca was able to ask and then gain clarity. She also praised Arie for having the strength to speak his truth, even though he most likely knew he'd be portrayed as a villain.
Dr. Monica O'Neal, a clinical psychologist and relationship expert, called the moment "unduly sadistic."
O'Neal told Insider, "My experience of this televised break up is that it seemed unduly sadistic and way too voyeuristic, even for reality TV. It was just painful to watch."
She thought Arie should've ended the relationship off-screen — she thought his demeanor seemed insincere, which led her to believe he wanted to be seen as a person "torn by love." Instead, she thought he seemed "selfish, narcissistic, and flaky."
"It also exposed how shallow the dating/courtship process was for them, because you'd think this is the kind of thing one might have clarity on before getting engaged," O'Neal said.
However, like Dubron, O'Neal commended Becca's "aplomb, asking him clarifying questions of his feelings."
Rachel DeAlto, a former litigator and relationship expert, called his actions "incredibly selfish and hurtful."
"While everyone should follow their heart, Arie's actions were incredibly selfish and hurtful towards Becca. Calling her essentially a safe choice and good on paper was unnecessary," DeAlto told Insider.
"Obviously in the situation, things can become confusing, but getting to the point of engagement with someone when you are not all in should never happen. He should have been way more apologetic and empathetic, because even if he was breaking up with Becca for Lauren, there was a way to be more considerate of what Becca had gone through," she said.
On the other hand, Jaime Bronstein, a relationship therapist, life coach, and host of "Love Talk Live," applauded Arie for telling his truth, but also criticized him for doing it on camera.
Bronstein didn't think that Arie did anything wrong by breaking up with Becca, as he went with the "safe choice" by picking her, something she says people frequently do.
"When he took some time to reflect and see what life was like with Becca, he realized that his heart truly was with Lauren," she continued. "It was problematic that Arie broke up with Becca on-camera."
She added that Arie "seemed to lack empathy" for making Becca go through that on TV, and made her question the love he had for Becca, as "you don't treat someone you truly love with such utter disrespect."
However, Bronstein did praise Arie's communication skills regarding his feelings for Lauren. "Arie did a great job of articulating his feelings by sharing that his heartbreak of leaving Lauren never went away, and it just wasn't fair to be half-in with Becca when his heart was somewhere else," she said.
Susan Winter, a relationship expert and author, noted how Arie realized that "logic and heart don't always match up," which applies in real life as well.
"Breaking off an engagement is never easy. But the greater torment would lie in committing to a partner you know isn't your true love," Winter said. "This is a hard choice in the short term, but healthy in the long run."
She said that in this situation, being honest about your change of heart "must be done clearly, thoughtfully, and decisively."
Winter called Arie's acknowledgment of his feelings for Lauren "a healthy first step in taking responsibility," and said she could see him realizing "that logic (Becca) and heart (Lauren) don't always match up."
In the infamous break-up between Luke Parker and Hannah B., he attempted to shame her for having sex with multiple men. Dubron thought Luke should have been more vulnerable during the conversation.
"This clip is an example of how 'The Bachelor' franchise creates emotionally toxic situations in the service of entertaining television. In real life, people seeking monogamous relationships generally aren't trying to fall in love with three people simultaneously; on 'The Bachelor, it's all part of 'the Journey,'" Dubron said.
She acknowledged that, while it would be easy to call Luke "a misogynist or jerk," part of it was actually a fair thing for him to do — state his boundaries and tenets of his faith.
On the other hand, Dubron called his judgment of Hannah's decisions to be intimate with other men "problematic," as was "the insinuation that her participation in a reality show they both signed up for (and with clear historical precedent for how relationships evolve) diminished her faith in some way."
She thought a healthier approach would have been for Luke to be more vulnerable by sharing his feelings, instead of "making ultimatums and directives."
O'Neal called this her favorite "Bachelor" moment of all time, due to Hannah's "very clear, very strong, very confident message."
O'Neal said she didn't think there was a single woman in America who didn't "stand up and applaud" for Hannah and her "very clear, very strong message to Luke and to any person who might judge her for having a normal, healthy sexual life."
"For far too long, the women on this franchise have been unfairly and unduly judged for very normal sexual practices," she continued. "Even though Hannah's comments were directed to Luke, I think that she was also communicating this to the rest of the world. I mean, is there any more clever of a statement of 'Yes, I've had sex and Jesus still loves me'? In a matter of seconds, Hannah made herself a modern-day heroine to many women to feel empowered about their sex life and their voice," she said.
O'Neal also noted that Hannah continued dating Luke even though many of the other men on her season pressured her to dump him. Instead, she took time to establish her own feelings about him.
"This is important and something I often highlight with my patients — eventually you will know clearly for yourself whether or not someone is sustainable and good enough for you," she added.
DeAlto said that, in most situations, Luke's comments would be "completely understandable."
"You would obviously prefer your boyfriend or girlfriend to not have sex with other people while you're together," DeAlto said.
However, she said, Luke was either "living under a rock or willfully ignorant" of the premise of the show.
"If Hannah wasn't as strong, I would not have been surprised if she acquiesced and avoided intimacy with anyone in the fantasy suites," she added.
Bronstein thought that Luke "seemed to lack empathy," but praised Hannah's strong sense of self-love.
"It was very healthy of Hannah to have the ability to articulate and speak to Luke P. with such conviction," Bronstein told Insider, adding: "It was very healthy of her to own who she is, to speak her voice, honor her feelings and stay entirely in her integrity no matter what Luke P. said or did. ... She told him that he was disrespectful and that she did not care what he thought of her; that's true unconditional self-love right there."
Bronstein also said that she thought Luke seemed to lack empathy for Hannah, and for the other men on his season — and empathy "is so important in a relationship."
Winter said their relationship had a "very unhealthy dynamic" during this clip.
"Luke is speaking 'parentally' to Hannah," Winter said. "This attitude places him as the moral superior and casts her as the naughty child that needs his guidance. This is a very unhealthy dynamic, stemming from control rather than concern."
She added that Hannah was right to be angry — and ultimately brave.
"It took her a lot of courage to stand up to a man she really cared for when she saw his unhealthy behavior," Winter said.
Our third moment is a happier one - Zac's proposal to Tayshia, which many heralded as one of the most sincere proposals in the franchise's history. Dubron called it her favorite "Bachelor" moment ever.
"The sincerity and vulnerability was palpable. It is clear that, prior to the show, they had both done the personal work to be ready for a healthy relationship," Dubron said.
She added that the adjustments that the show had to make due to COVID-19 may have served the couple well as they got to know each other in a more genuine environment.
"They spent the season anchored in one place as opposed to being swept up in the whirlwind of constant travel and over-the-top dates. With fewer distractions and more of a focus on genuine connection, their engagement felt like the logical next step in a thoughtful, authentic courtship — as opposed to a frenzied guess at who might be the best partner in 'the real world,'" she said.
O'Neal, however, called the moment "fairly shallow, albeit sweet."
In her opinion, while Zac had a "more dimensional grasp of Tayshia's emotional needs," she didn't see that same grasp reciprocated by Tayshia.
"Her message to him came across as generic, sophomoric, and not based on any grounding adult relationship or anything too specific about him and his unique experience," she said.
She added: "Although there is something that feels sweet and genuine between the two of them, and I'm sure that they both feel the excitement of new love in that moment, I just didn't experience a depth of emotional intimacy or understanding that is necessary to grow in marriage."
DeAlto noted that, to her, it seemed like Zac was more into Tayshia than vice-versa.
"Their engagement was full of emotion and everything that you would want to hear during a proposal. My gut is that Zac is even more in love with Tayshia than she is with him and that's not a bad thing!" DeAlto said.
"It's clear that he is going to work to keep that relationship going and happy. Obviously the proof is in the actions after the camera stops but their foundation seems to be in friendship which is great."
Bronstein has high hopes for this couple - she called the proposal "beyond touching."
"I loved that proposal so much! The fact that both of them are so vulnerable with one another and love each other unconditionally was so beautiful to watch. The fact that Tayshia and Zac love each other even more because of their vulnerability is what true love stems from; what a solid foundation and deep connection they have," Bronstein said.
Bronstein particularly liked that Zac made a callback to something Tayshia had said earlier in the season.
"The fact that Tayshia said that she felt that she wasn't 'chosen' in her past, and then during the proposal, Zac told her that he was going to choose her every day until forever, was beyond touching," she said.
Winter called it "the fairytale ending we all hoped for."
"Beautifully communicated by Tayshia and reciprocated by Zac. Very heartfelt and sincere. This is the fairytale ending we all hoped for," she said.
The fourth moment comes from "Bachelor in Paradise," when Demi came out to Derek as bisexual - a first for the franchise. Dubron said Derek "provided a healthy model of how to respond."
"Unlike the exchange between Hannah and Luke, these two led with vulnerability, openness, and honesty," she said.
"While it is becoming increasingly common for people to publicly share their sexuality, Demi was upfront to Derek about the confusing, difficult, and often painful journey of self-discovery that comes before one decides how they identify. Derek's empathy and genuine curiosity provided a healthy model of how to respond," Dubron added.
O'Neal said it was "one of the most mature, least dramatic moments of the entire franchise."
"To me, it was the best model of healthy communication, empathy, humility, and emotional exchange on this show," O'Neal said.
She said Derek showed Demi "so much respect and compassion" when she opened up about her sexuality.
"Neither of them gave up was important to them and neither of them made the other feel bad or insecure, even if they felt some level of fear or rejection. Honestly, I hope that America learned something from this very healthy moment of communication and exchange," O'Neal concluded.
DeAlto called Derek's reaction to Demi's truth "ideal."
"This particular clip showed a lot of courage on the part of Demi. It's always important to be who you are unapologetically especially when it comes to sexuality. It was obviously a difficult conversation, but Derek's reaction in this clip was ideal. In this moment he was supportive and understanding and non-judgmental," DeAlto said.
Bronstein called Demi "courageous" - rightfully so.
Bronstein thought that Derek seemed relieved to hear that Demi's uncertainty about their relationship wasn't about him, but instead it was that "Demi's heart was trying to be in two places at one time." She also called Demi "courageous" for being vulnerable and showing Derek who she really is.
"Then the fact that he loved her unconditionally was very impressive. A lot of men would've taken a shot to their ego, but Derek listened and then just showed her even more love because she was willing just to be herself. Regardless, both Demi and Derek displayed that they are both people who genuinely cared about each other and wanted the best for one another," she said.
Winter also thought Demi showed "great bravery" for coming out on national TV.
"I applaud '[Paradise]' for embracing the panorama of sexual expression. Demi shows great bravery in coming out, not just to Derek but to the world. Derek took a very mature attitude and his open-mindedness showed great sensitivity," Winter said.
The last moment also came from Tayshia's season, when she and Ivan had a real conversation about race. Here's what Dubron thought.
She pointed out that the "fastasy bubble" that "The Bachelor" always seeks to maintain had no place in 2020.
"It would feel insurmountably disingenuous to ignore the racial dynamics of the cast members and the current, larger societal discussion on racial justice," she said.
Conversations about politics in particular are important when trying to build a life-long partnership, she said.
"I increasingly see people think of their political beliefs as not just about politics, but as a reflection of their deepest values. And I regularly see individuals and couples in my practice who are devastated at the discovery that their partner doesn't share the same values or even the same universe of information," she said.
"Knowing where your partner stands on crucial political ideology is incredibly important and should be a deal-breaker," O'Neal said.
"The issue of racial justice and Black Lives Matter has become something that really is more of an indication of personal values and beliefs around equity and justice," she said.
You need to have a clear understanding on where your partner stands: These things are "crucially important" when it comes to starting a family and "thinking about the kind of ideology that you foster in your home," she said.
She said the moment also signaled a shift in what we're seeing on our screens.
"I think after this America's reckoning with race and racism this summer, its likely that we'll see more shows engaging in these kind of conversations," she said. "Up until now, it's been an unfortunate loss [for] society that reality TV shows have censored and edited out these conversations about race and racism, effectively deleting the reality of BIPOC's lived experiences, thus keeping up the comfortable, privileged fantasy that racism doesn't exist."
DeAlto praised the conversation as well, saying, "vulnerability is everything."
DeAlto called the conversation incredible due to how real it was.
"Tayshia was able to get vulnerable in her conversation and feel supported by a potential partner, and more of these conversations about sensitive topics need to happen both on screen in this franchise but more importantly off-screen in budding relationships. Vulnerability is everything," she said.
Bronstein "felt as if history was being made" while watching the "incredibly emotional and powerful" clip.
Bronstein was aligned with the other experts, agreeing that it's imperative to know what your potential partner thinks about political and social issues, as that's "part of the whole package."
She added that Ivan and Tayshia were both vulnerable by speaking about their experiences with racism, which made them more relatable.
"I'm sure many people watched the episode and felt like they weren't alone ... The more conversations like this that get covered by the media, the more awareness there will be, and hopefully, the injustice will cease," Bronstein continued.
Winter thought that Ivan and Tayshia verbalizing their "deep internal damage" would help the audience understand them both.
"It's a good choice for 'The Bachelorette' to air this conversation and show the footage of uncomfortable realities. Tayshia's honest admission of her longstanding hurt helps the audience to understand the deep internal damage she's experienced growing up biracial," Winter said, agreeing that their vulnerability was a key part of the conversation.
Read the original article on Insider