March 15, 2011 at 6:13 pm , by Sonia Harmon
As I watched the season finale of The Bachelor, my heart and mind were in reflection mode. It was only a year ago that my own journey came to an end on television, but my real journey was just beginning. I had an incredible and healing experience while I was on the show that has led me to where I am in life right now.
I remember getting out of the helicopter in St. Lucia and Chris Harrison greeting me. I had been praying that if this was not the man for me, I would know and he would know too. The moment I saw my bachelor, I knew what was about to go down. I had such a great peace within me and I knew that everything was going to be okay. I don’t mean that saying goodbye and facing rejection was easy, but coming out of it I was able to know what I could conquer and that what was “right” for me was in my future.
A year later I have grown so much, and I have found a new confidence that’s helped me learn what I desire in a relationship. I’ve also learned how to allow someone to love me, and to love myself, so that I can only love someone back even more! Who would have thought anyone could learn so much from a show like The Bachelor? Without my Bachelor journey, I wouldn’t be in the place where I am today and with the man that has shared a true love with me. I am grateful.
March 8, 2011 at 12:22 pm , by Sonia Harmon
During my season of The Bachelor I didn’t get to participate in the “Women Tell All” episode because I was one of the last two girls, so I didn’t get to have the reunion that all of the other girls had with each other. Watching this episode brought back different memories for me, and I also came to a special realization.
Women can really stir up some drama and sadly, it can be entertaining to watch. I cringed as the women fought back and forth, but especially when they singled each other out. It strangely took me back to a moment when I felt like I was in the hot seat at the Bachelor Pad finale. It never feels good to have someone pointing their finger at you or saying mean things to you, no matter what the truth is. I am a very sensitive person, and unfortunately I’ve been known to “emote” very easily. During the filming of the Bachelor Pad finale I was so blessed to have my boyfriend Kiptyn’s hand to hold.
Watching this episode brought that moment in the “hot seat” back to me, but I also realized how I had a new strength and confidence about myself as those hurtful words came at me. I hadn’t thought about that moment until now, and now I know that the hand I was holding enriched my strength, and for that I am so grateful. When you look at your relationships with the ones you love—a significant other, friends, family members—allow them to enrich you, and give them that gift as well.
March 1, 2011 at 3:13 pm , by Sonia Harmon
“It’s time to take our relationship to the next level…” This is the line often used during the fantasy suite date on The Bachelor, but it doesn’t necessarily mean what you think. The fantasy date is the first time the bachelor and his lady get to spend some time away from the cameras so they can really get to know each other, and I don’t mean that in an intimate way. It’s an opportunity to ask silly questions that wouldn’t make for good TV like, what’s your favorite dessert? Or, where did you go to college? The answers won’t make or break a future, but they do help you feel like you’re getting to know someone a little better.
When I was on the show I was extremely nervous to accept that fantasy suite invite. The whole date I knew it was coming, but I wasn’t sure of what my bachelor’s expectations were and that made me really anxious. I said yes to going to the fantasy suite, but I made sure he knew that I wanted us to use that time to get to know each other while the cameras weren’t around and to catch up on all of the typical first date questions we bypassed. We talked about our childhoods, our friends back at home, our favorite music, books and all that kind of stuff. That would have been a snooze-fest on TV! But of course there is some “smooching” without the cameras around, unless the couple has nothing in common!
So often, the girl chosen at the end of The Bachelor is thought of as the winner, and she is in some ways because hopefully she has “won” true love. But it shouldn’t be so much about competition, it should be more about the compatibility of two people. So last night, who really worked together as a couple behind closed doors? It’s hard to know with all the editing that’s involved, and we didn’t get to see every minute of the dates, but now it’s down to two. Which woman will get him down on one knee?
February 22, 2011 at 11:24 am , by Sonia Harmon
Hometown dates are probably one of the most significant elements of The Bachelor because you’re bringing that person into your life, introducing them to the people that have influenced you, and taking them to a place that is familiar to you. Two people could share incredible chemistry and be totally compatible, but when you’re trying to mesh two lives together you’ve got to be real with each other about your individual lives. Dating on The Bachelor moves at such a rapid pace, so the hometown dates are beyond important.
When I took my Bachelor to my little hometown of Newberg, Oregon it was very emotional for my family and I, but especially for my parents and sister. It was such a strange and exciting thing for them to see me walk into their house holding the hand of a man I had only met weeks before. But I was grinning ear to ear, and I could tell that they were so relieved. Being on The Bachelor takes you away from your real life for weeks and you don’t have any contact with your loved ones, so imagine my family’s anxiety while I was gone—they were wondering and praying that I was alright. But there I was, better than I was the last time they’d seen me, full of confidence and smiling.
As I look back I think of what it took for my whole family to not only open up to a man that was dating their daughter, but also to television cameras and producers. l now know how overwhelming, emotional, and exciting it was for all of them. I’m really thankful that my family was so open.
The hometown dates reminded me of how important it is to be a “team” with your significant other. I’m looking forward to seeing which woman makes the best team with Brad next week!
February 15, 2011 at 2:20 pm , by Sonia Harmon
“Where do I stand?” is the battle the heart begins to fight when you’re a contestant on The Bachelor. Some relationships begin to progress and some stay at a standstill, not ever having the opportunity to grow. On The Bachelor the “love thing” is a one-way street: the Bachelor can’t tell any of the women what he feels for them. When a girl says “I love you” he can’t say anything back. He’s also not supposed to tell a woman she won’t be going home. So because his relationshipa to the women on the show are a one-way street, many of them are confused, some are more confident than they should be and others are not as confident as they could be.
I remember having those feelings when I was one of a handful of women left. All of us were trying to figure out if we were the right girl for the guy we were all dating. My confidence was particularly rocked the week right before hometown dates. I had just had an incredible “one on one” date and felt confident that our relationship was growing, yet I saw other women coming back from their dates glowing and feeling as confident as I did. I felt like my mind was playing tricks on me. But then I decided to ask myself, “Why does this matter? If he wants to continue to see where our relationship goes and meet my family, it will happen. This isn’t a competition and I don’t want to force anything.”
It’s so easy for this situation to become a “competition,” but I think that naturally, the women are trying to protect themselves from rejection. They are constantly trying to figure out where they stand so they can let their hearts continue to fall in love or so they can prepare themselves for heartache. Two women have already told Brad that they’ve fallen in love with him. Will the others find the confidence to let their hearts go as they take their Bachelor home to their families? I can’t wait to see!
February 10, 2011 at 10:35 am , by Sonia Harmon
Sometimes I think we do a little dance throughout life, with a few steps forward and a few steps back, but by doing this we can create our own dead ends. This week the beautiful ladies of The Bachelor have found themselves doing just that—after weeks of breaking down walls they’re putting them back up, although one confident and very “in-love” lady seems to be bulldozing through!
The first couple of weeks of my experience on The Bachelor were all about becoming vulnerable with my Bachelor and getting comfortable in my own skin in a very unique environment, and for the first couple of weeks it seemed like I was making progress along with the other women as we got familiar with our surroundings, each other and our Bachelor. But right around week five everything crumbled. I remember two of the girls on my season really started to gang up on one another. They were so worried about each other being there that they got competitive and almost forgot that there was still an important connection to be made with the Bachelor! Many of us even started to compare ourselves to specific girls that were still around thinking, “If she’s here, why am I here, we’re nothing alike…”
It’s so easy to sabotage a possible relationship by putting up walls or making comparisons. The most important thing is to focus on yourself and be confident in who you are and what you bring to the table in a relationship. Chantal O. seems to have found the confidence she needs and has already given her heart to Brad by declaring her love for him. I’ve never seen someone on The Bachelor say that so early on, so I’m excited to see if this builds an emotional tie between her and Brad more quickly than usual. Could she really be “the one”?! We still have several girls to say goodbye to before we see which woman is the last one standing.
February 1, 2011 at 11:23 am , by Ladies' Lounge
The past seven and a half months have been incredibly special for me because I’ve had some amazing opportunities to travel with someone who has become one of my greatest friends: my boyfriend, Kiptyn Locke. In October we were both invited to an extremely special and important benefit for the Andre Agassi Foundation in Las Vegas. We were both so honored to be there and it is still one of our favorite events we have attended together! But it just so happens that this week’s episode was being filmed while we were there! We even bumped into some of our old behind-the-scenes Bachelor folks being all sneaky… but they didn’t fool us, especially after people continued to approach us telling us that The Bachelor was filming around the corner! Plus we had a feeling those fireworks we saw were part of a Bachelor spectacular!
This week Emily took a courageous spin around the Las Vegas Motor Speedway that broke down one huge barrier, allowing her to begin to look ahead to her future rather than stay in the past, remembering a really tragic day. I was struck with emotions as I watched Emily take the wheel in a place that was holding her back—and as she started the engine to that race car she said, “I will not bring anything from my past into today.” She took off on the track and it was like she was shedding old skin to begin anew. It’s amazing how the challenges put before us—as painful as they can be—can be the best things for us. I don’t know Emily, but my heart was full of pride for her!
I am grateful for the places the last seven and half months with Kiptyn have taken me; we’ve met people facing crazy challenges every day. These adventures and my relationship have inspired me to live big and do what I can to make a difference. I am so encouraged to look at life and how I live it, opening my eyes to future dreams and looking forward instead of looking back. Cheers to Emily and all: There are great things to come, today is a new day!