Okay. So. We now know how everything went down with Arie’s epic engagement fail. Becca’s getting a redo, Lauren’s getting major shade, and Arie is taking Juan Pablo’s place as the most hated Bachelor of all time (at first, I was soooo on board with this, but then, I too, had a change of heart and started feeling bad for Arie Jr.). But it didn’t have to happen this way, at all, if Arie handled things the way a 36 year old should handle things. Wishful thinking. We’ve gone over this in our heads more times than Becca has mentioned #doingthedamnthing, and we’ve put together some thoughts on how to deal with engagement regret. It’s a bit harder than just hating your engagement ring.
Relationships IRL don’t always have the happy endings that they do on The Bachelor - really, if what transpired on reality TV happened in OUR world, it would probably end with three totally messed up people and a lot of bad decision making to follow. Fortunately, for Becca, she’s got 25+ new guys ready to impress the hell out of her and for Arie and Lauren, well they’re going off the grid (only after interviews with Jimmy Kimmel and Good Morning America, of course) and celebrating their newly-minted engagement somewhere stunningly gorgeous, probs. Not too hard a pill to swallow.So, for the rest of us Bachelor Nation diehards, we have to get through something like this with maturity, tact, and lots of wine. Here’s how it should go down.
Photo from: @bkoof
Bask in your bliss
Okay, we’re not saying that you and your new fiancé should basically quit life following your engagement, BUT it’s a smart decision to go somewhere - just the two of you - to revel in your new soon-to-be-married roles post proposal. You just took a brand new, major step in your relationship, and you kind of need to decompress, get away from other stressors and pressures, and get reacquainted with your romantic interest. You deserve to be totally blissed out on each other, and taking time for intimacy and to grow in your partnership is key. Be silly together, overemphasize calling each other fiancé and remember why you took the plunge in the first place. Be ALL in, ahem, Arie. If you can spend all night talking to each other, laughing, imbibing, unwinding, then you might realize that he or she IS your person, and you don’t need to worry anymore.
Talk to someone you trust
With Arie and Becca, they probably didn’t have any close - non-Bachelor - mutual friends who could weigh in on the situation. But for other couples, it’s comforting to have a sounding board in a friend that knows you both, knows your relationship, how you work together, each of your strengths and faults, etc. If you’re feeling weird about your engagement and fear for its fruition, talk to someone about it, in confidence. Share your doubts, your concerns, ask questions, and ultimately glean some advice. You’ll also want to make sure that this person can dismiss their own opinions for what’s in your best interest, and recognize what’s best for your heart. A friend can really clear your head and help you get back into the game with your present proposal, or, conversely, help you figure out a way to resolve things - so that you both can move forward with your lives.
Don’t rush but don’t take too much time
One of Becca’s biggest issues with Arie was how long he kept his true feelings for Lauren from her, all the while she grew closer to him, had more time to consider their future together. While it’s important to take a moment to really think through your feelings before acting impulsively, calling off your engagement before you really have clarity, etc., you can’t let precious time go by, while your fiancé is already planning out nursery swatches for your first baby. Understand your ambivalent feelings, whether they’re enduring or fleeting, and make them known to your intended sooner rather than later. The more time you let elapse makes for a much more crushing blow to the other person.
Consider your partner’s heart
Another one of the greatest problems with Arie and Becca’s demise, was that Becca allowed Arie to find closure with Lauren, but Arie took it as an opportunity to explore ‘what if’ with her. They were never on the same page. Yes, Arie was transparent with Becca about how much he was mourning, but he wasn’t as honest about the reasons he wanted to reach out to Lauren - and how he knew after talking to Lauren, hearing her voice, reconnecting, that he was totally done with trying to make their own relationship/engagement work, and wanted Lauren back 100 percent. If there is ever a thought that you might not be over someone else, or that you’re actually more in love with them, then DO NOT plan a proposal. Ever. Understand that your decision to propose means that the other person will never be able to experience that for the first time again.
Don’t use your canceled engagement to put another ring on it
The worst part of allllll the After the Final Rose episodes was Arie’s quickness to end his engagement with Becca and slide a ring on Lauren’s finger no sooner than 5 seconds later. If you’re ever calling off an engagement with one person, don’t fiancé up with your ‘true love’ right off the bat. Instead, get back to dating them, growing with them, learning about your relationship and finding out whether getting engaged is even an option right now. Being hasty is always a red flag that you’re a hot mess. Handing out proposals is never the right thing to do. So just stop.
ALWAYS be Becca at the end of the day
But if you’re the Lauren, then do your best to shut down the haters and not let their shade dull your sparkle. Also, don’t feel bad about slowing everything down. You don’t need to accept a proposal right away, in fact, you need to process your feelings and be the more mature one - the one who can handle being a girlfriend or boyfriend first. Without calling Neil Lane in the first chance you get.
If you’re the girl who he calls of his engagement for, then make sure you’re as in love with him as he is with you - and if you are, then the case is closed. Love each other, forget the past, and move forward into a happily-wedded future. Just make sure before you get married, you discuss these things first!