The Bachelorette Season 16, Week 2 took us through Clare’s past where she showed us and her men the more vulnerable side of her.
The Bachelorette Season 16, Week 2 took us on an emotional rollercoaster and it’s time to check in on Clare! There have been overarching themes to Clare’s plan of attack each week, especially when it comes to caring for herself and her needs. This column will be a weekly update on her journey to love, but it will also serve as an update on her journey coping with her past experiences and the overarching themes she focuses on during that week.
**Please be advised that we will be discussing elements linked to Clare’s conversations during the weekly episodes which may contain topics pertaining to emotional and domestic abuse.
The Bachelorette Season 16, Week 2: Love Languages
This week gave us some insight into Clare’s past struggles with abuse. She has brought up her experience on Juan Pablo’s season, but last week she also mentioned that her original reason for signing up for his season in the first place was because she had just gotten out of a different abusive relationship. She continued to open up more about how these experiences have impacted her in the long run in this week’s dates, so let’s break those down a bit.
The theme of this week’s dates was “Love Languages”. If this is a term you haven’t heard before, the “Love Languages” are a series of methods through which a person expresses love to someone else, or, which methods make a person feel most loved by someone else. These include quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, physical touch, and words of affirmation. The men on the group date definitely explored those in-depth with Clare! First up, Clare was placed in a prop tower, ala Romeo and Juliet, and the men had to speak their hearts as to why they were here for her.
After the men had spoken their kind words to her, explaining how wonderful she was, and how their past experiences brought them here, Clare expressed how grateful she was that these men had been so kind to her. Because of her experience with abuse, we can tell that kindness from men is something that she is not accustomed to.
This is a common occurrence among abuse survivors, and Clare’s ability to open herself up again to the possibility of these relationships shows her strength and resilience while healing and coping from her past. She is emotionally intelligent and understands the way that she needs to be treated in order to feel love, and it shows!
The Bachelorette Season 16, Week 2: Getting vulnerable with Jason
Next up, Clare had a one-on-one date with Jason where she challenges him, and herself, to get personal. She sits down with him and explains that “I’m the first to crack jokes, I’m the first to self-deprecate, and just make a joke out of myself, or make others laugh to feel comfortable. And I know for myself that a lot of the time it was to cover up the heavy stuff that I went through.”
This was an incredibly mature and honest place for Clare to open up about how she got to where she is and why she may act in the way that she does. It let us know as viewers the reasoning behind her actions and it made her beautifully vulnerable to Jason in a way that allowed them to connect right away.
She knows what she needs from another person and will not shy away from showing all of these men who she is and what she came for. She speaks about being ashamed and embarrassed for “letting herself to be treated that way,” but Clare knows that this treatment was not her fault and has given herself permission to move past these experiences in search of a healthy, happy future.
Clare and Jason write down words on a rock that other people have said about them: things that hurt them that they have internalized. Clare’s words included needy, hard to love, too picky, and a b***h. All words too often used to gaslight and demonize women in abusive situations. The pair then destroy the rocks and Clare burns the dress from her last confrontation with Juan Pablo.
Though this date gave Jason and Clare the opportunity to bond with one another over some really personal factors, the night was really a chance for Clare to cope with her demons and make space for women who have had these experiences where they did not feel loved. This episode gave viewers who have survived abuse the opportunity to connect with her, and she showed the world that healing is not linear.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, contact The National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 1-800-799-7233 or by visiting their website for more information.
Even the Bachelorette has her struggles, no one is immune to them. But Clare proved that healing is possible and that there is a world where people can be kind.
What did you think of Clare’s first week of dates on The Bachelorette Season 16? Did you enjoy getting to know more about her past? Tune in to ABC on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 8/7c to follow the rest of Clare’s journey!