If I Were a Spiritual Guide on The Bachelorette (Episode 3)

I’ve been a pretty faithful viewer of ABC’s The Bachelor and The Bachelorette since 2009, Jillian’s season. Some of you who have been reading this blog for a while might even remember The Bachelor Audition of 2011. Something I more often than not wish I could forget.

I watch The Bachelor because I live in America, and it is my right to zone out for two hours a week and watch trashy (ok, not always trashy, I’m a big Sean and Catherine fan) TV and drink wine with my friends.

On episode three last night, we got to witness the fight between Bachelorette Kaitlyn and the guy she is super made at right now, Kupah.

Here’s what happened. Kupah and Kaitlyn have not had much conversation time since the show started last week. When they finally sat down to talk last night during the cocktail hour, both of them entered the conversation upset at the other for not taking more time to get to know them.

Kaitlyn said Kupah didn’t come talk to her on the group date. He didn’t. Kupah said Kaitlyn was not really paying attention to him the one time they did talk in the first episode. She probably wasn’t. There were 24 other guys in the room.

Kaitlyn was clearly offended by Kupah’s confrontation, but Kupah seemed willing to talk things through. Still, Kaitlyn said she needed to “go away” and think about this. And while sitting beside an outdoor fireplace holding a glass of wine and “thinking,” she overheard Kupah telling some of the other guys what had just happened.

This is just all too much for her, she decides. TOO MUCH. Because, you know, girls never have a conversation with a guy and then immediately tell all of their girlfriends every detail about it in a group text. This never happens.

http://abc.go.com/embed/VDKA0_wsj1bivn“>So Kaitlyn goes up to Kupah mid-story, pulls him into some sort of closet-type room in the Bachelor mansion and tells him he needs to leave. No rose ceremony; just get out of here.

I’ll state this up front if it’s not already obvious by my tone, I take Kupah’s side on this one. Here’s why: Kaitlyn is letting her emotions make her decisions for her. Therefore, she is blind to what is actually happening.

A lot of girls and people, like maybe me, do this. It’s hard not to. In the moment, the emotion is so real. In the moment, the emotion is your truth. So you do what the emotion tells you to do.

Kupah, though, does not. Maybe he is shocked and maybe he is a little wierded out, but he is not as rattled by the situation (he gets angry at the end, but he’s not angry in the closet). He says it is good that they’re arguing because they can work through it. Kaitlyn says this is bad that they’re arguing already, one week into their “romance.”

This is when I as the viewer am blown away by Kupah’s mild temper (again, it doesn’t stay mild) and Kaitlyn’s rash decision to throw him off the show.

Can’t Kaitlyn see she isn’t in a state of mind to make a decision right now?

Can’t she see how great this guy is because he isn’t high-tailing it out of there after her reaction and is instead suggesting they talk things through?

At this point it is all hitting a little too close to home. Sure, she’s on reality TV. Sure, she is under a lot of stress because of this, but what we’re watching here is a pressure-cooker version of what happens in relationships all the time. Decisions made from a place of emotion rather than a place of peace and thoughtfulness.

If I were a producer on the show who was not concerned with TV ratings and solely concerned with Kaitlyn’s mental health, I would have pulled her aside in that moment and told her this:

Kaitlyn, your anger right now is not your truth. In fact, your anger right now is probably masking other emotions, like shame, because deep down you are embarrassed for being called out by Kupah. And maybe sadness too, because Kupah hasn’t initiated much with you. This is ok. Feel the emotion. I will sit here with you while you do. Here, let’s walk back to the outdoor fireplace. Let’s put down that glass of wine. Let’s take seeeeeeveral deep breaths.

Then I would ask her, What’s actually making you angry?

Sadly, I have not (yet) been hired by ABC to provide spiritual guidance on The Bachelor, but this is what I would do.

Once Kaitlyn had stopped drinking and taken six or seven deep breaths, I would tell her that it is ok to feel whatever you feel, but it is not ok to make big decisions from that intense place of feeling. If you keep doing this, this show will destroy you. Be counter-intuitive. Don’t do what you feel like doing. Feelings are not your truth but, rather, they are a path to your truth. Ask yourself why you feel what you feel. Then, we can get somewhere on this show.

I have a hunch, because of previews I’ve seen, that Kaitlyn will continue to rely on feelings as a guide during her Bachelorette journey. This makes me completely unhopeful that she will find love on this show, but I am also really grateful for the cautionary tale she is providing.

May it be a reminder to all us emotionally driven—or gifted, if you prefer to call it—people out there. Emotions are not your truth; they are a path to it.

No Comments

  1. Jennifer DeFrates/Heaven Not Harvard on May 26, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    I am not a fan of such shows because I want to go in and solve the arguments, manage the issues, resolve conflicts and counsel them. The conflict and hurt feelings make me feel crazy just watching from my living room. Your response though is pretty much dead on. When we let emotions dictate our responses, they come from a place of wild hurt most of the time. We can’t do that. Even in the bible, God tells us what when we are angry, we should go sit on our beds and search our own hearts. Take a time out was invented in Psalms! I have found that when I act in emotion, I haven’t usually even figured out what I really am feeling or what I really want as an outcome. Not healthy and long-term, not how positive relationships survive.

  2. Mary Graham on May 27, 2015 at 8:24 am

    I’m certainly not ‘audience appropriate’ for your blog but I love your parents and Jenna. They make me want to know you. (But all I have so far is your blog!). I appreciate your posts and this morning was reminded of a quote from one of my dearest friends, Marilyn Meberg, who has said to me for all the many years I’ve know her, “Emotions have NO brains!”

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