The Ring vs. The Chance
On August 7th, the last episode of The Bachelorette (featuring our first black bachelorette) aired and the audience collectively dropped their jaws. If you haven’t seen the episode I highly recommend you stop reading; spoilers ahead.
Often on television, strong women who value their careers are shown to have put their love lives on the back burner. Women like Mary Jane from Being Mary Jane struggle to find a long lasting relationships in their 30s and 40s. These women, of course, don’t regret their careers but, regret not being more proactive in their relationships. I think that this is something that a lot of women deal with as they grow older and have successful careers but, no one to come home to. I am DEFINITELY not saying that every woman must/wants to get married but, some of the women that do want to be married may feel this way. All of these thoughts arose for me during the last episode of The Bachelorette.
Rachel Lindsay picked between her final three suitors in the last episode and for the most part people were pretty disappointed. She had Eric, the passionate straightforward and honest guy, who had grown as a person and a lover right before our eyes over the past few months. Next was Peter, the suave and mature guy with reservations about a lifetime with Rachel and the process of The Bachelorette in general. Last, she had Bryan, the passionate and energetic guy that was practically in love with her from the moment he saw her. My mother and I were team Eric and he was the first to go home of the three. It seemed like half of the audience was shocked that she kept Peter when she wanted to get married and he said that he didn’t plan to propose to her at the end of the process because he wanted to date a little longer than 2-3 months before getting engaged. He even told her that before she sent Eric home and she said that she wanted to send Eric home because he wasn’t ready (she was the first girl he ever loved) even though Peter told her he wasn’t ready and Eric planned on proposing to Rachel if she chose him. I should’ve stopped watching at this point because this is when Rachel officially stopped making sense.
She had private dates with Peter and Bryan but, her date with Peter was a little more interesting. Anyone watching could see that they had strong feelings for one another but, neither one of them were willing to bend for the other. I understood both sides: Rachel put her entire life on hold to go on this show with the intentions of being engaged at the end and Peter didn’t feel comfortable being engaged to someone after such a short amount of time. Personally, I think that if Rachel really felt that way, she should have sent him home weeks before then because he was confident in his decision not to propose since going to her hometown and told her family he wanted to spend more time just dating her. Of course, Peter should have never went on The Bachelorette because apparently the ring is an expected part of the process but, he made it clear he wouldn’t propose and Rachel should have sent him home then and there. Instead she saved him in two more rose ceremonies. This was because she had deeper feelings for him and than the other men that she sent home. So if she loved him enough to consider compromising what she wanted why did she send him home instead of Bryan? Bryan won The Bachelorette and people believe that it was because Rachel wouldn’t compromise with Peter even though she felt so passionately about him she couldn’t stop thinking about him during her date with Bryan her current fiance. The deal breaker was that Peter wouldn’t propose to her…yet.
The finale felt so off because the passion between Peter and Rachel, whether you were team Peter or not, felt so much stronger than the relationship between Rachel and Bryan. Rachel is a lawyer and most of the men considered her to be “the perfect package”. Just like Mary Jane and other career driven women who were getting older and tired of being alone. Wouldn’t you rather be in a relationship with someone you have strong feelings for over being engaged just to be engaged. Especially because Rachel and Bryan had not even set a date for their wedding and planned to just get to know each other. That’s exactly what Peter wanted to do just without the title of being engaged which can STILL be broken. I felt bad for Bryan and disappointed in Rachel by the time the episode ended because it felt like Bryan just was left over for Rachel.
In the end, Rachel got exactly what she wanted: a ring. However, in the terms of sustainability, did she make the right decision?