10 Signs ‘The Bachelor’ Arie Was Always the Actual Worst
On Monday night, Bachelor Nation was forced to endure one of the franchise's most painful and exploitative episodes to date: a televised, premeditated, attention-seeking breakup orchestrated by current Bachelor Arie Luyendyk Jr. after he decided to pull a Jason Mesnick and leave his newly minted fiancé for his runner-up.
Despite his best efforts to come across as a torn romantic deeply in love with two different but equally wonderful women, the message was clear: Arie cared more about views than he ever did these women. He could have easily chosen to handle the Becca breakup in private, but instead lured her to a "happy couples getaway" only to blindside her with public heartache. But lest you thought the move was out of character, we're here to set the record straight: Arie was and always will be an asshole. Here are 10 signs you may have missed.
Jef Holm, Arie's fellow Bachelorette contestant and, more notably, former friend, has actively expressed contempt for the new Bachelor. Something had to have happened to erode their friendship that drastically.
Try as he might to shrug off his Bachelor-born nickname, Arie leaned hard into his (now infamous) title as the Kissing Bandit. Annaliese was wise to point out early on that he kissed nearly every woman, and seemingly whenever there was any semblance of a lull in conversation. As Mallory Schlossberg wrote for Glamour, "He looks for any moment to go 'mmm' and put a hard stop to the conversation to get physical."
Arie went through all of the expected motions of asking women about their upbringing and past relationships, but the bulk of his conversations could be boiled down to three words: "I love that," a single, generic phrase ideal for when you're not actually listening and just want to move on to the groping already. And bonus? All that moaning makes it extra cringey.
If you're trying to downplay an alleged reputation for liking your women young, you probably shouldn't talk to them in the kind of patronizing, high-pitched tone generally reserved for little kids and ask them things like, "Can I have a hug?" after a public breakup.
The biggest point of tension in Arie and Jacqueline's relationship was that she wanted to pursue a Ph.D in chemical psychology, which requires up to six years of additional schooling. Arie, on the other hand, wanted a family right away, and for some reason saw Jacqueline's ambition as a dealbreaker for his needs. Apparently, he wants a family, but only if his wife is willing to stay home and take care of the kids instead of him.
But then having hesitations toward Lauren B. because she needed too much reassurance. It's almost as if his needs are more important to him than his partner's...
There perhaps hasn't been a more perplexing runner-up in Bachelor history than Lauren B., a perfectly nice but utterly boring salesperson from Virginia Beach. She didn't make for good television — in fact, her scenes were flat out bad — and everything down to her name was basic and bland. Sure, it could have been a bad edit, but producers had literal weeks of 24-hour footage to choose from, and this was the best they could come up with. Her one and only appeal to Arie seemed to be that she was beautiful — something he outwardly admitted on their first date. “I'm so attracted to her and I so want it to work," he said after expressing concerns about how quiet she was.
One-upping the sheepish but beloved Ben Higgins, Arie told Kendall, Lauren, and Becca he loved them, regurgitating the phrase so much that it felt more mechanical than genuine. That's not to say he couldn't have those feelings for all three women, but knowing his former fiancé would be seeing things unfold a few months later, he could have refrained out of respect. Once again, his immediate needs trumped his S.O.'s: On the day he proposed to Becca, he was still telling Lauren he loved her. That can't make for an easy watch.
Like really, what kind of monster does that? One who is totally clueless and gross, that's who!!!
It's not so much that he changed his mind — though one could argue that he almost certainly shouldn't have proposed if he was that conflicted — but that he chose to do so on camera, where Becca was at her most vulnerable, then proceeded to ignore her repeated pleas to leave her the hell alone and let her cry. He wanted validation; Becca wanted space. What a surprise that his needs took precedence for the 5000th time.