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The Bachelorette: Why Hasn’t Hannah Sent Luke P. Home? 

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PHOTO: Courtesy of The Bachelorette/ABC
One Love Heart Blue Written by One Love Staff members Emily Lloyd, Samantha Hanson, Hollin Haneau, and Annie Forrest

Every season of the Bachelorette has a “villain” — a universally disliked contestant who pushes the buttons of every person on the show, including the lead. It is the presence of such a villain that allows producer Chris Harrison to deem every. single. season. “the most dramatic season yet.” And I’m not going to lie, this season honestly might just be the most intense season to date. You’re welcome, Chris. Whether because of cheating, manipulation or lying about their intentions for being on the show, there is no shortage of dramatic reveals and other antics from this season’s contestants. In many ways, it’s antics that Bachelor Nation have come to know and expect from the show. But, there’s one contestant that takes the cake for bad behavior. Enter Luke P, this season’s resident villain.

We’re nine weeks in and the question on everyone’s mind is: Why is Hannah STILL keeping Luke P. around?

RELATED: Unhealthy Relationship Behaviors Series: Jealousy

As outsiders looking in on Hannah’s “journey,” we can all see how controlling and manipulative Luke is. From guilting her for doing naked bungee jumping on a date, to acting out aggressively toward other castmates, it’s clear Luke’s behavior is not love. It crosses boundaries into unhealthy behavior even Bachelor Nation finds hard to stomach. So why hasn’t he been sent home?

To understand why this is, let’s run through a few potential reasons Luke still has a rose:

1. Unhealthy Behaviors are Easily Disguised as Love

PHOTO: Courtesy of The Bachelorette/ABC

Remember that kid that would follow you around the playground or throw insults at you because “they liked you?” Many of us approach relationships as adults with the same problematic beliefs we learn as children. We are taught that controlling and manipulative behaviors are signals of love. So, it’s no wonder that when we are confronted with these unhealthy tactics, we’re unable to see them for what they are. On this season of the Bachelor, we have seen Luke P. repeatedly explain away his unhealthy behaviors as care. When Luke is guilting Hannah for bungee jumping with Garrett, he says to her: “No matter what you do, I’m going to support you. Even if you make a bone-headed mistake, and you do something completely out of your character and something that’s wrong, I’m going to do whatever it takes to make things right.”

These comments, though commonplace in romance novels and rom-coms to show that you’ll stay with a partner through thick and thin, are actually manipulating Hannah into thinking what she did was wrong. Just because someone promises commitment, though coming from a place of care, does not mean they will build that committed relationship in a healthy way.

2. Intensity is Often Mistaken for Love

Luke P image 3

PHOTO: Courtesy of The Bachelorette/ABC

Passion in a relationship, especially a new one, is considered a good sign. And while passion is an important part of a healthy relationship, it can often cross into intensity or extreme over the top feelings for someone. While we clearly see that Luke is passionate about Hannah, his behaviors are also chaotic, overwhelming and even scary at times. Hannah, at first, seemed to enjoy his over the top antics, like confessing his love to her on the second date and has spoken multiple times about the chemistry they have. However, as in most unhealthy relationships, that intensity quickly turned to jealous and controlling behavior and, ultimately, a lack of respect for Hannah and her feelings.

Healthy passion should feel mutual, respectful and uplifting – like when Peter asked Hannah to be his girlfriend and we see both of them smile and light up. There is a big difference between asking someone to continue dating you and saying they’re in love with you the second time they see you, as Luke did.

RELATED: Relationship Moving too Fast? Here’s How To Tell Your Partner

3. Luke Makes Hannah Feel Crazy 

We often see volatility (or ups and downs) reflected as a positive thing in relationships, especially on The Bachelor. It keeps things interesting and keeps us as viewers hooked. As Hannah will attest, she tells Chris Harrison, “I’m either falling in love with Luke, or Luke is making me go crazy.” These confusing feelings of high highs and low lows prevent Hannah from sending Luke home and giving up on him entirely. Since unhealthy moments with a partner are often sandwiched between good times, it can be difficult for people to see these kinds of emotional rollercoasters as unhealthy.

4. Hannah Believes Luke Will Change

Hannah and Luke P image 4

PHOTO: Courtesy of The Bachelorette/ABC

Many people tend to stay in unhealthy relationships because they believe their partner will change. On several occasions, Hannah asked Luke to change his behavior in order to be a better partner. Despite her requests, Luke’s fighting with the other men has not ceased, he still consistently questions her morality and values, and he continues to question her motives instead of hearing what she says and working to change. We know that Hannah has strong feelings for Luke, and it is these feelings that are ultimately leading her to hope—despite evidence to the contrary—that Luke will change.

5. Gaslighting Keeps Hannah From Seeing the Truth

Obviously, Bachelor Nation is built on conflict. But there are clear examples of healthy and unhealthy ways to handle those situations, and Luke shows all the unhealthy ones. In a recent episode, Luke gets angry and feels jealous about Hannah’s bungee jumping date with Garrett. Instead of approaching Hannah in a respectful way and articulating his feelings, he turns the entire conversion around to imply that Hannah was manipulating him. When Hannah realizes what he is doing and explains her feelings to him, instead of apologizing, he claims that she misunderstood him, lies about what he said and then tries to sway her with a bunch of romantic lines. This is a clear example of gaslighting, another reason it is so hard to realize when a relationship is unhealthy once you’re in it.

RELATED: What I Wish I Had Known About Gaslighting Before It Happened To Me

 

bachelorette hannah b image 1

PHOTO: Courtesy of The Bachelorette/ABC

Hannah has made it very clear from the beginning of this season that she wants someone who is “all in.” She wants a family, she values commitment and she wants someone who is always going to be there for her. Luke, so he claims, is all these things. He professed his love to her, he wants her to meet his family, he has been there to comfort her when she was upset, and they have an undeniably strong physical connection. But, just because someone promises they’ll give you what you need, it doesn’t mean they will actually do it – and if someone is promising such intense things early on in a relationship, it’s usually a red flag.

Luke’s behavior is escalating from jealous and controlling to emotionally abusive and is getting scarier by the episode. These are just a few of the reasons why Hannah might not recognize her relationship with Luke P. to be unhealthy and why he continues to receive a rose each week. But there are many reasons why someone in an unhealthy or abusive relationship might not leave. The longer the relationship continues, the harder it will be for Hannah to leave – and the more dangerous leaving can become. If you recognize any of these signs in your own relationship, talk to or chat with an expert at loveisrespect.org.

 

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