As a faithful viewer of “The Bachelor,” I must give my two cents on why the most recent bachelor, Ben Higgins, chose the wrong girl. It was more a result of human nature than of conscious decision. Let me explain.
Ben talked of how he knew from the time that Lauren stepped out of the limo that she was special. Could it be because she was the first one out of the limo? Let’s consider this for a minute. That moment, when that first lady emerged from the limo, was the moment that all of Ben’s pent up excitement and nervousness started to release. The fact that she was the first one out of the limo might have been exactly what set her as special in his mind.
Any time two people are in an intense situation, even complete strangers, a bond is formed due to the intensity of the situation. The fact that the moment that she stepped out of the limo was the moment that the unknown started to become known to him could have been a huge tension release. People are drawn to people who give them feelings of pleasure or comfort. So it makes sense that the bond was set at that moment.
I’m sure it helped matters that Lauren acted normal and composed and didn’t come out with some odd outfit right out the gate. Looking back at the evening, it would appear that the attraction between Ben and Olivia was much more intense and he even gave Olivia the first impression rose. That proves that in Ben’s mind, at least, the connection that was formed was not quite as obvious to him at the time.
JoJo’s first impression was quite different. She emerged from the limo with a unicorn mask on her head setting the stage for a less serious interaction. She likely gave the impression that she was not to be taken seriously and that may have unconsciously stuck in Ben’s mind and went against her in the end. He kept referring to JoJo as being his best friend and someone who made him feel most like himself. On first look that sounds like just the right combo for a lasting relationship. It actually is what he should have been looking for, but a man Ben’s age isn’t quite ready for safe. He is still seeking excitement and the unknown, whether he realizes it or not.
According to some purported dating experts, when a man chooses a woman he has to feel that she is on a higher level and being with her is a step up for him. That could mean she is so beautiful that he feels she is out of his league, she makes more money than he does, or is in a better social class. Viewers of the show will remember when Ben told Lauren that she was too good for him. Bingo! There it was. The confirmation of his feeling she was above him in some way. Couple that with the known insecurity Ben possessed of feeling unlovable and it’s no wonder he would choose a woman he feels is too good for him to validate his need to feel worthy.
So why was choosing Lauren the wrong decision? It’s nothing against Lauren herself. She seems like a lovely girl and I’m sure her feelings for Ben are pure. However, Ben was concerned that everything had been so perfect with her all along and that they hadn’t had a bump in the road yet. He wondered if it was too good to be true. Well, in all honesty, it might be.
No one gets along perfectly forever. If you’ve never seen someone’s bad side then you don’t know how well you will handle it. He and JoJo had been through some rough times and so they knew more how each other reacted to unpleasant situations. Ben’s love for Lauren isn’t based on all that she is. It’s only based on all of her that he has seen. His love for JoJo was more real, even though he didn’t realize it. The fact that he felt most like himself with JoJo and that she made him feel safe proves that she was the one he should have chosen. He had no reservations about her because he felt like he truly knew her and had seen the good and the bad.
The relationships that are the truest and most lasting are ones where the participants feel safe and appreciated for who they truly are. That’s what he had with JoJo. Even Ben’s mom knew that JoJo was the right choice, but she didn’t feel it was her place to make the decision.
In the end, Ben’s decision was made based on his own insecurity and how being with Lauren helped him fill the need for validation. When he said he couldn’t imagine living without her it was because he preferred the feelings he had while with her to the ones without her. On his own he feels unlovable but by her side he feels like he must be lovable because she is better than him and how could she love him otherwise.
Once the newness wears off and they get to see each other in less than pleasant situations Ben will be back to feeling unlovable. Until he figures out how to quash his insecurities on his own and embrace his true self-worth, his relationships will be based on his need to overcome that.