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This season of The Bachelorette has been [*cue Chris Harrison voice*] dramatic. Hannah B. has been given the dreamiest selection of eligible bachelors I’ve ever seen on the franchise. Majority of them are tall, Southern, and could give Abercrombie models a run for their money. But some of these Knights in Shining Navy Suits didn’t even win more than five minutes of airtime with our Bachelorette. Why? Most would blame Hannah B.’s infatuation with Luke P.
Everyone, from the other contestants to the whole Bachelor Nation, was pissed that Hannah didn’t promptly dismiss the bologna-throwing, slut-shaming villain. We could all see how toxic, manipulative, and narcissist Luke P. was, so why couldn’t Hannah B.?
Even though Hannah kept Luke around for nine miserable episodes, I didn’t get mad at her. Not once. In fact, I recognized *exactly* what was happening. And if any of you have been in a toxic relationship, you probably did too.
When I was Hannah’s age, I was obsessed with a guy who was no good. In the beginning, he was charming and we bonded over our quirky senses of humor. I even convinced myself we fell in love at first sight—just like Hannah did with Luke. He called me his “wifey,” and I had never received that kind of attention from a man. I loved it, as Hannah B. did when Luke P. pronounced his love for her in week two.
Little by little, he isolated me from all my friends who, meanwhile, couldn’t understand why I was putting up with him and his belittling words. Things got even worse when I saw a text from a girl on his phone that read: “can’t tonight I’m on my period.”
Instead of him apologizing for cheating on me (apparently, it wasn’t “cheating cheating” because she was just going to send him nudes), I found myself apologizing for looking at his phone in the first place. He made the deception about my invasion of his privacy, which in turn made me ignore the bigger picture—and bigger problem—entirely.
I stayed with him for three more months because he convinced me I couldn’t do any better. I believed him. I felt like I didn’t have other options.
Now think about Hannah B.’s predicament. She had hand-picked the guys for her season, so could she ever admit to feeling disappointed by her selection? Maybe she was ignoring Luke for who he really was on purpose. Maybe she was worried that she wasn’t going to connect with anyone else in the house.
“I’m either falling in love with Luke, or Luke is making me go crazy,” Hannah confessed to Chris Harrison. When I was with my toxic boyfriend, I felt like I was losing my mind on the reg. It would take me years to realize that being “crazy in love” is actually just being consumed by an unhealthy relationship.
Luckily for me, I eventually dumped my sh*tty boyfriend after he blew up my phone with degrading messages asking where I was, when he already knew that I was with my friends. At that moment, I finally accepted who he was. I understood he wasn’t going to be someone I could change—no matter how much I wanted him to be.
After I broke up with him, he wouldn’t leave me alone. He harassed me on social media, texted me incessantly, and got in my face in public. Sounds like Luke, no? How about his un-self-aware, unapologetic shit show on Men Tell All last night?
I know we’re all happy now that Luke P. is gone, and personally, me and my rosé are rooting for Peter the Pilot. So please, don’t send another shady tweet (I see you!) complaining that it was “weak” of Hannah to tolerate Luke for so long, because as someone who’s been in a toxic relationship before, I think Hannah B. is pretty fucking strong (truly, a beast in the best way) for letting him go.