It’s an oft-repeated sentiment on Bachelor In Paradise that things can change in an instant. On the Oct. 31 episode, Rodney Mathews and Eliza Isichei were the latest couple to crack under pressure, after Justin Glaze returned to the beach and asked Eliza on a date. But ironically, it wasn’t Justin’s actions that put this budding relationship to the test — it was Eliza herself. And let’s just say Bachelor Nation wasn’t too thrilled with how it all played out.
After agreeing to go on a date with Justin, Eliza went to Rodney to get his reaction. Rodney responded, “I want you to be happy, I’m not going anywhere,” and expressed that although he didn’t want her to go, he supported her in exploring her options. “I’m trying to be respectful of you,” he told her, but Eliza wanted a stronger reaction from him. “I want him to say, ‘you’re mine, don’t go,’” she said in a confessional. She proceeded to go on the date, and later told Rodney she wasn’t sure where she stood with him anymore. “You really threw me off,” she told him.
A similar situation happened on the Nov. 1 episode with Kate Gallivan and Logan Palmer. Kate was asked on a date by Hayden Markowitz, said yes, then went to talk to Logan about it. Logan told her, “You deserve to have the full experience of what it’s like to be in Paradise,” encouraging her to go if she wanted. Kate wasn’t happy. “I feel like he’s not fighting for me at all — in fact, I feel like he’s completely asleep at the wheel,” she said in a confessional. “It was almost as if he failed the test.”
But when did these women decide their men’s loyalty needed to be tested? And isn’t the whole premise of the show based on encouraging exploration? Rodney and Logan both showed respect by deferring to their partners’ independence. They didn’t know they were going to be judged based on the perceived strength of their emotional reaction, and the secret “test” left them both in a situation they couldn’t possibly win.
Fans on Twitter had a lot to say about the situation — and most sided with the guys.
Is it ever helpful to test your partner’s loyalty by trying to make them jealous? Experts say probably not. “Testing’ your partner is likely a sign of an anxious attachment style,” Ariella Grosse, LMSW, tells Elite Daily. There’s also nothing romantic about expecting someone else to be possessive of you. While Eliza saw Rodney’s response as a lack of enthusiasm, he likely saw it as a way to be respectful. In Kate’s case, Jessenia reminded her as much: “Maybe [Logan] did want to say, ‘No, I don’t want you to go,’ but he didn’t want you to feel tied down and controlled.”
If you’re tempted to test your partner’s loyalty, Grosse suggests thinking about why. “Try to understand the function of wanting your partner to feel jealous — is it to feel more secure? Reassured in your relationship? Confirm that they care about you?” she asks. Are there other ways your partner can make you feel wanted, without being put through a test? “Once you know and name your relationship needs, you can explicitly ask for these things … whether that be explicit reassurance and praise or smaller gestures,” Grosse says.
In other words: Say what you need. Your partner’s trust in you is a good thing.