I must say, last night’s episode of The Bachelor: The Women Tell All was pretty juicy last night. I usually skim over that yawny episode, but with last night’s Rozlyn v. Chris Harrison battle and Jake seeming not very happy at all as he talked about how “very happy” he was, well, I was in gape-mouthed heaven.
But one thing I didn’t love was seeing my faaaaavorite girl on the show—Gia—falling for The Bachelor Myth. What is that, you ask?
The Bachelor “Say It” Myth: If you don’t open up and say you love and want to marry him, that it’s your fault you’re not getting a rose. No, no, no! It’s just not true. Don’t fall for the hype, Gia, it’s not your fault!
As Gia said last night:
“I never showed him how I felt, and I never was able to verbally get it out, and, you know, I’ve been through a lot, and I’ve had some really bad breakups and my heart’s been broken, and I was so scared the whole time to put it out there. And to tell him. And by the time I figured it out, and…he sent me home.”
That’s when Chris Harrison asked, “What was it that held you up?” Here’s what Gia said:
“There were so many nights I sat there and I said to myself, “Okay, this is gonna be the time, you’re gonna tell him how you feel, you’re gonna just get it out. And I just…I’d freeze up, so. . . At that moment, I knew that I had fell in love with him, and I thought maybe by some slim chance he knew who I really was and how I really felt without me saying? But, you forget, there’s two other girls who are telling him, “I love you,” telling him, “I want to marry you.” And there’s me who’s just saying nothing. I wish I had more confidence. I wish I’d had more confidence, that he would have chosen me.”
Now, her lack of confidence probably was an issue. But you know what definitely wasn’t an issue? Gia not saying, “I love you” or “I want to marry you.” We’re human beings; we can tell through body language, eye contact and energy if we like each other even without words. Yes, being verbally open is healthy, and as we grow and gain more confidence, we get better at doing that. But we all need to do it at our own pace! Gia, you wonder if there was a slim chance Jake knew how you felt? Of course there was—and it was fatter than slim! I mean, come on, we’ve seen plenty of bachelorettes say “I love you,” and end up crying under some glaring light on the front steps of a mansion the next day.
Take The Bachelor Open Up Myth to heart. Verbalizing how you feel to a guy before you’re ready isn’t the answer. You can play the shoulda woulda game your whole life. That women, you should have told a guy how you felt or said more in the email than you did. Or that guys, you should have called the next day, or kissed her when you had the chance. Yes, what you say and when you call matters. But it’s not all there is. What’s most important is the connection you feel as a couple, and if one half of that couple ain’t feelin it—i.e. Jake not feeling it for Gia—then so it goes.
I’m glad that Gia did learn a few things from the show. “I really learned how to express myself,” she said. “I really learned what I’m looking for, what I want, what I need. And next guy that I meet, I’m telling him how I feel.”
It’s a good way to go forward, but for those who relate, don’t blame yourself for what you wish you’d done or should have said in the past. If you feel it, say it. And if you’re like Gia and you require, you know, a little more than four dates with TV cameras all around you to declare your undying love to a guy you met a few weeks ago, then forgive yourself for that and go with what feels right in your heart! Open up when you’re ready. Use your words when you can mean them. And let the connection between your most real and natural selves guide you along the way until then.