Fans of the Bachelor franchise know full well that most of the couples to walk away with a Neil Lane rock and a legion of fans and haters end up calling their relationship quits after a few months. Last year’s Bachelor and his fiancée Lauren Bushnell seemed like they’d have a better shot at actually making it down the aisle, if only because they got their own Freeform series Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?. But on last night’s episode, Ben confessed that he’s not exactly ready to say “I do.”
As the two planned their televised nuptials, the pressure had been building.
As you’d expect a bride-to-be to do, Lauren had been going to town with all the details, and it was clearly making Ben uncomfortable. Finally, in a therapy session, Ben got super-honest and emotional about where he is with the game plan. “I don’t want us to rush it,” he said. “I think making a commitment, like marrying somebody, involves knowing what you’re getting into. There’s still things that we need to know. And I would rather do that now than get into… after a wedding and then, all of a sudden, sit down and be like, ‘What the hell did we just do?’ I think this thing sped up real fast, and we haven’t had a second to breathe. We both started to know each other. We were engaged. Like, it’s weird. But now it’s time not to rush anything else.”
In order to get an accurate read on how the couple should proceed, their therapist had Lauren put on a wedding dress.
Sounds like pure torture, but um, apparently it worked? Ben got teary and told Lauren, “I’m not leaving you. I’m not. Don’t think that for a second … No matter what is said or what I express to you, none of it comes back to me ever not being your husband at all. When I say that, even think about not being your husband, I’ll get the tears again…”
So, the two aren’t breaking up. But Ben’s not ready to tie the knot.
“I think when it comes to the wedding, I feel like we have so much to figure out that it’s hard for me at this point to really feel comfortable getting married,” he explained.
You know what, dude? Fair. Marriage is a serious commitment, hard work, and requires a solid foundation. What it is not is a never-ending fairy tale, regardless of what TV producers would have us believe. Good for Ben for getting (actually) real about that.
Of course Lauren was surprised and upset! She had all of these plans in mind, but better that she knew exactly where Ben stood.
Lauren quickly came to peace with putting the wedding off.
Conveniently, Ben and Lauren just happened to go to a diner where they met Ed and Toots, a couple who has been married for 70 years.
“Meeting them and talking with them put everything in perspective,” Lauren told the camera. “Ed had cold feet, too, and Toots gave him the time that he needed. And it made me realize that if Ben needs a little more time to feel comfortable getting married, that he should really have it because in the end, it won’t matter if this wedding’s a little bit later.”
In the end, their relationship probably will be stronger for it.
Look, I don’t think that argument is bullshit. I could see how anyone in their position could easily fall into autopilot—get engaged on national TV, get offered another show, get offered a TV wedding special, blah blah, just go through the motions without really taking a step back to consider the fact that you’re about to sign up to spend your life with this person you barely know. Ahhh! That should terrify anyone who takes marital vows seriously. It seems these two do. So maybe that’s a sign that in the long-run, they actually will last.