If you, like me, watched the Bachelor Finale and read some recaps and reactions from viewers, then you’ll know that the general consensus is that Nick should have chosen Raven and Nick/Vanessa are an awkward couple that constantly butts heads. Thus, Nick chose wrong and is surely in for a relationship full of conflict and unhappiness.
Here’s the issue I have with people’s reactions towards Nick/Vanessa and whether he should have picked Raven. They somehow equate “difficult discussions.” emotional moments, and not being always giggly and happy-go-lucky as “unhappy.” Raven is someone who doesn’t “bring Nick down,” while Nick and Vanessa’s conversations always seem so serious. Plus, Nick/Vanessa looked “super awkward and unhappy” during After the Final Rose (AFR).
First off, I’d just like to put this out there: I happen to think Vanessa is not only a great match for Nick; she’s a great person who knows her worth and lives an incredibly meaningful life. I find a lot to relate to with Vanessa–like me, she has a tendency to over-analyze, think out loud, worry, and get quite emotional. Along with that, though, she is also someone who comes across as compassionate, sensitive, intuitive, selfless, and yet, realistic. I find that the overthinking traits tend to go hand-in-hand with the compassion and the sensitivity–and while it doesn’t seem like something a lot of people want or value in a partner, I think these are traits that eventually, people will come to want and miss. There’s nothing wrong with these kinds of people who overthink and make no secret of their doubts of fears or emotions. They’re not “too serious,” or “always down” or “not fun.” I happen to think people like this are really interesting to be around. They’ll challenge you, have great conversations with you, and make you grow.
What I love most about the fact that Nick chose Vanessa was precisely the difference between Raven and Vanessa. While I also love Raven and think she’s a badass in her own right, it really says something when Nick chose not the woman who was seemingly simpler and easier to be around–he chose a woman who challenged him, who chose to have the difficult conversations because it was worth it–and he loved her all the more for it. One thing Raven said during AFR that stuck with me was that she always tried to make her time with Nick fun and carefree. For me, that made me think of a lot of the advice I received growing up, about dating and finding a partner. I always felt like I needed to be fun and simple and I couldn’t burden a potential partner with my emotions or fears–that would only drive him away. “Guys like girls who are fun,” I was always told. And so, I would hide my emotions, act really fun and bubbly and carefree, and choose to not talk about my problems if I was trying to impress someone.
For Vanessa to be completely open with her emotions and her doubts and her questions, and for Nick to love her because of what he saw and choose her regardless of how difficult things might get, proves that there are people who want more than just fun and simple–and holding out for something more meaningful is completely worth it. It shows that having difficult conversations is just a part of a relationship, of getting to know someone–and it doesn’t necessarily mean that the two people are at odds or incompatible. It shows that having these conversations means you care enough about each other to do so. It shows that the way to a partner’s heart isn’t just by always being easy and fun to be around. It shows that there are people who see the value in those who care, and who openly show it–even if they care a little too much. It shows that the biggest underlying factor in a successful relationship is not whether the girl is easy to be around or super fun all the time, but rather the willingness of both people to make it work in spite of anything.
I love that the “winner” was someone who was not just simple and pretty and fun. She was complicated and multifaceted and introspective and challenging. She wasn’t a Ginny–she was a Hermione. And, that gives me a little hope. It gives me a little hope that I, in all my complicated-ness and sensitivity and my tendency to overthink, do not need to simplify myself in order to make someone see my worth. I don’t need to try to be one of the guys (except feminine and hot). I don’t need to hide my feelings or pretend like I’m always happy. I can have emotions and express them freely. I can talk through my thoughts and my doubts and my questions, and know that I won’t be dismissed. And that, these characteristics aren’t ones that make a relationship too difficult to work through or too serious and not fun enough. These characteristics are precisely the ones that make a relationship worth it. I think it’s time we see the value in these traits. It’s time we realize that things are more than just fun and games.