This past season of the Bachelorette was entertaining to say the least. The credit should go mostly to Kaitlyn who is a straight-talking, down to earth, “fun girl,” who always kept it interesting. Of course, she was given a really great bunch of guys to choose from, and it appears that several had very genuine feelings for her. Lucky girl.
From the start, Kaitlyn was drawn to Shawn because of his looks/presence. She was wowed when he came out of the limo and he earned that all-important first impression rose. Actually, all past contestants who were awarded this distinction did not go on to be the one standing at the end, so in this case, it’s easy to say they had love at first sight. However, there was more and it was that more that speaks to having the kind of chemistry that goes the distance.
Kaitlyn wasn’t shy about discussing her need for a strong physical attraction to the man she would eventually end up with. This she said, was a must have. It was clear from the first time he showed up on the scene, four episodes in—that Nick was someone that had an almost irresistible pull for Kaitlyn. The physical aspect of their connection was intense and it was not only Kaitlyn’s focus when she talked about him, it also got her into trouble with the other guys when they were all in Ireland. Kaitlyn just couldn’t help but give in to the sexual pull on their date, and it almost cost her some great guys.
Because of this chemistry, it’s likely that many viewers saw Nick as the likely winner. Yes, Kaitlyn was very into a few of the men, Shawn included…but there was something about Nick. Even when she brought Shawn and Nick home to her family, she seemed to be leaning heavily towards Nick and lobbying her family to give him a chance and not judge him based on the Andi season. They remained open and supportive and came to like Nick and that was what Kaitlyn said she needed in order to choose either guy, her family’s approval. Then, it was up to her.
So what edge did Shawn have over Nick that led to her ultimately choosing him and feeling very sure about it? It was chemistry. Now if this seems confusing to you it is probably because you are looking at physical chemistry as THE chemistry a couple needs to have. If so, you are leaving out two important parts of chemistry that Shawn clearly had more of with Kaitlyn. These are friendship and their intellectual connection.
Their friendship bond must have been stronger, more in sync, contained more comfort and trust—and led Kaitlyn to feel as though Shawn was someone who really got and accepted her on a deep level, deeper and stronger than what she had with Nick. Their intellectual chemistry must also have been stronger. It’s likely they could talk for hours and finish each other’s sentences, that they laughed at the same things, that their worldview was similar—and that they challenged and excited each other through discussion and the sharing of ideas—not just when they were between the sheets.
Physical attraction might create those first sparks and keep our attention at least for a while, but without friendship and intellectual stimulation, passion is the fast-burning candle that starts as an intense flame and quickly dies out, leaving us wondering what went wrong. What we should be asking ourselves is what was missing in the first place. Kaitlyn made sure she explored her relationships to the fullest extent possible and it’s likely this relationship will go the distance.