Bachelor in Paradise Can Teach Us a Thing or Two About Vacay Romances

FYI, if he's a dick at home, a little sun won't change that

(Photo: ABC; Illustration: Emily Varley)

Paradise is back, baby! Everyone’s favourite tropical trash fire is *officially* back for its sixth season—and with it comes drama, drama, drama and tons of printed button-ups. Oh, and, surprisingly, maybe a few lessons in love?

With the most recent season clocking in at just three weeks of filming, BiP is seriously just like one extended vacay—with the expectation that you get engaged at the end. While most of us probably aren’t looking to end our own trips to Mexico with a rock on our finger, there are still a few lessons to be learned about what to do and what not to do during your own tropical dalliances. Whether you’re looking for forever love, à la Jade and Tanner Tolbert, or just a fling, your Bachelor Nation faves can teach you *a lot* through their own beach rendezvous—mainly, that alcohol and multiple relationships really don’t mix.

Hooking up with multiple people—like, IRL—never works

Listen, relationships are messy and complicated as it is, so why would you throw multiple people into the mix? Especially when those people aren’t aware of each other and all think that they’re your one and only? BiP contestant Blake Horstmann is probably asking himself that *exact* question after this season’s premiere episodes. The former Bachelorette contestant, a fan fave on Becca Kufrin’s season, found himself in some hot water in the premiere. And, no, it wasn’t just because of the soaring Mexican temps. The Bachelor contender was called out by Bach Nation alums Kristina Schulman and Caelynn Miller-Keyes after it was revealed that he’d slept with both women at this year’s Stagecoach music festival in April—within 24 hours of each other. Blake had been seeing Kristina and texting with Caelynn in the months leading up to the festival, and he was reportedly texting Hannah Godwin the morning after hooking up with Caelynn…with her still in bed beside him. According to Caelynn, he then told her they had to lie about their rendezvous and said that she—and their night together—was a “mistake.”

And all we have to say is:

Not one to give up on his fuckboy tendencies, Blake then legit ran away when Caelynn showed up in Paradise, straight up ignored her and hooked up with Tayshia Adams. On the August 6 episode, Kristina and Caelynn both called him out for his seriously problematic behaviour—in private and in public—and Blake responded pretty much like this:

When we last saw Blake in Paradise, he was blaming Kristina for “ambushing” him and ruining his experience, worried about how he would look to everyone and pretty much unable to comprehend how skeevy his actions were. Oh, and he was also making moves on Hannah G. (Leave her alone!)

Outside of Paradise, Blake continued the skeevy AF behaviour, taking to social media to defend himself and his character against allegations made by Caelynn. In his Instagram stories on August 6, he shared a series of texts between himself and Caelynn that appear to refute her side of the story (although with gaps). In an Instagram post, Blake wrote: “I NEVER ‘sweet talked’ her at Stagecoach. Caelynn and I were NEVER in a relationship. I NEVER ghosted Caelynn, I NEVER called her a mistake and I absolutely NEVER EVER EVER silenced Caelynn.” Later, he shared his reasoning for showing these texts publicly, writing: “This is the last thing I wanted to do, but my name and character are being attacked. My name is all I really have.”

Honestly, sharing those texts feels weird and didn’t address the real issue of him making Caelynn feel like a dirty little secret and just generally disrespecting Kristina and her body.

So, pretty much, don’t be like Blake. Or, at least, don’t hook up with multiple people in the same friend group, ghost them and then blast them on social media. Vacay romances are chill, but they’re not *that* chill.

With that in mind, it’s OK to test the waters

As long as you’re open and honest with your partners and potential partners, vacay is the time to seriously go for it when it comes to dating around. Take a cue from fan (and male Paradise) fave Hannah G. and mack on as many cuties as you want! Are we *super* thrilled that she seems to be stringing along sweet-as-pie Dylan Barbour? No—that guy is seriously underrated and adorbs. I mean, look:

But are we all for Hannah G. testing the waters to find out what she *actually* likes before committing (hopefully to Dylan)? Hell, yes!

And you should be too.

Keep it light

While Paradise is pretty much The Bachelor on steroids—i.e., a search for a lifelong partner but in an even shorter and more unrealistic amount of time—the environment is much more laid-back and chill than the Bachelor mansion. They’re wearing patterned shirts, after all. And we should take the same approach to our own vacation dalliances. Vacation is the time to go with the flow and ride the wave of whatever comes a là John Paul Jones. Maybe it’s a one-night stand in Venice; maybe it’s an afternoon in Paris, like in Before Sunset; or maybe it’s a meet-cute in Holland that turns into a 25-year marriage. Who can say?! All we know is that it’s not the time to be all intense about things or thinking *super* seriously about the future.

Don’t, for example, have literally half a conversation with a woman and decide that she’d be a good mother to your future child. Because that is decidedly *not* chill, CAM.

Also, this:

Not keeping it light.

The bartender is your friend—and a great dating coach

By now we can all agree that Wells Adams is *the* best person in Paradise, and the sixth-season’s premiere just solidified what we already knew: The bartender is the BFF we all need. Not only do they serve up delicious, alcohol-efficient drinks, but they usually do so with an open ear and sage words of advice when it comes to love.

By this point, Wells has seen it all. And as a newly engaged man himself, he’s the perfect person to gossip with, vent to and cheer you along in your quest for love (or at least some great vacay sex).

Whether he’s cheering Wills on after his first BiP kiss (with Hannah G.), giving Dylan dating advice (again, on Hannah G.) or encouraging Bibiana to pursue Clay and then consoling her when it didn’t work out, Wells is the only person in Paradise who’s *not* there for himself—so he 100% has your back. TBQH, Chris Harrison could never.

And he’ll always tell it like it is—with a side of tequila, of course.

Who doesn’t want a friend like that?

I think we can also all agree that we 100% need a recording of Wells saying “You’re a badass bitch” so we can play it on repeat AT ALL TIMES.

So, tip your bartender because chances are they have some great dating *tips* for you.

Be yourself

It’s easy to want to change who you are on vacation. You’re in an exciting new place with new people. You can totally reinvent yourself. And while maybe that’s a good idea for some people—*cough* Blake *cough*—vacay is the time to lean into who you are—only with a tan. Take a cue from self-anointed “queer queen” Demi Burnett and embrace who you are.

Because everyone will love you for it. Especially if you’re like this:

And sometimes, true love happens in the weirdest of places 

Surprising to probably everyone, BiP actually has a pretty good success rate. With three marriages and and another four successful couples under the spin-off’s belt, it turns out that meaningful connections *can* actually be formed under the leadership of Chris Harrison and copious amounts of alcohol. And true love doesn’t necessarily have to stay in Paradise. Meaning, your time under the Tuscan sun could prove fruitful—not just for your tan but for your love life IRL as well.

So, here’s hoping your vacay fling becomes the real thing! 

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