The Bachelorette Season 15 may be over, but the drama continues.
Last we saw Hannah Brown and Tyler Cameron, a.k.a. Tyler C., they were giggling and flirting on After the Final Rose. Hannah had just informed Bachelor Nation that although she had picked Jed (ugh), when she learned about his dating history and lies (double ugh), she ended their engagement. Now a #singlelady, Hannah is up for rekindling things with Tyler C. and, like the boss she is, asked him out for a drink on national television. Cue a collective awwwwww from us all.
However, in the background of what felt like the reality-TV version of The Notebook, there were other ladies interested in the general contractor from Jupiter, Florida. Model Gigi Hadid shattered the dreams of a whole lot of Tyler C. fans when she followed him on Instagram in mid July. After the After the Final Rose—which I’m sure will become a show of its own in due time—it looks like not only did Tyler C. go on that date with Hannah but he has also been on a couple of romantic outings with Gigi. On August 4, he and the supermodel were Gossip Girl-style spotted at Soho House in Brooklyn and were later seen heading back to Gigi’s apartment for a nightcap; the following night, the two were seen out bowling together. I’m not sure if Chris Harrison handed Tyler C. a stack of date cards, but add in a few palm trees and margaritas and this is basically a Bachelor in Paradise storyline.
After the news broke, the media immediately turned to Hannah. Did she know? Was she upset? What did this mean for #Hyler? I mean, given The Bachelorette‘s Season 15 cliffhanger finale, fans were predictably invested in Tyler C. and Hannah getting a fairytale ending. But from the get-go, Hannah has been hella practical. She didn’t pull an Arie and Lauren on After the Final Rose and jump from her breakup with Jed straight into a relationship with Tyler C. She has proven repeatedly that she’s not getting caught up in the fantasy of this franchise. She’s looking for love, not “likes” on IG. And she demonstrated that yet again when she was asked about Tyler C. and Gigi’s potential budding romance. In an interview with People, Hannah reiterated that she’s “a single woman.” And when Entertainment Tonight asked her directly about Tyler C. and his date with Gigi, Hannah said, “I have feelings, but I’m also single and he’s single and I wanna keep my options open and he can keep his options open.” In addition to being a dating role model, this woman needs to be a life coach because she is a boss.
Given that Hannah took on the role of Bachelorette, she’s clearly looking for a partner. But what’s refreshing about her response to the Tyler C.-and-Gigi rumours, and her general outlook post-Bach, is that she is consistent in being a strong, independent woman who is looking for love on her own terms. Sure, she stated that she has feelings for Tyler C., but that doesn’t mean they automatically have to get engaged and start planning their TV wedding. In fact, it doesn’t mean that they have to be together at all.
“I am single, and people slide into my DMs if they want to, but I just got out of an engagement and dating 30 men. [Dating] is not really not my sole focus right now,” Hannah told ET. “I’m working on Hannah and loving Hannah, and so, you know, if that means going to have a drink again with somebody else, then I’m all for it.”
Hannah reiterated this message of self-love, telling Extra that she is keeping her options open and that she hopes that her experience will help women fight for what they’re worth.
“Using this platform that I have been given and the conversation I have started continues to fill my cup and fill other women’s cups as well,” she told Extra, adding that she wants other women to feel “empowered to be worthy and not settle.”
And that means that, like Tyler C., Hannah deserves a chance to enjoy her newfound fame and freedom and see who is out there—beyond The Bachelorette cast list. Sure, her ending up with Tyler C. would wrap up this storyline with a nice, neat little bow, but maybe that’s not reality—it’s just reality TV. And Hannah knows the difference.