How far will one man go to blaze past a woman’s emotional needs and desires to fulfill his own passion for attention on reality television? Turns out, pretty damn far.
On this week’s episode of “The Bachelorette,” contestant Chris Randone went in “guns blazing,” with the goal of rekindling the spark with Becca Kufrin. This meant he artfully ruined a “debate” in a state made for lovers, wrote in a journal while ominous music played, nearly got into a physical altercation with another aggro contestant, and mansplained the Bachelorette’s own feelings to her.
All in all, it was a rousing fail for his dual goals of “winning” Becca Kufrin’s affections and “winning” more time on national television. However, it was a rousing success if you’re looking for an instructional manual on how not to enter a relationship with an adult human woman.
Last week, Chris helpfully illustrated the opposite of “big dick energy” to “Bachelorette” viewers. This week, he did us the favor of demonstrating that no matter how hard you “fight for what you want,” you can’t force a person to like you back. No, not even if you stare into her eyes really, really intently. The harder Becca tried to explain her (nonexistent) feelings for him, the more insistently Chris interrupted with deft counterarguments like “I’m not disagreeing with you, but I need you to not think about that anymore.” At last, Becca put her foot down and sent him home.
Frustrated daters of the world (especially men), please see Chris’s failure and take heed: You can’t overrule someone who doesn’t want to date you, nor can you change their feelings by telling them you need them to feel differently.
For his part, Chris has issued an apology on Instagram, saying, “Thinking I was entitled was not only embarrassing but a disgusting mindset.” Viewers will have an opportunity to see if he has truly changed when he joins “Bachelor in Paradise.”
HuffPost’s Emma Gray and Claire Fallon chatted with former “Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in Paradise” contestant Derek Peth about Chris’ toxic flame-out:
Claire Fallon: He knocks on Becca’s door.
Emma Gray: I’ve never seen someone look less pleased at the person standing outside their door. She’s probably like, “I thought I was gonna get a fucking moment to just lay on my bed, have a goddamn snack, order some room service, and go to bed.”
Fallon: Yeah. “Drink an entire bottle of wine until I pass out and forget that this ever happened.”
Derek Peth: Ominously, he’s still wearing his coat the whole time during the conversation, too.
Gray: There’s no time to get comfortable!
Peth: What lack of self-awareness wearing this coat. He flipped the collar up...
Fallon: His outfit is very ― and this is one of my favorite archetypes ― his outfit is very “overly corporate boyfriend in a Hallmark movie.” He had this dainty little pointy-toed beige boots on, nice camel coat with a high collar. That is not a warm, accessible, cuddly outfit.
So they sit down, and he says, “There have been all these distractions for the past week and a half. I haven’t been able to talk to you about how I feel and show you how serious I am. I strongly believe I could see myself marrying you at the end of this, 100 percent.”
Gray: She’s just like, “What has changed? What?” There’s no evidence that either of them would consider marrying each other, ever.
Fallon: She’s like, “I don’t get it, because you just, last week, were [saying] maybe you would go home.” He’s like, “Oh, I was just upset and hurt; I didn’t think that you cared.” She’s like, “I don’t buy that. That doesn’t track with me.” And Chris whips out this thing: “I’m not disagreeing with you, but here’s the thing: I need you to not think about that anymore.”
I need you to not think about that anymore.
Gray: It’s usually very effective when someone just tells you what your thoughts should be.
Fallon: Based on his needs.
Gray: It’s usually both very effective and also feels great to receive.
Fallon: What’s amazing is, it’s so honest. Because he’s like, “What is necessary for me to get what I want is for you to think differently about me. So I’m just going to tell you to think differently about me, and then I’m going to get what I want.”
Peth: He’s staring at her, now, too, and telling her what to think, and totally just trying to overpower her brain. “You will give me the rose tomorrow!”
Fallon: He’s like, “My words and the fact that I’m here should give you the reassurance that you need about how I feel.”
Gray: She’s completely pissed off at this point. She’s like, “This has dominated every single thing I’ve done this week.” And she tells him that, and he’s like, “So what do you want?”
Fallon: “So what do you want.”
Gray: She’s like, “Literally, for you to get the fuck out.”
Fallon: He says, “We’ve had this adversity but it’s not created by you and I,” and she’s like, “I would definitely disagree with that.” He’s like, “Well, you can disagree, but I’m not going to let it keep me from going after what I want.”
Gray: “Which is you.”
Fallon: So you really have to be on the same page about some things.
Gray: He seems to think that he doesn’t need her buy-in. If he just says, “This is what I want and I want to marry you,” he’s never stopped to think that it might require her also wanting to marry him.
Peth: It goes back to last week when the Wills thing happened. She said no, and then [Chris] looked at [Wills]. It’s the same thing, where her feelings are irrelevant. It’s just whatever he can do, however he can change that power structure.
Fallon: I’m not saying Chris feels this way, but it reminds me of all this rhetoric of incel plans to redistribute sex. “What if we didn’t have to ask women anymore? What if instead the government made them?”
Gray: Also, he is exactly the archetype of the dude that feels, “Well, I was conventionally not attractive for a period in my life, so I was denied access to women. And now that I’ve overcome that, this is what I deserve. I deserve that attention, and it’s not about you, it’s about me and what I deserve and what I was denied at some point in my life.”
It’s just this very male-specific thing that’s so astounding to me. You don’t get to just take things from other people, that include their bodies and their emotions.
Fallon: It’s interesting because it’s a very immature mindset, and I think women are forced to grow out of it or to not have that feeling because there are no structures in society that indulge those feelings. And you see these adult men who have never had to learn that they can’t just find an authority or a source of power that will ensure that they get what they want without the other person’s agreement.
Peth: It’s such a regression to winning again, where you think that you can just grab her by the hair and take her back to your cave. It doesn’t work that way, dude.
For more on “The Bachelorette,” listen to “Here to Make Friends”:
Do people love “The Bachelor,” “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in Paradise,” or do they love to hate these shows? It’s unclear. But at “Here to Make Friends,” we both love and love to hate them — and we love to snarkily dissect each episode in vivid detail. Podcast edited by Nick Offenberg.