Episode 8 – Hometowns
First, we head to Baltimore to meet Eric’s family.
My god, this was the most boring hometown date ever but I do have some thoughts about it.
I don’t think Eric is anywhere near ready for marriage. The fact that Rachel is the first woman Eric has brought home is a huge red flag. It basically means he’s never had a serious relationship. Rachel is awesome but all the relationships we have teach us about ourselves and what we need in a long-term partner. If Eric has never considered any of his girlfriends long-term prospects, how can he possibly know that Rachel will be a good long-term partner for him?
I like Eric’s aunt Verna. She seems pretty cool. She brings up the race issue and Rachel says she feels a lot of pressure because she’s being judged by two different groups of people.
I do feel for Rachel having to be judged by both the black community and everyone else. I’m sure she’s getting crap for sending all the black guys home except Eric who I’m pretty sure she’s not going to end up with. Which means the first black lead is going to choose a white fiancé. I can imagine that’s not going to go over well with some members of the black community. It will likely feel like a betrayal.
As for white people, there are a lot of racists out there and I’m sure she’s getting crap on that front too. It seems like most of the people who fall into the “everyone else” category are supportive of Rachel though so I hope that will make up for the bigots.
Eric’s mom’s style of parenting is frighteningly misguided. She says she didn’t show Eric too much love growing up because she didn’t want him to become too dependent on her. It’s no wonder Eric hasn’t had a serious relationship. He probably has an attachment disorder.
Basically, if your mother doesn’t connect with you when you’re young in a loving way, it makes it difficult to form emotional bonds as an adult which is referred to as an “attachment disorder”. I have an attachment disorder so I know how difficult relationships can be under those circumstances. Eric really needs to go to therapy to try to deal with it before he attempts a real relationship let alone a marriage.
I got married before I was fully cognizant of my problems with forming bonds and the marriage lasted about a year and a half. I don’t think Eric will even last that long. I think if Rachel were to choose Eric, his problems with accepting love would resurface very quickly. Right now, Rachel is unavailable to him which allows him to form a bond with the idea of her without the commitment.
He claims to love her but you can’t form a love bond with someone who isn’t available. All you can do is bond to a mental ideal of who you want that person to be and how you imagine you will feel in a relationship with that person. Eric imagines that Rachel will be able to continue to make him feel passionate and excited about her and that he will be able to commit to her because of that. But part of the excitement is wanting something he doesn’t yet have. As soon as she becomes real and available, he’ll probably run for the hills as he’s done in previous relationships.
(AKA Beware of Mom)
First, Bryan takes Rachel to Domino Park in Miami to play dominoes. I can already tell this hometown date is going to be about the same level of interesting as Eric’s. 🙄
I want to scratch my eyes out.
Bryan says that he and Rachel are a perfect match. Based on what? I can’t remember Bryan asking Rachel anything serious about herself. I do remember him mouth raping her on night one before he barely knew her name but I don’t remember him trying to honestly get to know her.
Bryan’s mom, Olga, is super protective and my gut says she’s overbearing and obsessed with her only child. She’s the opposite of Eric’s mom. I suspect that Bryan is too dependent on her and hasn’t fully formed an authentic identity of his own which is why he’s 37 going on 17. It’s time to cut the cord.
It’s one thing to be a part of your child’s adult life but it’s quite another to try to continue to protect them from all the evils of the world. People must be allowed to fail and to learn from their mistakes.
I will say this for Olga: She hits the nail right on the head when she says she doesn’t understand how Bryan has had the opportunity to meet so many women but suddenly he goes on a reality show and happens to fall in love with the lead.
My guess is that Bryan is suffering from something akin to what Eric is suffering from: unrealistic infatuation with someone who isn’t quite available. He can’t separate his idealism from the reality of what it means to actually be with Rachel. Regardless of how genuine I think Bryan is (not very) he seems to be a hopeless romantic who wants a fairytale ending.
What could be more romantic than finding the woman of your dreams on a reality show? It gives one the sense that only destiny could lead to such a statistically improbable way to meet your true love. Bryan even says he feels like it’s destiny.
Olga tries to remind her son that marriage is a serious commitment and he and Rachel need to get to know each other first but I think it went in one ear and out the other. Bryan wants the fairytale, not the reality of marriage.
Rachel talks to Olga and she warns Rachel that if she marries Bryan, she’ll be marrying a family too and if she hurts Bryan, she’ll kill her.
As Rachel and Bryan are saying goodbye, Bryan tells Rachel he’s in love with
Rachel is very receptive to his feelings. I really hope Rachel’s family can straighten her out about Bryan. He means well but he’s seriously full of sh*t.
Next: Episode 8 part 2, Episode 9