On August 7, Bachelor Nation clung to their TV sets as Rachel Lindsay, ABC’s latest Bachelorette, made her choice. And we still can’t stop thinking about it.
In an unexpected turn of events—complete with an emotional goodbye that had us all grabbing for the tissues—Rachel sent home the incredibly kind and genuine Peter Kraus after he couldn't promise her an engagement. Rachel’s decision to ultimately choose Bryan Abasolo, the controversial chiropractor from Miami, FL, left America feeling confused and conflicted. You could practically hear viewers across the nation shrieking: Really? That guy!?
Let’s face it: Bryan wouldn’t have been my first choice, and many other Bachelorette fans have made it clear that they feel the same way. But, after all, choosing Bryan allowed Rachel to finally get what she wanted—a ring, and the promise of forever. And who among us can blame a girl for that? In fact, the more I’ve thought about it since the finale, the more I’ve come to feel that Rachel's final four men represent the four types of individuals we all must date before finding The One.
#4: Dean Unglert
Ahhhhh, Dean. I’m not exactly sure what an actual swoon looks like, but I’m pretty sure that if I met Dean, it would happen.
Dean’s that sensitive and pure-hearted guy with the messed-up past, the one who’s just trying to find himself and create that family dynamic that he’s always longed for. Being so open and vulnerable, he’s easy to fall in love with—yet this relationship will end just as quickly as it started.
Having dated a few Deans in my life, I know that instinctive pull to nurture and love them. These are the men you fall the hardest for, and they’re the ones who will cause you the most pain when they walk away from you. Although we desperately want it to work out with the Deans of the world, it never does, because they haven't dealt with their own pain—and soon enough they’ll realize that you don’t fill that void in their lives, either.
#3: Eric Bigger
Oh, Eric, the fun-loving guy who just can’t help but be himself. Unfortunately, all Eric’s positive energy and lust for life couldn’t make up for the fact that he lacked experience. Although it’s a nice idea to be the only girl that your man has ever loved, it’s also a little frightening when you’re about to become engaged to this person.
We’ve all been here, perhaps with our first love. The guy is truly wonderful, but he’s likely to spend your entire relationship trying to figure out who he is as a significant other and what he’s supposed to be doing. Being a good partner requires taking the time and experience to understand what love means to you and learn how to navigate the merging of two lives.
Sorry, Eric. You’re great, buuuut… NEXT!
#2: Peter Kraus
Personally, I was on team Peter. It’s probably the rational decision to not want to propose to someone you just met 9 weeks ago, not to mention someone who spends every day you’re apart whispering sweet nothings to your roommates. But come on, Peter: you knew what you were signing up for! Peter represents that perfect guy who is all talk and no action.
We’ve all dated the “we” guy. You know the one—that guy who’s constantly making future plans with you, yet never seems to deliver. “We’ll get married. We’ll have kids. We’ll buy a house. We’ll travel the world. We’ll be in love forever.” Yet somehow, after years of dating, you still find yourself sitting at home alone, watching Netflix and eating ice cream straight out of the carton.
Let this relationship teach you a lesson: it’s time to start watching what your guy is doing, not just what he’s saying!
#1: Bryan Abasolo
Ultimately, our Bachelorette chose her now-fiancé Bryan. Although his arrogance and overconfidence earned him few fans among viewers, he was the only one who actually had the life experience and the chutzpah to follow through on his professed feelings for Rachel. That’s nothing to sneeze at, if you ask me.
We often compromise on that checklist we have in our minds—you know, the one telling us what we do and do not want in a relationship—because we get caught up in the idea of what could be, rather than paying attention to what actually is. Rachel told herself that she was walking out of this experience in love and with a ring, and she certainly didn’t fall short.
By choosing Bryan, Rachel showed that she understands the forever love she craves isn’t just about romance or passion. It’s about commitment, and about being with someone who is going to stand by you no matter what. Despite his arrogance, Bryan was clear about his feelings and intentions, and he followed through—and at the end of the day, that’s the only way to make it to the end with a partner.