Grass greener. It’s what I got out of watching tonight’s "After The Final Rose Ceremony." Six weeks ago, bachelor Jason Mesnick got down on bended knee and proposed to Melissa Rycroft, after sending Molly Malaney home in tears (which she SWORE she wouldn’t do!) And that episode aired tonight. Six weeks later, the aftermath aired immediately after the accepted proposal. What happened "now that the charmings are together and the cameras are off?" They’re off.
Jason ended things with Melissa during the "aftermath" episode, saying he tried to make it work, spent all those holidays with Melissa, tried to put Molly out of his head, but that he just couldn’t. And all I can think is, of course you couldn’t. This is the least romantic thing I can do outside a bathroom, but I’ve got to say it. I think if you did this exact "experiment" with anyone, it would end this way. I don’t believe in one person made for one person. I believe there are many people meant for many people, and it’s all about making it work.
We want what we can’t have. We glamorize it, and think, whether it’s from time to time or more regularly, that it might have been better with someone else. We "what if" because it’s human nature, and because it provides us an escape from our realities. Quite frankly, sometimes the idea that there’s someone else who is in love with you, allows you to stay where you are. You see them as a security blanket, that person you might just end up with, so you’re actually able to stay where you are, working on things, because you have this escape, this possibility, this "what if." Except if we get to play out that "what if" fantasy, it almost always leaves us with regrets. "Why didn’t I appreciate what we had all along? Why did I idealize this? What a mistake."
In Jason’s case, he wanted both women, and I believe whether he chose Molly or Melissa, once they were home on the sofa together, he’d think of the other. Surely if you look at the other bachelors there must be instances where the bachelor or bachelorette (ie. DeAnna), second guessed themselves, wondering if it would have worked if s/he’d chosen differently.
I think people hold on to the "what if" when it really was a close call, where you could just as easily see your life playing out happily with another, especially when things get hard. It’s why this passage made it into Straight Up And Dirty:
It’s hard to leave a history and watch other people date yours. Some people are aces at it; it seems more of their best friends are exes than not. When I first met a man who told me his best friend was an ex of his, I held my breath a little. The “count to ten” carried me past irrational, and I was left to exhale and fake a smile. "It didn’t work out for a reason" I chanted as I gulped espresso and cream. "Hopefully the reason wasn’t timing. What if now is their timing?" Then I picked the polish off my new manicure and headed back to my own pantry of past men.
If you’re that intimately involved with two people, I think a part of you ALWAYS wonders if you made the right choice. And if you were to ever have a chance with the "one who got away," I believe it would never be able to stand up to all you’d hoped it would be. There’d be disappointments there, too. Fights, spite, anger, or a loss of passion you were sure you’d always have. It’s why you have to appreciate what’s in front of you and try to make it work, even if that work is with you.
ONE LAST THING: I wish Molly had said to Jason, "If you’re capable of doing this to Molly, what’s going to stop you from doing the same thing to me?" To which he’d have to respond, if he’s being honest, "I don’t know." Because until you see what happens, and quite frankly, even twenty years down the line: people change their minds. There are no guarantees. And the worst of it is, you can’t protect yourself from it. There’s no percaution you can really take, to avoid the hurt, other than filling your life with other rich experiences outside your romantic relationship. So your WHOLE WORLD won’t be gone, just a big part of it.