Ben Higgins‘ hometown dates was pretty much a disaster. JoJo’s family hated him, Amanda got her heart broken and Caila couldn’t muster up the courage to say, “I love you”. You’d think The Bachelor would only be able to go up from there but you’d be wrong. Ben managed to cross every line imaginable on the overnight dates. In one episode Ben, who started the season the most likable of Bachelors, has completely turned. After the events of the overnights, Ben may just be on his way to become one of the most controversial leads in the show’s 20 season history.
1. Saying “I Love You” to Two Women
Ben made a lot of blunders and cruel moves in week 9 of The Bachelor. One of the chief ones was telling both JoJo and Lauren that he was in love with them. The heart might want what the hearts wants, so Ben can’t necessarily control how he feels. The thing that Ben can control is what he says and does. Both ladies were pretty clear that they understood Ben couldn’t say, “I love you,” back to them. This sounds insane for normal people but the girls knew they were on a TV show and Ben is dating other women. They were expecting to hear “I love you,” back. They were unsure if he could even say it.
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The bottom line is that Ben shouldn’t have say it, even if it was true. Ben is only going to propose to one woman at the end of season. One singular women. He has to make a choice to spend the rest of his life with one person. He shouldn’t play with both women’s emotions telling them that he loves two of them. This isn’t America’s Next Sister Wives it is The Bachelor. However you feel about either lady, it is cruel to tell someone you love them one week and propose to another person the next week. No matter how things shake out in The Bachelor this is what is going to happen. Either JoJo or Lauren are going to go from ecstasy to having their feelings of love reciprocated to heartbreak when Ben doesn’t propose to them in the space of two weeks. The Bachelor moves at an insane pace but even that is too much emotional whiplash.
2. Using All The Fantasy Suites
The Bachelor is never going to be so crass to confirm if all the couples who go to a Fantasy Suite actually engage in some physical congress. Kaitlyn admitted in her season of The Bachelorette that she had slept with Nick Viall but that was of her own volition. It made for good TV when Kaitlyn confessed to Shawn. I find it hard to believe that The Bachelorette forced Kaitlyn to confess that she knew Nick, biblically speaking. The franchise does have some sense of modesty and privacy in that area. So it’s true we don’t know if Ben actually slept with the final three ladies, but Ben totally slept with all three ladies.
It’d be hard to imagine how he didn’t sleep with JoJo and Lauren. Ben told them both after weeks of dating that he loved them. They were alone for an entire night, without cameras, in a romantic bedroom. In any normal circumstances that is recipe for love making and it totally happened. So the only question mark is if Ben slept with Caila and I think there is plenty of coded language to suggest that he did. Caila was extremely giddy after her overnight date with Ben. Caila talked about how wonderful it was that they “slept together as a couple.” If that’s not euphemism of boning I don’t know what else it could mean.
Even if Ben didn’t sleep with all three ladies, sharing a Fantasy Suite definitely sends a message. It means the relationship is moving forward and progressing. There is a connection worth exploring and it’s clear in the case of one lady, Ben didn’t feel that way. Maybe these two offenses would be excusable if the last and biggest didn’t happen. There is no excuse though for how Ben treated Caila.
3. Letting Caila Down Hard
I’ll admit that I’m not the biggest Caila fan. In fact, I find her to be mostly irritating and too giggly. There’s no getting around the fact that Caila was treated completely unfairly by Ben. Multiple times over the season, Ben has been told by various ladies that they are in love with him or that their feelings for Ben are very strong. Ben has almost always respectfully turned them down in that moment. He doesn’t feel the same way about them and Ben has said it is “unfair” to keep them around when it won’t happen in the future. It’s a perfectly respectable, even admirable, course of action. So where was that sense of decorum and respect when it came to Caila’s confession? Nowhere in sight.
Caila, was giving some serious Olivia crazy vibes thinking that Ben didn’t need to tell her that he loved her, he just said it with eyes and body language. I wasn’t there but Ben really didn’t seem receptive to Caila’s multiple declarations of love. Ben’s reaction to Caila’s adoration were more akin to my reaction when one of my grandmother’s friends tell me I’m handsome. It’s appreciation but it is also embarrassment and a deep sense of unease.
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Ben’s full of something if he thinks anyone believes his line that he wasn’t sure of his feelings for Caila. God bless Caila for calling him out on it. Ben didn’t discover he wasn’t in love with Caila in 48 hours’ time, he knew in that moment he didn’t love her but he still kept Caila around AND went into the fantasy suite with her. The emotional manipulation is strong with this one.
But what do you think? Is Ben a nice guy in an unwinnable situation? Did you think he crossed the line or lines with the final three ladies?
The Bachelor season 20 airs Mondays at 8pm on ABC.
(Images courtesy of ABC)