This is my retrospective on the love stories of the women leading up to Monday's episode of the fantasy dates. My thoughts are detailing the progression of Brad's thoughts and feelings for the ladies leading up to the final 3 fantasy dates.
I know Sheena is gone, but consider this an Ode to Sheena, lol. Sheena, pretty much from episode 1 to almost the end of episode 4, was an sweet yet unknown entity. Brad viewed her as a beautiful, sweet girl who he hadn't spent much time with that had potential and no known negatives. So, he kept her around. Then, starting with the end of episode 4, due to Chad's recommendation and her detailed knowledge and genuine interest in him, Brad started to pay more attention to her.
So, in episode 5 Brad made special effort to get to know her on a 1-on-1 date while rewarding her for being able to recognize him. On the date he learned more about her and her personality. He felt Chad's recommendation was warranted and she definitely had potential as a wife for him. This accompanied with the over-the-top romantic date led to the kiss between them and Brad deciding to go home to meet her family and explore there relationship potential further.
When episode 6 came Brad had a great time and enjoyed her family. However, by this time the over-top-date romance had faded and Brad realized that as great as Sheena is what little sparks they had on their date was brought on by the setting and not Sheena. So, he sent her home because, even with potential problems with the final 3, he had honest chemistry and feelings with them that he didn't have with Sheena.
All in all she didn't come out bad. She had a fun vacation, got $15,000 earrings, and met a new guy. No wonder she wouldn't mind doing it again. Get the ring!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In episode 1, Jenni came out the limo laughing heartily which inspired laughter in Brad before they introduced themselves. Kind of the way when someone else yawns it causes you to yawn to it's contagious. Other than realizing she was a pretty woman I don't think he took any other special note at that moment. However, when they got inside and she did her little dance and they had their 1-on-1 talk Brad became attracted to her. She laughed and smiled at everything he said, which made him feel good, and she had a bubbly personality. So, he felt confident that he wanted to get to know her better and felt with her bubbly personality, not too mention her experience being around girls on her cheerleading teams, that she could handle being the one to get the first impression rose.
In episode 2 they went to the beach on the group date and Jenni was her normal bubbly self hanging out laughing with Brad and having a good time. When they had their 1-on-1 time secluded in the house both in swim wear Jenni was bubbly and very physically affectionate. This lead to Brad and Jenni kissing which made their initial attraction jump up on the chemistry scale. The initiation of this physical aspect of their relationship on the 1st date set Jenni apart from the other women in Brad's mind. Brad usually like to take things slow physically in a relationship. He also up until the show was a one woman man when it came to dating and his feelings and felt he would be the same while doing the show. He since stated that he developed feelings for multiple girls. However, at this point in the juncture he believed this was the start of something with Jenni while remaining open to the other girls.
In episode 3 they go on a group date to the circus. There are other women on this date that Brad is attracted to and some his interested in learning more about. However, he is still riding high on the physical chemistry he experienced with Jenni when they kissed. That chemistry is increased with the 1-on-1 time they get on the date and Jenni's expressions of wanting to be the one he falls in love with. Jenni relays a potential stumbling block by revealing the need for a long-term relationship at least for a year to finish out her Suns contract. However, still reveling in the physical chemistry and things being early in the game Brad doesn't think much about it and says it won't be a problem.
In episode 4 Brad gets some alone time with Jenni on a 1-on-1 date. The over-the-top romantic date leads to a build up of the physical chemistry on the date.
The date was spent mostly reminiscing and reveling in that physical chemistry. Brad was enjoying the intimacy and becoming comfortable with Jenni and enjoying her company. He began to care about her as a person as well.
In episode 5, was the pool party at Brad's house. Brad and Jenni spent most of the time just having fun as a group. Especially, with other women Brad was building relationships with on this date. Eventually Brad and Jenni had their 1-on-1 time on the date. While the physical chemistry is still there, at this point Brad has developed chemistry and relationships with other women as well. This is new for him considering his pre=bachelor one woman man status. So, in lieu of knowing any other way to handle it, he has just been trying to think about each relationship separately as they develop. I surmise that during this 1-on-1 time, presuming it didn't happen on the helicopter date, is when the firm details of Jenni's Suns job come up. The reality of the situation begins as Jenni makes him aware of hearing about the suns audition in a few days. However, based on his feelings thus far, her potential as a wife, and the physical chemistry between them Brad chooses to meet her family. He wants to see her with her family and if he will fit with them while learning more about her.
Finally in episode 6 he meets Jenni's family. He has a nice time with Jenni's family and enjoys their company. However, during their private time before and after meeting Jenni's family Brad truly becomes aware of the realities of Jenni's dancing career. Jenni has made the team so a long-distance relationship is no longer a possibility, it's a certainty. More importantly, Brad realizes while watching Jenni dance that dancing for the Suns isn't just about reaching preconceived goal or fulfilling a contractual obligation. It's something Jenni has to do because she loves doing it and needs to do it. Its part of who she is and wants to continue to be. I don't think they've discussed what happens after Jenni's Suns contract is up, in terms of continuing Jenni's performing career. I don't think Jenni has discussed with Brad in full detail her aspirations beyond dancing as far as her acting and modeling career.
The physical chemistry is there but, I don't think the emotional investment has increased at the same rate. I believe Brad cares about Jenni as a person and as such wants her to have her dreams. Jenni lives and breathes performing, it's her passion and always will be something she has to be a part of. She believes if Brad is willing to compromise and loves her she can convince him that she can have her performing career and a relationship with him. Jenni is too caught up in the passion of a new relationship and the thrill of the pursuit of her career goals think about and deal with the realities of both situations. She's just enjoying the ride.
Brad, being the nice guy that he is, wants to be the guy that can compromise, be there for Jenni and encourage her in the pursuit of her dreams because he cares about her. In theory he thinks that if what he has with Jenni became true love that he would be able to make that sacrifice for her. But, can he? He's had long-distance relationships before. However, in those instance he was the one who was away because of his career. Plus, he was away maybe 4 months at a time on an oil rig not a year. Also those relationships had a longer time to develop a foundation within the relationship before they were away from each other. He also was secure in his own loyalty and ability to be a one woman man.
When the fantasy dates happen that fun playfulness and chemistry will still be there along with Jenni's new declaration of love. However, at the end of the day when Brad has to make a decision I believe the realities of his increasing feelings for the other women, Jenni's increasing feelings for him, awareness of the true level of his feelings for her , and the divergence of their future dreams will have Brad sending Jenni home.
He cares about her but, not enough to give up his own dreams of the wife, the life, and the family that he wants. He came into this with his own dreams of not being alone again, having a wife by his side right now to attend family functions with, and start his own family with. He cares enough about Jenni to not let her feelings develop any more for him and let her go to find the guy who will fit into her life and the dreams she has for herself.
Episode one has Bettina and Brad meeting for the first time. Straight out of the limo Bettina is a bit timid in meeting him. However, Brad is physically attracted to her from the start enough to do that my-collar-is-too-tight neck move as she walks away. Later, when they talk 1-on-1 he is further physically attracted by the whole surfer girl aspect. However, I don't believe he learned much else about her beyond wanting to get to know her better, due to her demeanor.
Episode 2 they're on the beach date. I think Bettina tried to be more a part of the date but was drowned out by stronger personalities. So, she hung in the background and observed. She didn't even teach Brad to surf. Eventually, she got 1-on-1 time with him to talk. They probably had a mild general conversation during which sparks flew from their physical chemistry and he viewed her as sweet. Later, Brad was anxious to see her at the cocktail party to build on that chemistry knowing she's a bit on the timid side and he'd have to seek her out. When they met she was nervous about the divorce question and so tongue tied she could barely speak, but in awe of him as a person. Brad, even knowing she was a bit timid, was unprepared for how agitated she was. So, he went into protective mode calming her down and taking things slow feeling a kindred spirit because of his own shy-nature at times. Their physical chemistry increased because of this and her own expressed awe and want to be there with him.
In episode 3 they were on the boat date together. They enjoyed some bonding time on the wave-runner with Brad trying to get her accustomed to him. Then, they had their 1-on-1 time in the boat. Brad at this time had in his head that she was a sweet, reserved, timid girl with great potential that he was physically attracted to who he was willing to take the time to get to know. However, that image got shocked when she revealed her divorce to him. Truthfully, she was barely able to talk about that enough for him to get any true details. He had to re-evaluate the image he had in mind of her and adjust to what she'd told him. However, when she was able to quickly discern that Chad wasn't him and with his continuing chemistry with her he decided he wanted her to stay.
Episode 4 Bettina was a part of the comedy club date. I think Brad purposely wanted her on this date to see if she could come out of her shell enough to enjoy having fun with other people and not take herself so seriously. He was pleasantly surprised that, though difficult, she fully participated. He was further attracted and thought he'd made headway in drawing her out and learning more about her.
In episode 5 Brad thought he had made enough headway to invite her on a 1-on-1 date to truly learn who Bettina is and begin to see where their physical chemistry would take them. Bettina was in awe of him, in awe of the experience and grateful to Brad for being patient with her. I think Brad felt slight uncomfortable yet flattered by her awe of him. However, knowing what this experience and his patience has meant to her, he wanted to live up to what she saw in him. Bettina opened up slightly about herself and her divorce but was still timid in regards to any physical contact. So, Brad decided to be patient and hold off on exploring the physical side of their relationship and the questions he needed answers to determine who Bettina really is. He felt comfortable with the potential he saw in her, their physical chemistry, and the headway they'd made so far to allow her to become more comfortable with him.
Some would say Bettina's demeanor thus far has been her playing hard-to-get to get the man. Some would say she's shy and reserved. Some would say she's gun-shy because of what happened with her divorce. I believe it's a combination of all three. I think she came into this with alternative motives not looking to end the show being in love with the bachelor. but, coming on the show gaining exposure and having a good time. She hung out, had fun, observed the other girls going gaga over Brad, and marveled at their naivete' in this situation. Then, once she got to know Brad she marveled at his kindness, genuineness and patience. Then, she started experiencing loving feelings towards him and unexpected jealousy over the other girls. She then got into the competition aspect of it and tried to step up to the plate by coming out of her shell during activities but also playing hard to get to build that sexual tension like she was taught as a child. Plus, her natural shy nature and the residuals of what happened in her divorced made her inept at times on dates. However, her acknowledgement of wanting to take their physical chemistry further, Brad's "I'll protect you with kid-gloves" caring feelings for her, and her potential as a wife pulled her through to the family dates.
Finally, episode 6 Brad meets Bettina's family. Red-flags go off like an atom bomb, lol. Bettina's family judges negatively what he proudly feels defines him as a man. They judge him without getting to know him and are rude and un-welcoming. Plus, on top of that Bettina is listening to them, questioning him in her own mind, and putting up a paltry defense of him and herself. Brad is in shock thinking he'd made headway and realizing now he's 20 steps back. He thought visiting Bettina's family would give her the security and comfort level to come out of her shell and be herself and let him truly learn about who she is as a person on a day-to-day basis. Find out if he's attracted to her beyond the physical and if what he believes she is as a person beyond the shyness is real. Is she someone who is sweet, together, independent, reliable, stable, loyal, and mature. Then, find out if they have potential for a future and can he see her family as his. He found out that on first impression he couldn't see himself fitting comfortably and immediately into her family. He learned they felt he didn't measure up to date much less marry Bettina in her family's eyes. If he watched the show he also learned that he would never measure up to her ex-husband either, lol. More importantly though he got some glimpses into the real Bettina and where she's at right now. Those insecurities that he thought were just a bit of shyness or residuals coming off a divorce are deeper and more about self-worth.
I have a strong a strong suspicion that Bettina dated and finally after 4 years married her ex-husband because daddy approved. She loved him as a person but wasn't "in love" with him at least when she married him. Bettina is looking for that fairytale love and marriage. But, even with her so-called marital experience I don't think she is ready for when the fairy tale fades and the real love kicks in. She is awe of Brad and overcome by her feelings for him which are stronger than she's felt for anyone before. She's put him on a pedestal that even being the great genuine guy he is can't stay on. On one hand she wants the relationship with Brad on the other she's scared to have it. She wants to take the relationship slow but, isn't cognizant of the nature of the show. Even though she lives independently in California, she is ruled by her father's approval. The fact that she allowed her father's doubts to make her question the man she says she's felt more for than any other shows she can't make her own decisions.
Brad brought her forward to the fantasy dates because of their physical chemistry, their previous headway, his initial instincts, and his own shock. Based on his prior feelings he wanted then time to figure out his thoughts and talk with her to figure things out. However, those red flags aren't going to go away. Bettina is going to try to make them go away by saying she has no doubts about him. Unfortunately, changing your mind between dates doesn't inspire reassurance. It also doesn't change the fact that her family's mind-set is exactly were it was and Brad feels unwelcome. Happy that she's made it to the fantasy dates Bettina will come out of her shell more having grown comfortable with Brad. After their dinner conversation, she will also realize she has some ground to make up and will escalate their physical relationship. Brad with the initiation of their physical relationship will set aside his misgivings and based on his initial thoughts on the potential of their relationship bring her forward to F2. Bettina, however, is exploring and finding herself as a divorced woman back on the dating scene. She's in a different place then Brad and hasn't thought this out. While she thinks Brad is a great guy and too good to pass up and would love to marry him she is not ready to do that. Although, the exploration of their physical chemistry and her personality will be great I think it will be too little to late.
Brad is a nice guy and like most nice guys has wanted to protect the wounded bird he's attracted to and treat her with kid gloves. He's enjoyed how that's made him feel and his physical chemistry with her. However, he isn't look for that responsibility for the rest of his life. He's looking for an independent woman, who can deal with his lifestyle and career, and whose life and family matches with his. He doesn't have that with Bettina. So, that and his growing feelings for someone else will have her sent home most likely as F2. I believe she is the one giving Brad the journal of her feelings. I believe Bettina will leave being happy with the experience for what she has learned about herself, dating, and what she wants out of life and love. She's gained experience in dating post-divorce with a kind, caring, patient man. Hopefully, the experience will help her in dating in future and going after what she wants in a relationship and marriage instead of what others want.
Episode 1 has Brad and Deanna meeting for the first time. Contrary, to what was shown on tv, I believe Deanna was the very first girl Brad met that night. I believe they edited her to be the 11th girl out of the limo that night when she was really then 1st. I know they showed Sheena and Sheena has talked about how nervous she was being the first girl out of her limo. But, I believe she was just that the first girl out of her limo to meet Brad not the first girl out the 1st limo to meet him. Chris Harrison, when encouraging Brad to talk in the deliberation room that night about the girls first arriving in their limos and being on fire says, "right out of the gate, seems like you had a little connection with Deanna, she started throwing a little Greek at you." Right out of the gate means first limo, first girl. However, knowing how things went on the show already the editors decided to place Sheena's limo and all the girls inside to be shown first. The limo was full of 3 red herrings to hide Deanna behind. But, I digress.
Brad meets Deanna and feels an "instant connection". He's so physically attracted upon meeting her that he does the my-collars'-too-tight neck shrug and breathes heavy to try and catch his breath as she walks away. Later that night, during their 1-on-1, he learns about their commonalities. He learns about her bar job, southern roots, close family ties, losing her mother, and her being raised in a single parent home. His physical attraction grows and he becomes attracted to her on an emotional level. He knows he wants to learn more.
Episode 2 has them going on the racetrack date. They spend the day next to each other enjoying the race with each other and the other girls. They spend some light hearted time chatting on the couch. Then, they go for 1-on-1 time on the roof at sunset. He becomes more emotionally vested learning about her previous relationships and being attracted to her poised delivery. His initial physical attraction is still there. He gives her a rose and he loses track of time talking to her. However, he never gets the opportunity to see if the timing is right for a kiss before he is interrupted by the other girls. That night at the cocktail party he sees another side if her when he sees her blow fire.
In episode 3 they go to the circus on a group date. They get a bit of 2-on-1 time going to see the elephants and have a good time. Deanna is out to have a good time at the circus. Right now she's in the mind-set, I'm going to be myself, have a good time, if he likes me he likes, if he doesn't he doesn't. She plans to be herself and not stumble all over him vying with the other girls to get his time and attention. She sits back and enjoys the experience of the circus. She interacts with him before the guest ringleader announcement to encourage him. She stands beside him and congratulates him on doing a good job. By this point in the show Brad has kissed Jenni and is still in the one woman man head space. So, he's remaining open to the other girls but is still in that mind-set. Later, at the cocktail party, Deanna recognizes Chad as not being Brad right away. This, along with his prior feelings for her, gets her a rose.
In Episode 4 things shift gears as they go on a 2-on-1 date. Up until now the physical and emotional attraction has been there but it hasn't been allowed to grow on Brad's part. Partly because they've been on group dates and Brad's been dealing with other girls. But, also because Deanna's been in her normal mind-set of not wearing her heart on her sleeve. She's attracted to Brad and interested in him but she's not used to telling a guy her feelings so soon especially in this competitive situation. She's used to keeping her feelings close to her chest and putting on her game face/poker face. Because of this while Brad has been attracted to her, he's unsure of how she feels about him. This changes on the 2-on-1 barbecue date when Deanna tells him she's interested in him and wants to stay. Though she's not used to putting her feelings on the line this soon, and with the possibility of getting hurt, she does so because she realizes Brad could be everything she wants. She wants the chance to find that out for certain. He also saw her aggressive side when she was in essence "fighting for her man" with Jade. He learned more of her independence, strength, and willingness to relocate. Even though she talked about being confident she would get the rose, you could tell even with her game face on that she was nervous she'd laid her heart on the line only to be sent home.
Later, after Jade leaves, Brad and Deanna get the much needed alone time to allow their physical and emotional attraction grow. Now, Brad is out of the one woman man mind-set and is open to the feelings he feels for each girl. He is now invested emotionally and physically in Deanna.
Episode 5 has them at Brad's house for a pool party. He gets to see Deanna's fun side at the pool party. There is a bit of tension at the pool party for Brad because he has girls he's developed feelings for there and vice versa. When they get 1-on-1 time, that new level of physical intimacy is there and has raised their physical chemistry to a new level. Deanna is in need of a bit of reassurance considering the circumstances with the other girls but she has her game face on. Brad is so physically attracted to her and emotionally wants to give her reassurance and show her how he feels. However, the other girls are watching and with the tenseness of the situation he waits.
Later, at the cocktail party, as he walks in he goes to hug Bettina but his eyes are drawn to Deanna. During their 1-on-1 time they're comfortably flirting with each other and their physical chemistry is in high gear. Brad is himself looking for some reassurance, knowing this type of dating situation isn't normal for her, he wonders if she feels her feelings are real. Even though Brad himself has a poker face to hide his feelings, Deanna has a better one and Brad isn't adept at reading it yet. He sees her as so strong, which she is. However, he doesn't realize that behind that game face during rose ceremonies she's as nervous as anyone afraid of losing out on the man of her dreams and being hurt again. She gives him some reassurance and that physical chemistry kicks higher for them. They're playing with each others hands, touching each other. He's kissing her hands. Ever since the 2-on-1 date things have changed for Deanna, she's emotionally invested. When she's with Brad or talking about him in a PI she's smiling and glowing. The rest of the time she has her game face on. They then finally get the kiss they missed at the pool party. Brad is fully emotionally invested and Deanna gets a rose.
Finally, episode 6 Brad gets to meet Deanna's family. I have a slight suspicion that Brad actually met Deanna's family first or at least sooner than 3rd. Mainly because when he whispers to her at the rose ceremony I think he's asking her how she is. Also I think Jenni's family date was later based on what she said about how long it had been since she saw him.
Back to the family, Deanna meets Brad outside his hotel and brings him peaches. They meet her immediate as well as her extended family and Brad is welcomed with open arms. He sees that she truly is close with her family as he is with his. He gets reassurance from Deanna's father that she does have feelings for him and that even with this unorthodox dating situation they are real. I think this conversation was key for two reasons. One Brad gets reassurance from someone who has known Deanna all her life and has better experience at reading her. Two, I think Brad was seeking the validity of the strength of his own feelings in such a short time from Deanna's father. The fact that he felt comfortable upon first meeting to seek the advice of Deanna's father as sort of a surrogate father figure says a lot.
Then, Brad got to see the soft side of Deanna, that's underneath the strong side built up by her mother's death, when she showed him her family album. He got to see her as a child before her mother's death. I think at that point he wanted to know and see everything about her, but she was still a bit protective of what she would show him. Kind of reminded me of Mary with the parent thing during Byron's season.
When Deanna's sister brought up the possibility of her not being chosen you saw Deanna's game face come up for a sec. Then, you saw her mentally shift gears. She's decided she is going to enjoy the love, happiness, and heart pounding chemistry she feels for as long as it lasts. If it should end she'll put her game face on and deal with it like she dealt with her mother's death and her long-term boyfriend cheating on her. Brad has become more emotionally invested in her and her family. He felt like he was coming home and that he was her husband in meeting her family. Her sadness at his leaving the family date and not seeing him for awhile was evident in how they parted.
On the fantasy dates their connection to each other will grow on all levels, physically, emotionally, etc. Especially, when she tells him she's falling in love with him. That's a reassurance beyond words and will lead her into getting a rose at the next ceremony. Once she meets the family and gets along with them that as Brad and Deanna like to say will make it "a done deal". I believe she will be F1.
The only question is the "unbelievable" ending. I only hope that the surprise is a good one and not a bad one. I hope the surprise has nothing to do with who is picked or how the chosen responds to any type of proposal that is made. I hope the surprise has something to do with how the F2 responds or how the proposal or rose ceremony is done, etc. We'll see and here's to a 2 hour finale and ATFR show!