The Bachelorette: The Good One Just Got Away

Forget spooning with horses. Where’s all the real intimacy?
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Monica Gabriel Marshall
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Forget spooning with horses. Where’s all the real intimacy?

This year, we’ve decided to follow along with all of The Bachelorette action. Say what you will about the show, but there are lessons to be learned from it (even if just what not to do), and we’ll be watching to see just what they are.

During last week’s episode, we took off to Argentina with our bachelorette and her suitors and suffered along with JoJo as she perseverated over the guys who didn’t quite fit her swished-back hair, J.Crew-model-meets-cowboy type. Wells, the slight, bookish-looking radio DJ, had his first one-on-one with JoJo but was sent packing before they even got to the main course. As for the second guy to be sent home, well, JoJo couldn’t decide. She needed more time during their upcoming group vacation to Argentina to get to know these guys, so everyone except Wells ended up with a rose and a lot of pressure to make sparks fly quickly.

Here is what went down on the seventh episode of The Bachelorette.

There Is No Comforting Wounded Pride

Still in Argentina, the lucky survivors have another chance to win JoJo's heart before the next rose ceremony at the end of the episode. This means someone gets a one-on-one date and the rest have to duke it out on a group date.

Alex, the short, muscular U.S. Marine whose claim to fame was the facilitation of the demise of the infamous Chad, had yet to have one-on-one time with JoJo—but he finally got his chance.

Did JoJo save the best for last?

It didn't appear so. While JoJo did put on a brave face, it was clear to anyone watching that JoJo was not into it. Still, we were all forced to watch the two of them try to conjure emotional intimacy while spooning with a horse. That's right, the day's activity was observing legit gauchos—or Argentine ranchers—do some impressive horse whispering. In the same way we get to sample the cuisine after an impressive cooking demonstration, JoJo and Alex (dressed in traditional garb) got to snuggle with a pacified horse while laying on the grass. Yup, it was as weird as it sounds.

Over dinner Alex told JoJo he was falling for her while JoJo made the yucky face. Awkwaaard. I have to give JoJo credit for telling it like it is. She told him it wouldn't be fair to keep him around for the rose ceremony because hearing how he feels made her feel gross—or in her words—not excited. Ouch.

Needless to say, Alex was p.o.'d. when JoJo tried to put her arm through his as she walked him to the car—in fact, he was cold as ice. He avoided eye contact and muttered something like "take care" under his breath. In the confessional scene following his departure, JoJo was distressed about the fact that she couldn't find a way to comfort him, but the truth is, that's not her job. Rejection is never fun, and when you tell a guy you're not into it, the last thing he wants to hear is you telling him what a great guy he is and how he's going to make some other girl so happy one day. In truth, the desire to make him feel better is more about pacifying her feelings than his.

Who Thinks a Slumber Party with All Her Boyfriends Sounds Like a Good Time?

So much for an exciting group date exploring the city of Buenos Aires. The planned events get canceled due to rain, and JoJo has to improvise.

I have an idea, let's put you in a hotel room with all of the guys you're dating on a rainy afternoon. Let's also eat junk food and drink booze, give each other back massages, play truth or dare, and watch TV in bed together.

This would be anyone's worst nightmare, but not JoJo—this was how she decided to spend her group date with Robbie, Chase, and James Taylor. As you might suspect, it brought out the worst in everybody. James thought it would be sexy to see how many french fries JoJo could cram in his mouth, and Robbie was dared to strip down to his boxer briefs and streak down the hall (classy). Chase was pretty quiet the whole time, likely not sure whether making a fool of himself or being invisible would serve him best—he chose invisible, and I can't say that I blame him. Who got the rose? The guy who took his clothes off, of course.

Sigh... it's hard to imagine how any of these shenanigans are bringing clarity to JoJo's feelings for these guys.

The One That Got Away

I don't know about you, but I was rooting for James. This sensitive songwriter was the last of the misfits, the last of the guys who didn't fit the slightly rugged J.Crew model aesthetic that JoJo seemed to prefer. But the best thing about James was that JoJo said she could tell he had all the qualities that would make a loving and caring husband and father. She hasn't said that about any of the others.

Still, James was sent home at the end of episode 7 because, for whatever reason, something was just not right and she had to send someone home. At least that's what I tell myself. I just hope that JoJo isn't placing too much importance on hot and heavy make-out sessions and overlooking the deeper qualities required in a future husband and father to her children. Because one is harder to replicate than the other.

When Was the Last Time Anyone Asked JoJo About Herself?

Honestly, since episode 1, I do not recall a single time when any of these guys asked JoJo one meaningful question about herself. Hopefully, this is going down behind the scenes, because if it's not, JoJo should take a step back and re-examine her relationships with all of them. This is a classic male dating mistake, and it doesn't necessarily mean the guy is a narcissist. It could mean that these guys are still pretty nervous around JoJo or that they're more concerned with impressing her than learning about her. I get that this is a competition, but if you're really pursuing a woman's heart and not just out to beat the other dudes, maybe it would be smart to get to know the woman you're pursuing.

And on JoJo's end, rather than always probing these guys about how they're feeling, she would be better served by encouraging them to ask her some questions for a change. Honestly, if these guys started making more of an effort to find out a little more about JoJo we might stop hearing the same "I think I'm falling for you" lines over and over again, and actually get to see some real intimacy on this show.

Next Up: Meet the Parents

Now that JoJo is down to four hunky dudes with the exact same haircut, it’s time to meet their parents. Next week will bring the infamous hometown dates. I’m honestly dreading the supreme discomfort of the situation that awaits next episode. The gigantic elephant in the room of “JoJo is dating three other dudes!!!” might be a little more than I can handle. But I’ll be watching so that you don’t have to. Stay tuned.

Photo Credit: ABC