Bachelor Nation

Not Only Is Hannah the Best Bachelorette, but She’s the Dating Role Model We All Need

The girl knows what she wants—and what she deserves—and we should all take note

(Photo: ABC, Illustration: Joel Louzado)

Well y’all, it was the best of times and it was mostly the worst of times. But, it’s over. On July 30, Hannah Brown’s tenure as ABC’s latest Bachelorette came to an end in *actually* “the most shocking finale” yet. The reigning queen of mic-drop moments wrapped up her search for love with a cringe-worthy musical proposal from the jingle-master himself, Jed Wyatt, a heartbreaking betrayal and a potential second shot at love with runner-up, Tyler C. It was a lot.

But hands down the best part of the night was Hannah’s own realization, and declaration, that she doesn’t need a man to make her complete. In a season full of mic-drop statements from “The Beast,” not only was this statement empowering AF, but it was pretty shocking, considering the Bachelorette is predicated entirely on the idea that you *do* need a man to complete you—and usually within a nine-week timeframe. But, we shouldn’t be surprised, because week after week, Hannah has been proving—with both her words and actions—that she’s not only our favourite Bachelorette, but the relationship role model we all need. Here’s why, and FYI, you may want to take notes.

She made mistakes—and grew from them

We all make mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes are Luke P.

Let’s get this out there. Luke P. is 100% manipulative and misogynistic. And, for a long time, only the viewers and the men in the house were privy to this info. But, despite being told time and time and time again that Luke P. was a straight-up liar, narcissist and “5’8′ villain,” Hannah just could. not. see. the. signs.

Hannah, probably:

It was super frustrating to watch our fave Bachelorette continuously choose someone who was so harmful to those around him. And, despite calling him out on their one-on-one for not being transparent, Hannah continuously defended him to the men, something that caused several of the guys to question her judgement.

It wasn’t until their ill-fated overnight date in Greece, in which Luke P. actually slut-shamed his desired wife-to-be for being intimate with the other men, that Hannah finally saw Luke for who he really is. And when she saw it, she *really* saw it. Talking about her relationship with Luke P. on The Men Tell All, Hannah opened up about what initially drew her to the controversial contestant, and was able to reflect on what may have blindly drew them together—their faith—was ultimately used against her. “I was, at the end, threatened by the shared faith that we had,” Hannah said.

But, she didn’t just leave it at that. Hannah went a step further to apologize to Bachelor Nation for furthering his behaviour. As former Bachelor contestant and FLARE contributor Sharleen Joynt wrote in her recap for the week, Hannah’s apology wasn’t necessary, but “showed a true awareness of her having enabled Luke P.” And, in identifying her role and the blinders she had on, “She also proved how different she is than him by her ability to own her responsibility in that.”

It was super mature.

And I think it was her experience with Luke P.—and the way she initially mishandled him—that allowed Hannah to also fully see through Jed’s inevitable BS, and dump him ASAP.

Not only has Hannah grown from her time on the show, but from her prior relationships as well. During the ATFR, Hannah commented on how proud she was of herself for actually breaking up with Jed, considering she’d stayed in untruthful relationships in the past. In an interview with People after the finale, Hannah elaborated on her comments. “I have been in love with somebody in my past who lied to me, who cheated on me, and I tried to make it work,” she told the magazine. “But I’m not that girl anymore, and that’s been something I’ve been so proud of. So, no matter how much it hurts, I won’t allow myself to be stuck in something for any longer than I should be. I deserve better.”

And, just:

If that isn’t growth, I don’t know what is! The idea that you deserve better is a realization that I think most women do inevitably come to—after putting up with way too much shit and way too many Jeds—but it’s a worthy realization nonetheless. For Hannah to be able to reflect on how she would have handled this relationship previously and make a different decision is super big, especially considering how much an engagement and marriage meant to her going in to this experience. For her to consciously walk away is a decision worthy of All. The. Praise.

She knows her self-worth

Time and time again, Hannah has shown Bachelor Nation that she knows her value and what she deserves—and she won’t compromise it for a mediocre or problematic partner. While we saw this in action numerous times throughout the season, from the first night when she kicked Scott to the curb for having a girlfriend (hey Jed, remember that?), to her conversation with her dad in the finale (when she said she knows she’ll be successful and able to provide for herself), Hannah proved she won’t take *any* bullshit in her confrontations with Luke P. and Jed.

It was the takedown we were all waiting for and it delivered. In confronting Luke P. over his problematic comments on their overnight date (in which he essentially told her she wouldn’t be his wife is she had slept with the other men), Hannah continuously stood up for herself and her values, refusing to apologize for being intimate with other contestants and emphasizing that Luke had no freakin’ business telling her what to do with her body, telling him straight-up: “You don’t own my body,” and “I answer to the Lord, I don’t answer to Luke.” In the same exchange, Hannah refused to qualify her decision to have sex as a failure of her religion, delivering the now iconic line: “I have had sex…and Jesus still loves me.”

And when Luke P. *literally* refused to leave after Hannah broke up with him, telling the Bachelorette that she owed him a minute to share his feelings, Hannah responded with the ultimate (and most accurate) clap back: “I don’t owe you anything.” *mic drop*

And if you thought *that* Hannah B was a one-off, our favourite pageant queen further fought for what she deserved in her pre-taped breakup conversation with Jed. Confronting her then-fiancée about reports that he was dating someone else when he came on the show, and was just in it for his career, Hannah was clear that what she ultimately got (ie: a lying, fame-hungry, off-key singing husband) wasn’t what she signed up for, or deserved. “The extent of…what was withheld from me after I’ve already said yes is not OK,” Hannah said in a pre-taped voiceover. “Jed has muddied the waters of our future together, and it’s not what I thought I said yes to.”

Later in the conversation, Hannah emphasized what she needs—and deserves—in a relationship: 100% honesty. And she wasn’t going to wait around for Jed to “better himself” enough to figure that out.

She knows that she truly doesn’t need a man

Listen, it’s human nature to want to find love.  Who wouldn’t want that head-over-heels kind of love that everyone talks about? But, the important thing to remember is that that’s not the *only* thing there is. And, you can find that kind of love and strength within yourself. This is the final lesson that Hannah left Bachelor Nation with. Having come on a show that’s all about finding “the one,” our bach babe realized that ultimately, “the one” is yourself, telling Chris Harrison, “I have realized that I don’t need a husband. I want a husband, but I don’t need one. And I’m really, really proud of the woman that I’ve become through all this, because I am hella strong!”

She gave the final rose to herself, thank you very much!

And it might have been this realization that led to arguably the most realistic dating moment in franchise history: when Hannah asked runner-up Tyler C. out for a drink. Despite what Bachelor Nation may think on whether or not Hannah actually deserves a second chance with the internet’s new feminist, mint-short-wearing King, their interaction at the end of last night’s finale—in which Hannah essentially owned up to making the wrong decision, acknowledging how much of a GD prince Tyler is, and asked him out—was super refreshing. Unlike the Jason Mesnicks and Arie Luyendyk Jrs of the franchise, two Bachelors who also pulled a switch post-finale and ended up with their runner-ups, there was no unrealistic expectation on our Bachelorette’s part that Tyler would drop everything and get down on one knee (again) to propose (like Arie did). Or even that he would jump back into a relationship (like Jason did).  She simply asked if he’d be up for a drink and see where it goes.

It may not be the Notebook-level, run-into-each-other’s-arms ending that we seriously crave and the show leans into, but that’s the point.

Because it’s realistic. TBH, it would have been disappointing to see Hannah expect a proposal or jump right back into something serious, especially just mere moments after saying she doesn’t need a guy to complete her. Because she doesn’t.

Plus, the dude has Gigi Hadid following him on Instagram—so he has options.

And so does Hannah. Whether or not she ends up with Tyler, it really doesn’t matter. Because she’s shown us that whatever happens, she’ll be just fine—and so will we.

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