Nothing too serious usually happens in the first half hour of Bachelor in Paradise, but on Episode 8, Bachelor Nation's world was blown when Colton Underwood and Tia Booth broke up within minutes of the episode's start. The former pro football player and his actions are always a bit of a puzzle, but why did Colton leave Bachelor in Paradise?
While Tia was napping on the beach with visions of marriage and babies dancing in her head, Colton was freaking out about not "feeling it" with Tia. Eric Bigger seemingly breaking things off with Angela Amezcua in favor of dating Cassandra Ferguson sent every couple into paranoia, but Colton apparently took the shakeup the hardest. He confided to cameras that people-pleasing was his weakness, and as he once felt pressured to keep playing football despite major injuries, he was beginning to feel forced to stay committed to Tia.
In a tearful conversation, Colton admitted to Tia that they just weren't working out on his end. Although she may have gushed about their future together earlier in the episode, Tia almost seemed to anticipate his announcement, crying about the fact that the conversation she was probably dreading deep down was actually happening. In Colton's defense, he was comforting and apologetic to Tia, so as far as Paradise breakups go, at least this one was fairly cordial.
Whether it was his relationship inexperience that originally played into his time with Bachelorette Becca Kufrin or a genuine anxiety about becoming more serious with Tia, Colton was clearly upset about making the decision to break up with Tia and leave the beach. As he headed into his customary exit minivan, he knew he couldn't deliver what Tia, who also left Paradise after the split, deserved.
Is this a disappointing ending after spending what feels like eternity on the buildup of this relationship? Sure. But was Colton the "bad guy" of the breakup? Not necessarily. We've all been in his spot of feeling a little uncertain of whether a relationship is the best for us, and while the breakup is a tad annoying after entire Bachelorette and Paradise seasons seemingly devoted to Colton and Tia, it was a mature and realistic take on a relatable situation.
As for where the couple stands today, we'll have to wait until the season's reunion show for the (semi) real lowdown. But on Twitter, the pair seem to have an understanding. While Tia appeared to mock the gray sleeveless hoodie Colton wore during their breakup, Colton responded to her tweet with a fitting joke.
So, the former couple is apparently comfortable enough to exchange dad jokes on Twitter, but as we all know, social media is a clever game. Tia even followed up her joke with a sadder tweet hinting at her true feelings about the breakup, so things aren't quite sunny for her.
I'm inarguably relieved for a bit of a break from Colton and Tia's on-again-off-again drama, but revisiting their time together during the cast reunion episode ought to be juicy. Get ready for Chris Harrison's knowing looks and not-so-subtle nudges for gossip!
Bachelor in Paradise continues on Tuesday, Sept. 4, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.