Given the previews and rumors, I expected to hate Frank after tonight's episode of The Bachelorette. And while most of America wants to stone him (if Twitter and Facebook are any indication), I actually still like him and understand why he did what he did.
In case you missed it, this was the night in which Frank, who had chemistry with Ali Fedotowsky from the get-go, finally revealed the other woman we've been anticipating for some time now -- his ex-girlfriend, Nicole Caruso.
He said while he's been falling for Ali, his feelings for Nicole have been "brewing." So before heading to Tahiti to see Ali, he made a little detour back home to Chicago to check his feelings and visit Nicole.
He told Nicole about Ali and how their relationship has progressed.
"It's sickening to think that you could be getting closer and deeper with somebody else," Nicole said. "Without you, I'm just not happy. I don't feel complete. I never thought somebody would actually complete somebody. You need to come home."
Frank was lovestruck and vowed his eternal devotion for her.
Then in typical Frank fashion he stewed and debated and shed tears, before he broke the news to Ali.
Shocked, Ali asked why he didn't tell her about Nicole sooner.
"If I would have known sooner, I would have told you sooner," he said. "I was falling in love with you, but then ..."
Ali was devastated and sad and pissed.
"I've given up everything to be here," she said.
"I've given up everything to be here too," Frank said.
"Apparently not everything," she shot back.
It was heart-wrenching to watch Ali, and I teared up when she told Chris Harrison how this always happens to her. I wanted to hug her and tell her how much prettier she is than Nicole and take her out to drown her sorrows in a big bowl of ice cream and a vat of vino. But I still didn't hate Frank.
Feelings for exes are strong, and not always simply switched off when breakups occur. I don't think Frank is the kind of sleazy fame whore that Justin was. Call me naive, but I think Frank truly went on the show with good intentions (as good as anyone going on a reality show looking for love may be), but his feelings for his ex were stronger.
As for telling Ali sooner, what good would that have done? If it had worked out the other way, would she really want to have known that he had that strong of doubts? If couples voiced every feeling or doubt they had during a relationship, I doubt there would actually be many couples. Feelings come and feelings go, and sometimes you need time to reflect on them before you act on them.
I give Frank credit for thinking engagements and marriage are sacred enough to warrant some soul searching and truly checking his emotions rather than getting caught up the whirlwind of a televised game and dumping Ali when it's over.
It's not like he cheated on her, nor is it like he and Ali were exclusive. Remember, she has dated her way through 25 other guys during this journey.
Speaking of the other guys, it's Chris and Roberto left standing. Both had great dates in Tahiti with Ali, but both feel like lukewarm connections in comparison to the one she had with Frank. Though she tells Chris Harrison she believes her husband is still there, I tend to believe rumors that she ends up alone.
And really, after all the heartbreak Ali experienced with Frank's departure, wouldn't choosing one of the other guys seem like she's choosing second best now anyway?
What do you think about Frank leaving Ali for his ex-girlfriend, Nicole?
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