5 Lessons from Bachelor in Paradise

5 Lessons from Season 4 Bachelor in Paradise (thus far)

Jenny Apple, Founder and Matchmaker, Jenny Apple Matchmaking

It is finally here!!! After a brief cancellation scare/dramatic suspension and rumors of misconduct, the fourth season of Bachelor in Paradise is back in all the debauchery and glory. Thank you ABC and Chris Harrison for bringing us the drama and entertainment that was Chad and Ashley I from last year, and now a whole new cast of thirsty singles ready to expose their insecurities and egos, vulnerabilities and romantic or physical aspirations during their summer in paradise to an excited #BachelorNation and fans nationwide.

With BIP just starting up again, we have a lot to assess right from the start. Aside from a briefly awkward sex talk on mutual/verbal consent between adults, the first two weeks/four episodes have been fantastic, and there is a lot to learn from the mishaps and decisions of this year’s cast.

Lesson #1

Don’t Rush Love

Usually when you meet someone and there is a rush of emotions mixed with arousal/hormones, it is your body responding to stimulus and can equal more of a longing or lust. Having physical desires and 'chemistry' does NOT equal true love, and even in an accelerated environment like BIP, when you’re falling for someone, it probably means you are rushing. Examples of trying to rush love? Corrine/DeMario, Jasmine and Matt, Kristina and Dean, Lacey and Diggy, and we will most likely see this happen over and over again this season.

When you put all your expectations and assumptions into a person you just met, there isn’t enough time to really see if that person is genuinely interested in you and vice versa or it is just lust. There isn’t time to see their character or how they behave and if you really like them as a person or are just attracted to their physicality/body/dreamy eyes. Slow down. Ask questions. Watch their behavior. Slowly let down your guard. In reverse order, this is asking for heartache and disappointment.

Lesson #2

Don’t Force Love

If someone you like and you invest time and emotions into doesn’t put you first or tells you that you should be open to meeting someone else, you need to listen to your feelings. If you want an open relationship that is one thing, but if you are seeking monogamy, remember that most people (especially men) will tell you what they want and if they aren’t ready (if they are being honest with themselves). If they tell you they kiss another girl, that is a good sign you should walk run away, and fast.

Being with someone you like shouldn’t feel forced. Example- Kristina and Dean, Alex with Amanda, Lacey and XYZ.

Lesson #3

Mutual Love is the Best Love

Reciprocity is the respectful way you treat a friend, so why wouldn’t you want that in a potential lifelong partner? Mutual love is the only way to build. You need the foundation of having mutual affection, attention, and interest (think- values, physical attraction, AND trust) before you can enter into a healthy relationship. Example of the beginnings of a mutual love- Derek and Taylor. Hopefully we will see more couples start to form and last over the summer.

While physical attraction makes up a big component of this and is a large factor when you are in an environment such as BIP, the most important way to determine if you will have long-term success is two mature people who communicate their wants and needs well, want similar things in the future, are attracted to one another and have fun together. Anything less than that is a recipe for disaster and Kristina- I am talking to you girl. There were so many signs that Dean just wasn’t as invested or mutually interested (or at least the edits would allow us to believe that), and you definitely need someone who is responsible with your feelings but first and foremost to respect your own wishes and needs! You are a strong, capable, beautiful woman, and once you start setting boundaries and acting like it, men will line up!