As “The Bachelor” dwindles down to it’s final few episodes, the trend remains the same. The antics have dissolved completely and we’re in a stretch of episodes where an hour and forty five minutes are wasted on lackluster dates. So if you’ve made it this far, kudos to you, but get a life immediately.
We’re down to three women, and that means it’s time for some fantasy suite action for Ben. But before that, he must waste his time going rafting with Caila, saving sea turtles with Lauren B., and aimlessly swaying (or as white people call it, dancing) to the sounds of a reggae band with JoJo in Jamaica. So after sufficiently wasting our time with such meaningless dates, and after each of the women admit they have fallen in love for Ben, he takes each of them to the fantasy suite and does what what any 26-year-old man who has been only allowed to kiss women for the past eight weeks would do: he steals a couple of bases.
As always, it’s impossible to confirm if Ben actually slept with any of these women, but the show certainly suggests all three women were down for the get down. And even though I’d bet large sums of money that Ben got to know all of the women in the biblical sense, the mystery of the fantasy suite was the only mystery of the episode. It was pretty clear half way through the episode that Caila was going to be sent home. How did we know? Well after Lauren B. and JoJo each told Ben they loved him, he reciprocated and expressed his love for both of them (more on this later). But when Caila speaks her heart and drops the big L-bomb, Ben’s reacted as if his 3-year-old niece asked to play peek-a-boo for the 26th time in one day.
You’re not exactly selling the suspense here, Ben. Which is why even before the rose ceremony, Ben meets with Caila and asks her to leave. I suppose there is something to be said for the fact that Ben didn’t leave Caila waiting until the rose ceremony. But Caila certainly doesn’t feel that way as just before she exits in a limo, she turns back and starts to drill Ben. “Did you know this week? Did you know before our date?” All of these questions lead the audience to believe that Caila is suffering from the medical condition of “been-hit-and-quit.” It’s not a fun one to experience, especially on national television. And as much as it hurts for Caila in the moment, I’m sure the TV exposure she’ll receive as the next bachelorette (I’m speculating here) along with the money will mend her broken heart.
So Ben’s left with Lauren B. and JoJo, both of whom he’s told he loves. This admission seems to be a central cog to the episode, as many can’t believe that Ben actually would tell two different women he loves them. “Unprecedented” the show calls it.
There are two things to understand here. First, “The Bachelor” world isn’t the same as the real world. Shocking, I know. But there’s a certain nuance here that we must understand. Obviously in the real world it’s not set up such that twenty-five women will each fight over one man’s love. But on top of that, you aren’t cut off from the rest of the world and you don’t spend all of your people time with the same group of women. When you go out on a date for the first time, you maybe spend two hours with that person, and you don’t see them again until a few days or weeks later (or more often than not, ever). But in “The Bachelor” you’re exposed to these people all the time. So when JoJo’s brother can’t fathom how she could have fallen for Ben after just “a few dates,” you have to take into context the fact that the heightened overexposure to Ben not only speeds up the dating process, but also boosts the familiarity and relationship development between the women and Ben. So it’s understandable that Ben has feelings for two different women.
The second thing is a lot more simple. Ben is a man. A 26-year-old man. And men are stupid as shit. Ben wants to keep all the women happy, and in all fairness, actually does and treats them with a high level of respect. But at the same time, Ben’s main goal is to maintain the fantasy of having two different women who satisfy his needs. Humans, and human men in particular, are polygamous in nature. So if Ben has the opportunity to be with two different women for as long as possible, he’s not going to break that off any time soon. So to prolong that love triangle, Ben subconsciously convinces himself he loves them both. Does he actually? Probably not. But again, “The Bachelor” exists in it’s on world. And, men are stupid.
Unfortunately for Ben, he’s going to have to pick soon and shatter the utopia that he’s living in. But he has not one, but two more weeks before he has to jump off that cliff. We’ll catch you then!