By Ben Higgins
Thomas Rhett once said the day you stop looking back is the day you start moving on. The man speaks truth. For me, this advice has never felt wiser than during my time on The Bachelor Winter Games.
If you’ve been watching other things (like the actual 2018 Olympics), The Bachelor Winter Games is a spin-off show created and produced by the same production team as The Bachelor, a show I participated in. Although I didn’t expect it, The Winter Games gave me the opportunity to reflect on the past few years and revealed where I’m at right now. Let me tell you why.
I didn’t know what I was getting into
When I signed up for Winter Games, no one — not even the producers — knew exactly what it would entail. So, every contestant had to trust the producers and creators on a whole new level. I found this rather easy since I’d worked with this team before. But some international contestants had no idea what they were getting into. (Props to them.)
When we arrived at our filming location, The Hermitage Club in Vermont, we learned the show details. After appearing on The Bachelorette and The Bachelor, I anticipated a lighthearted experience. However, this wasn’t always the case.
It is a dating show
The Winter Games was truly a show about dating and relationships. When Chris Harrison gave us a rundown, I faced the question, “Am I ready to date?” More specifically, “Am I ready to pursue a relationship on national television?” I had a hard time accepting the idea that the public would view and judge a relationship I could pursue. Being scrutinized takes a huge toll on a couple.
That being said, it was good to confront the idea I could be ready to date again. After serious reflection, I decided I was ready. I’m excited about the possibility of committing again. And I don’t think I would have confronted this issue head-on if it wasn’t for the show.
Most of us have experienced breakups, and most of us need time to regroup.
My advice: Intentionally reflect on your personal failures and successes in the past relationship. Process your actions and behaviors — even more than blaming your former partner. In the end, you can only control yourself. Once you take this intentional time, then take a step forward; talk to someone new and explore what a relationship may look like. It won’t always be easy, even if your situation may be good.
A lot of emotions resurfaced
If you’ve watched The Winter Games, then you’ve probably seen me cry in previews. I have told you before, I cry when I feel things, and honestly I like a good cry! Some may call my tears “unmanly,” but this is the man I am and I am good with that. I think I would miss truly feeling emotions to the point of tears more than I would want to never feel anything at all. So, with that… let me cry.
So, I cried. Because the last time I appeared on a Bachelor show I was walking away in the happiest state I’ve ever been in. I had never imagined participating in The Winter Games for many reasons, and it reminded me of the time I spent pursuing a potential life partner. I found myself facing questions I’d contemplated years before, and it hurt because I never imagined facing those questions again.
When you find your life partner, you feel a certain peace. And there’s some pain when you put yourself in situations that reminds you of those times. But with Thomas Rhett’s words in my mind, I’d like to move forward… maybe on a winter dating show. Wow, life is weird.
Have you found yourself in a surreal situation, forced to confront your past?
Images courtesy of ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua