I wasn’t the only Bachelorette fan to watch Tayshia Adams’ first few episodes and see her as a major breath of fresh air. I’m happy that Clare Crawley found love and all, but it’s been nice to watch someone who’s actually keeping her options open, therefore keeping us all entertained. But there was one moment in Tayshia’s “premiere” that stood out to me even more than that amazing green backless dress she wore as the men got out of the limo. It was when she went on her first 1:1 date with Brendan Morais, and they had an open and frank conversation about their experiences with divorce. It dawned on me in that moment that while some people might think of Tayshia’s previous marriage as a mark against her, I think it’s her greatest strength.
My biggest gripe with this franchise is that, so often, I don’t believe the people on it are taking it seriously. Contestants on The Bachelor/Bachelorette love to talk about how they’re ready for love. They claim they’re “here for the right reasons” and they’re “ready to settle down,” but then act with a lack of maturity and regard for what being married actually means. Watching Tayshia, I’ve thought a lot about Peter Weber’s season of The Bachelor, and how much of a shit-show that was on all sides. You cannot tell me any of the people involved there were actually ready for the commitment that marriage is. Peter couldn’t even tell Hannah Ann that Madison had dropped his ass. Tayshia, however, feels so different.
Watching Tayshia’s conversation with Brendan, I got the distinct feeling that she’s not f*cking around when it comes to choosing her future partner. She spoke so openly about how she lost herself in her previous marriage, and why ending that marriage felt like a failure. “Getting divorced is a big deal. I thought I was dying when I was going through it,” she said in a confessional afterwards. That kind of self-awareness is really important when you’re looking for a life partner, not just someone you can Instagram sponcon with after the cameras stop rolling. It’s obvious that she knows how much work a marriage is, and she also knows what it feels like when it falls apart. Those comments made me think she’s even more equipped to be the Bachelorette than maybe anyone who’s come before her.
I wanted to make sure I wasn’t just talking out of my ass on this, so I asked an actual expert whether having been married before, and going through a divorce, makes you more discerning with future partners. The short answer? Definitely. Imani Movva, a psychotherapist who works with couples, told me it’s not just that divorce can make you enter a new relationship differently, but the process of trying to save the marriage before the divorce is also really defining.
“It’s like there’s marriage and then there’s that period of trying to make it work and save it, and that really requires a level of, if you don’t have emotional maturity, or stamina, or self-awareness, it’s almost going to demand that,” she told me. “Like, you’ll have it afterwards. Especially Tayshia, because she emphasized how she and her ex went through all these different measures. They went through couples counseling and all those things, and that definitely sharpens the person’s ability to take feedback, have self-awareness, and then those are the skills they’re bringing into the dating space.”
Everyone has a certain amount of relationship baggage they bring when they start something new, but in my opinion, Tayshia’s “baggage” is actually really valuable. Maybe her history will make her less likely to get engaged at the end of this season. That’s okay with me. This show is allegedly about people finding love, right? Not just about people obtaining a ring? If that means Tayshia doesn’t rush into something with one of these guys, that’s cool. I get the feeling she knows exactly what’s best for her, and we’re all just lucky to watch it unfold.
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