I can understand how Arie got himself into this mess.
I am indecisive, sometimes painfully so. Occasionally, I don’t know what I want until I wake up in the middle of the night, realizing I’ve already made the wrong choice. It's awful. But how Arie handled his flip-flop was all new levels of fucked up.
"My heart just isn't in it and that's the thing that kills me, so I've decided to break off the engagement," Arie says during the post-engagement confessional. He can't stop thinking about Lauren. He's realized he's made the wrong decision.
Breaking up with Becca wasn't wrong—he shouldn’t marry someone he doesn’t love just because he feels bad. But what is wrong is that after he broke up with her, he tried to pass some of the blame off on her—he wanted her to tell him it was okay so he doesn't have to feel guilty.
"I feel like I've been pretty upfront with you," he says about his struggles to get over Lauren. "I feel like you saw this coming," he tells Becca, who obviously did not.
Let's get something straight: He shouldn't have proposed to Becca in the first place.
"Right, you were conflicted, but you should have then thought about whether you were ready to get engaged," Becca says to him during the only unedited clip in reality TV history. "He said that he's in love with me and he's in love with her and he had no idea what he was going to do until this morning. Does that not terrify him? How could you get down on one knee if you weren't sure until, like, three hours ago?" Lauren asks as she drives away in the breakup van. "I believe Arie when he says he's falling in love with both women and I think that's something that's entirely possible, however, if he's this conflicted at this point, I think going forward with a proposal is absolutely the wrong thing to do," Bekah—the 23-year-old contestant everyone thought was too immature to understand the love thing—tells Chris Harrison at the live-viewing party.
Honestly, this is the kind of thing that makes this show hard to watch—where is Chris Harrison? Where are Arie's producers to tell him, Yo, you don't have to propose to anyone. In fact, please don't?
Arie got swept up in it. He's on a reality TV show where he is supposed to get engaged—there's a lot of pressure, a lot of build up, and so much production that I'm sure it can be hard to process that this is also real life—and so, despite admitting THAT MORNING that he didn't know what he wanted to do, he proposed to someone. This is how we get 72-day marriages and a lot of post-After the Final Rose breakups.
It's supremely fucked up and wrong, but I can empathize. What I cannot get past, however, is this breakup.
"I feel terrible,"Arie says leading up to the conversation with Becca. "I feel sick to my stomach right now." Yes, of course you do, because you asked someone to marry you and now you're going to tell her that you, in fact, want to be with someone else. AND YOU NEED TO OWN THAT.
That’s how this works. You don’t get to upend someone’s life and come out looking like the good guy. Just ask Jason Mesnick—nine years later he’s still being paraded out to talk about how awful what he did to Melissa is.
But Arie out-Mesnicked Mesnick.
"I wanted to tell you in person, and I wanted it—because I felt like it would be good for us to talk about this now and not have to face After the Final Rose," he says, as two cameras focus on both faces to capture every moment of this breakup for a split screen to be aired, live, on After the Final Rose.
Could he have given her some sort of heads up so she didn’t jump into his arms when he arrived? So she didn’t start to unpack for what she thought was a romantic weekend with her fiancé? Could he have requested the two have a private conversation away from the cameras so he could tell this woman that when he said he chose her every day for the rest of his life, he really meant every day for a few weeks?
Perhaps not—those ABC contracts are thorough, I'm sure.
After Becca gets up from the couch, Arie wanders around helplessly, seemingly unsure of what to do. God, I thought, he’s so indecisive he doesn’t even know when to leave! I wondered, frankly, if the producers were making him stick around until she started to cry. But no, I realized, he wasn’t leaving because he was waiting for her to tell him it's fine. To absolve him of his prickishness.
He follows her to the bedroom. He knocks on the bathroom door. He wants to just sit down and talk about it some more—but then he doesn't have anything else to say besides "I want you to know how I'm feeling." They sit there in silence, while he waits for her to tell him that it's okay, she gets it, she's upset but wishes him the best, whatever the magic words are that will let him walk away feeling good about himself.
"I'm not, like, going to hug you goodbye," Becca says to him as he waits, awkwardly. And that, right there, is why she's better than this franchise—she's not going to pretend like this is part of a fairytale storyline. Becca's not falling for it. She's not forgiving him for being a dick.
I hope Becca's not the next Bachelorette. I hope she gets far, far away from this TV show and its "unedited," "most emotional scenes ever." But if she does become the next Bachelorette, I might watch—because I suspect she's not going to be down for more of this BS.