I’ve long held a belief that being a “player” isn’t a bad thing as long as the player in question is communicative and honest, an “ethical player.” An ethical player can entertain the advances of—or even pursue—however many potential lovers he or she would like, as long as they’re completely transparent with their partner(s) on the status of their relationship(s). And let me be very clear: complete transparency and suggestion are not the same thing. It’s one thing to say, “I like you but, to be honest, I’m still interested in—and am actively seeing and dating—other people,” and very much another to give a very vague, “I like you but want to slow things down and see where things go.”
It’s obvious which Paradise contestant I’m referring to here. While the word “communicative” certainly doesn’t come to mind when I think of Dean, I personally believe he probably went into this show planning on being noncommittal, but open and honest enough to make it alright. However, his evident fear of conflict (or of hurting feelings… or of being without options…?) is rapidly crumbling whatever good intentions he initially had. On one hand, he told Kristina before the Rose Ceremony (at which she held the power) that he wanted to slow things down. This earned him points—she recognized this—as he could have just told her what she wanted to hear and solidified his rose. But if you break down what he actually said (“I think the expectancy to uphold the momentum that we’ve had is weighing this down,” followed by “I want to continue to spend time with you”) you realize it’s a boatload of ambiguity. Like, is he telling her that the issue is the expectancy, and without it, their relationship would be good and not “weighed down”? Yet he wants to continue to spend time with her? Don’t get me wrong: I believe any variation of these words is complete and utter horse shit and it’s all fancy talk for “I want to sow my wild oats.” An ethical player, on the other hand, doesn’t use fancy talk; he is straight-up and direct and honest. His words shouldn’t need deciphering.
Later on, after his 1-on-1 date with Danielle L, Dean again displayed a glimpse of good intent when he sought out Kristina to discuss how it went. But by then, the full disclosure of his “peck” with Danielle L felt more out of self-preservation than for Kristina’s benefit of knowing. And him describing the date as not romantic at all, after we’d seen him make out with Danielle and describe her as very much his type, was simply dishonest. And nothing was worse than him telling Kristina he’d missed her, only to present Danielle L with a “half birthday” cake later that same night, mere metres from Kristina. In Paradise, the quarters are far too close for one to have his cake and eat it too, and Dean’s little dance is going to dig him a deep grave very quickly.
Kristina, for her part, unfortunately seems insistent on giving Dean the benefit of the doubt and (at least thus far) interpreting his words as what she wants to hear. This pained me in last night’s episode. She is clearly a discerning, perceptive, and intelligent woman; she even asked in an ITM, “Do I listen to his words or his actions?” The unfortunate truth with relationships—not only the televised variety—is, if you have to ask that question, something is wrong. There were several moments where I wanted to jump into my television, give her a shake, and say, “Actions speak louder than words!” I really would like to see sweet Kristina find a spark with someone—anyone!—else, so here’s hoping she starts removing her eggs from the basket that is noncommittal, unethical Dean.
Watch Bachelor in Paradise Mondays AND Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. EST on City. Then, head on over to FLARE.com/themorningafter every Tuesday and Wednesday for recaps from Sharleen Joynt, GIF recaps and more!