If you’re a junkie for Bachelor in Paradise like me, you’ve likely heard the latest in The Love Triangle (TLT) that is Kristina/Dean/D-Lo. It was with a heavy heart that D-Lo (Danielle Lombard) shared that she and Dean are no more, around the same time that the man of the hour announced that he and Kristina are going to give it an honest go.
And as Dean Unglert and Kristina Schulman are lost in the sounds of birds chirping, and solely seeing the world in rose-coloured glasses, we viewers are hearing the sounds of something similar to a horror movie theme song and seeing Kristina’s sanity fade to black.
This attempt at a relationship between Dean and Kristina is doomed, and trust me, I’m here for the right reasons.
I’m an optimist. I want it to work out.
I want Kristina to have her happily ever after.
I want Dean, more than anyone in Bachelor Nation history, to figure his shit out and make up his goddamn mind, once and for all. Amen.
I want nothing more for those who love another to be loved in return. I want to let love win.
And yet, based on their already tortured history, I know with certainty that the chances that there will be a happy ending are both grim and slim.
And I hate to be the continuous bearer of bad news, but the chances of you getting back together with your ex who left you for someone else are likely just as grim. Because sure, you have a history and a past and that does mean something in a shared memories kind of way, but that isn’t reason enough to get back together with someone.
If a relationship didn’t work out in the first place, chances are it won’t work out down the road. I mean it can, perhaps, but it likely won’t work out immediately after the fact. Because, the thing is, we need awareness to create change, and awareness and behaviour change comes with both time and a lot of work on oneself. Dean even said it himself when he was on the Ellen DeGeneres Show with the two ladies after the Bachelor in Paradise finale. And yet, by Kristina taking him back immediately after he messed up, there’s really no way he’ll make any headway on changing.
Time breeds the clarity we wish we had in the first place. So no, just because the show is over and the three culprits were able to see how they all played into the drama that was, doesn’t mean suddenly ‘they get it,’ and that they’re magically healed. By Kristina taking him back after all the hurt and pain he caused her, both on the show and afterwards, she’s showing extreme weakness and insecurity. When we know our self worth, we don’t accept scraps from others. We have set boundaries and we don’t let others who are toxic (let alone, those who publicly embarrassed us) back into our lives.
This isn’t love. This is insecurity. This is blurred boundaries. And that’s the worst way to be if you want to be in a mutually respectful relationship. Because when you allow someone to get away with something that hurts you and you take them back in spite of that, they know that they can get away with that sort of behaviour.
Boundaries are important and essential in human relations because they teach people how to treat you. By nature, many people will take what they can get. And so, when you take someone back who has played ping-pong with your mind, you’re essentially accepting and rewarding that behaviour. And let’s call a spade a spade, you’re settling.
In this case, I would argue that the only one of the three showing inner strength, self worth and self care, is D-Lo. In an interview this week on iHeartRadio’s Ben and Ashley I “Almost Famous” podcast she said, “I haven’t talked to him in a while. I’ve said my peace. He’ll text me here and there to see how I’m doing but there’s no romantic relationship. For me, after watching the show and the things he said, I don’t see how or why I would want to continue a relationship with him.”
And like, yeah girl! That’s a statement made by a sound woman. She hasn’t put down the other two. She’s wished them the best. She never forced Dean to choose or ridiculed him for being wonky. But she is excluding herself from the love triangle narrative, may it rest in peace.
The fact that a smart lady like Kristina would take Dean back is “settling” personified. We all know a Kristina. And we all know that whatever advice we give to a Kristina won’t have any effect because she’s sort of living in a bubble (like some of her then-friends on the show told her at the time.) (Cough, cough, Raven.)
If someone is dragging you along and showing continuous signs of uncertainty, as well as only coming back to you after things don’t work out with someone else, then take control of the situation and remove yourself from it. As the saying goes, “She who is shipwrecked twice is foolish to blame the sea.”
(Ed’s note: As of this writing, we also just learned that Dean is launching a podcast called “Help! I Suck At Dating” and in the first episode, he has an awkward phone call with Kristina where they dissect their split. So there’s that. No word on whether it was recorded before or after they reportedly rekindled their romance.)