Take It or Leave It

Can a normal human being actually fall in love with two different people at the same time? This has been the question that has constantly been on my mind since the beginning of the season as I watched Ben on his not so private journey to find a permanent companion. This question as difficult as it is to answer begets more questions and draws a very definitive line in the proverbial sand between the Realists and the Romantics of the Bachelor Nation. As the drama draws to a close it seems to me to be an opportune time to try to separate Heads from Tails as Ben completes his journey.

Our first glimpse of Ben is that of a somewhat split soul in need of advice from trusted sources which materialize in the form of mother and sister. Ben’s mother, Barbara and his sister, Julia arrive in Switzerland and quickly hone in on Ben’s feelings of indecision about the most important decision of his young life. With his family council in place, Ben delves into the intricacies of the final two women left standing in the Thunderdome. Ben describes Lindzi as the type of woman who “lights up the room” upon entrance but remains emotionally guarded during their personal time together. Ben then mentions to mom and sis that his and Lindzi’s relationship has progressed slowly and I think we all know that “slow”, “slow building”, “need more time”, etc. are not positive words or phrases in Bachelor/ Bachelorette-speak. This conversation is topped off with a pure Cherry from Julia who wonders if there was “a girl that was more dramatic or that the other girls didn’t like?” Julia is obviously a sharp cookie who knows women but I didn’t realize she was Sylvia Browne without the talons! Ben tells mom and sis that the other finalist is a woman that he’s had strong feelings for that have been somewhat tempered by reservations that he hopes his family can help to assuage.

Operation Ko Samui

Lindzi is first to meet the Flajnik’s and in nervous anticipation she realizes that this meeting is her only chance to express the love she feels for Ben to his bodyguards. In the presence of Barbara who is a former interrogator with the Central Intelligence Agency, Lindzi does her best Gaylord Focker and literally fumbles her way through dinner as Barbara attempts to extract vital nuggets regarding her true feelings for Ben. Lindzi manages to regain her composure long enough to explain that Ben is the type of person that: “you never want to stop talking to” and that she would be honored if he chose her as his life partner. The shrewd Flajnik Matriarch seeing that her enhanced interrogation has failed to crack Lindzi decides to try another approach and sends in Julia aka, The Clairvoyant. Julia goes “good cop” and successfully lowers Lindzi’s guard by advising her on what types of traits Ben needs to see from any potential mate. With all defenses down, Julia initiates the final “character” test to see if Lindzi will throw the “other girl” under the bus. Miraculously, after hours of intense interrogations under constant threat of more wine and Hors d’oeuvres in the horrible confines of a 5 Star Resort, Lindzi gracefully sidesteps the question and her strength of character is cemented with the Flajnik Cabal and Ben is able to exhale as the first finalist is successfully vetted.

Water Boarding Time!

In the season’s most anticipated meeting since Ben met Courtney’s family, it is now Crockett and Tubb’s turn to size up the “the model”. Julia immediately throws red flags all over the field faster than an NFL head coach eager to see a favorable replay on a Jumbo-Tron. Obviously using Lindzi’s visit as the watermark, Julia is noticeably apprehensive about Courtney and her ability to play nice with other people, much less fit in with her and Barbara. At this juncture, Ben’s future with Courtney lies solely on her ability to be the woman he saw and fell in love with and not the “other girl” we all saw during most of the season. Julia, who is anxious to sort out Courtney’s fact from fiction skips the foreplay and jumps right in asking: “I heard a few things about you not getting along with the other girls and for anyone with an outsider’s prospective that’s always kind of a red flag.” At this point we viewers have heard Courtney’s explanations for her previous actions so it’s no surprise that her response to Julia’s query doesn’t yield any new details as to why we’ve seen two different Courtney’s this season. I do feel that Julia attempted to do her due diligence on her brother’s behalf but I can’t help but think there was much more to this conversation left on the cutting room floor (I know, I know, all editing is digital now but it’s such a great visual). Having seemingly gained the approval of one half of Ben’s council Courtney now sits with the Materfamilias of the Flajnik family. The between Courtney and Barbara starts off as smoothly as jagged glass as Courtney seems to call out Ben’s qualities in a way you would if you were trying to describe an unattractive person to make them seem attractive: “He’s special, and smart and funny…He’s so funny and smart, I love him. He’s the best.” I actually agree with Courtney here as does Barbara because Ben happens to be one funny dude but I would hope that you could come up with some deeper descriptions about someone that you would want to spend the rest of your life with. Then again they’ve only spent a total of about 21.7 hours together? Barbara does her motherly best to calm Courtney and her self-proclaimed vulnerability about feeling so strongly for Ben with another woman still in the picture. Barbara draws comparisons to Ben’s previous journey with Ashley and how seriously he took that decision prior to Tebowing and that he would exhibit the same care and thought this time around especially in light of how the last season ended for him. Courtney agrees with Barbara and is left to rely on the strength of her personal connection with Ben to console her fears until decision-time. Surely, the decision to chill out near the finish line wasn’t easy for someone who struggles with competition pertaining to matters of the heart but Courtney has done all that she could in terms of damage control and the rest is out of her hands. Courtney won the approval of Ben’s family which I’m sure, made his final decision that much easier.

Two Women Enter, One Woman Leave…in a Taxi

Ben, fresh with the knowledge that his immediate family approves of both of his finalists has a final date with each women to decide the future of three people. Both dates are fat on natural beauty but very lean in terms of revealing any more depth about either relationship. It’s clear to me that Ben and Courtney have a more natural connection that is evident in Ben’s goofy humor that I was privileged to be around last year as we chased Ashley across Asia. This is not to say that Lindzi and Ben aren’t compatible because I think that they have a mutual respect and admiration for one another but these qualities aren’t as dynamic as they are between Ben and Courtney. Again I ask question: can anyone fall in love with two people at the same time?

The scene is set for an epic proposal at the base of the Pennine Alps with the magnificent Matterhorn looming in the distance. Ben ascends to the spot where he will have the best and worst conversations of his life only a few minutes apart from each other.

Surely by now those who opted out of ruining the show with spoilers have all but concluded Ben would choose Courtney while still holding out on the slim chance of an upset in Lindzi’s favor. Alas we know the first person out of the helicopter is the first to be sent home single. Lindzi emerges confident, excited and hopeful as she’s escorted with the upmost professionalism by our host Chris Harrison who hands her off to Ben. As the couple stands and reflects on the positives of their journey it is clear that Ben realizes there isn’t an easy way to let go of someone who loves you. Ben releases Lindzi from their relationship, which is actually very anti-climatic due to Lindzi’s confidence and class. She takes the news in stride and sheds nary a tear which is in stark contrast to the previous departures of Kacie and Nicki who were left visibly shocked by Ben’s decision to let them go. I imagine the pain Ben felt when he was on the receiving end of being let go only served to teach him to release those who were actually more emotionally invested earlier knowing that the larger stage would only intensify the hurt. I’m not saying that Lindzi didn’t have true feelings for Ben. Instead I feel she answered the question I posed at the beginning of this blog a little earlier than the other girls before her.

We’ve now come full circle as the man who swore to me prior to leaving for his second attempt at love in the public eye, “I’m not going to be the guy who proposes twice on TV in six months,” now has and I can tell you he is happy. From the beginning Courtney has always been Ben’s vision of beauty even if everyone else around didn’t want to see it. Like any relationship they’ve encountered hardships and most have surfaced too early for a relationship that still is trying to build legs to stand on but that’s the tradeoff for a natural love born out of unnatural circumstances. Many questions have been asked of Ben in regards to him not giving all the women in his company a fair chance at earning his love. The reality of the situation is Ben is not an actor capable of truly masking his feelings or simply creating them for someone when all that exists is superficial or platonic. Imagine those of you who are in love and how deep you feel for your partner, now place yourself in a speed dating tournament where you aren’t allowed to fully express how you really feel. I wonder who of you would fare any better?

I don’t believe you can honestly be in love with two different people at the same time. This is based on my own definition of love in its simplest of terms, for me the love I give would be the love I would expect to receive. Therefore if you truly love the one you are with how can you expect to give anything less than all of your heart? By definition the term giving all means there shouldn’t be any left to share, it’s really that simple. As fans you must come to the realization that Lindzi, Nicki, Kacie, Ben and even myself at times were all just playing our parts in a someone else’s love story.

I want to thank everyone for taking the time to read my views throughout this season. I appreciate the support and even the criticism I’ve received as they simply helped to form the opinions I’ve expressed within my blogs. Above all congratulations Ben, I can’t wait to meet Courtney and have a laugh at just how crazy blessed our lives have been over the past year.

All the Best,

Constantine Tzortzis



  1. Thanks for another terrific blog. Please blog for Emily’s season too!

    Comment by Phoebe — March 15, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

  2. This is not meant as a flirt post particularly since I’m old enough to be your mother, but I’ve learned over the last few weeks through your blogs why Ashley liked you so much. You may have been playing a supporting role in her love story but your humor is grade A.

    I agree with the above poster. Please blog during Emily’s season.

    Comment by ilja — March 15, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

  3. Nicely written Constantine. I sincerely hope Ben and Courtney can find some long term happiness if for nothing but to ease the pain of the backlash of the process. No doubt Courtney was edited ALOT but she did make some cruel and immature remarks…and I hope America can forgive her for them. It would be awful to be reminded of all the shitty things you had ever said of another person. Keep being a supportive friend.

    Comment by Amanda — March 15, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

  4. I really wish I could believe this is a love story because I think the negative reaction to Ben has been way too excessive. Ben thinks Courtney’s behavior was “circumstantial” but it wasn’t. The cold, biting, cattiness wasn’t so bad but coupled with the manipulation of Ben and the boasting about it, shows her true nature and this isn’t wife and mother material. She’ll straighten up but eventually the manipulative, extreme self-centeredness will never go away. It’s a part of who she is. If she TRULY loved Ben she would have let him go after she saw the degree of harm that he suffered because of her bad behavior (even if the reaction was excessive) she was the core of it all. Instead she selfishly pursued him hard – knowing that, now that she was tainted, her chances of landing herself a “nice, normal guy” had diminished to almost nil. She’s a 28 yr old model who’s career wasn’t that successful to begin with and is on it’s way out, so Ben is her last chance for “normal” provider and sperm donor. I wouldn’t be surprised if she gets “accidently” pregnant to seal the deal because I don’t believe that Ben’s sister and mother really have forgiven and accepted her. Julia knows Courtney lied to her, her mother, and most of all to Ben and that he’s better off starting with a clean slate. That young lady is very perceptive. Interesting how Ben said his sister hasn’t liked the women he’s chosen in the past. Sounds like Ben has a tendency to make poor choices with women.I have an older brother so I can empathize with Ben’s sister and there is no way that after this sh$t storm that rained down on him could I support a relationship with someone like Courtney. I’d tell him he’d be better off to start with a clean slate because this girl is too hated, and too iffy. Can’t imagine his mother would want him to start his life with someone on such a dark and sour note. It’s just an omen for things to come. I pray that Ben is showered with blessings. He’s been thru the ringer.

    Comment by Victoria — March 15, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

  5. Nice blog, Constantine and I hope you have fun hanging out with the new couple. I do believe, though that it’s possible to be in head-over-heels in love with two people at once. For example, I love my wife’s charm, wit and the sense of security she gives me. I’m also equally in love with my mistress’ kindness, charisma and sense of humor. Recently a third lady entered the picture but I just don’t have the time or energy and regrettably had to end it. Anyway, I’m very happy with my two women and I don’t think I could give either one of them up unless they, of course, find out about each other.

    Comment by Charles T. — March 15, 2012 @ 4:57 pm

  6. I also agree with all of the above posters. You have done a beautiful job of describing exactly how I feel about Ben et al. Please continue to blog for Emily’s season! You are very insightful. Some girl is going to be very lucky to have you!

    Comment by Lori — March 15, 2012 @ 4:59 pm

  7. on DWTS..that proves it all…Check it out…I guess all of our questions have been answered…vote NO!!!!

    Comment by ohwell163 — March 15, 2012 @ 4:59 pm

  8. Okay, I have to comment because I must express to you how hard I was laughing at “prior to Tebowing.”

    Comment by Licia — March 15, 2012 @ 5:33 pm

  9. @Victoria- I respect your thoughts but I’ve got to say you go pretty far in describing Courtney for having not me her. I personally couldn’t’ speak on her behalf to that extent or even Ben’s and I think I know him fairly well.

    @Charles T- Wow buddy, you’ve got some serious time management skills! Juggling three women and still finding the time to fit in a season of The Bachelor!

    Again thank you all for taking the time to read my thoughts throughout the season, I’m truly flattered. I’d be happy to entertain questions through my Facebook page or twitter @contzor

    All the best,

    Comment by Constantine — March 15, 2012 @ 6:15 pm

  10. “I imagine the pain Ben felt when he was on the receiving end of being let go only served to teach him to release those who were actually more emotionally invested earlier knowing that the larger stage would only intensify the hurt”

    Finally you kinda see through Ashley’s strategy. I believe you would have played Lindzi’s role last season had you stayed and you two could have laughed it off just like Ben and Lindzi did at the final rose ceremony. Ashley really wanted to let Ben go sooner. *Sign*

    I was not a fan of Ben and Courtney the whole season but after watching ben and Courtney cry at ATFR my heart broke for them. I hope the world just give them a chance to make it work. Ashley made a great point in her E News segment that Courtney might have been too naive coming into this experience, not knowing that her words would be twisted and her sense of humor and sarcasm would be lost in translation, and that Courtney brought her past life experience with women into the show, which did not come out great for her. I wish Ben and Courtney the best and Ben will stand by Courtney’s side.

    Comment by the bachelorette for dummies — March 15, 2012 @ 6:59 pm

  11. @ohwell163…What does Courtney going on dwts prove? That she would like the chance to show America her “normal” side. Frankly, I hope she does and I cant wait to see her! Give the girl a break. She knows she screwed up. Even if she doesn’t think so…she isn’t the devil. Gracious.

    Comment by Amanda — March 15, 2012 @ 11:02 pm

  12. Good insight, and enjoyed your blog! Felt so bad for Ben when he teared up at the ATFR. I did not like that she said he “abandoned” her when he broke things off. He was discovering this new side to her on tv, so I think he had the right to step away and think about things. I do hope they work things out, and Courtney is not who we saw so negatively. Love is work, but I think the dating, engagement, and newlywed stages were the easiest. Ben should be happy. Marriage is for the long haul, and that’s when the most work needs to be done. Salud!

    Comment by Kate — March 16, 2012 @ 12:09 am

  13. Constantine you asked a question can a man fall in love with 2 women at the same time? I am a historian and teach ancient civilization at a large university. This has been a topic we discussed in class. I think if we look back at polytheistic cultures, and costumes “many were pro-polygamy) I think we can clearly see that YES a man can love more then 2 people, the same as a father who has 5 kids loves each of his children equally. Also we concluded in that lesson that men by nature are polygamous. Just we live in a culture that promotes monogamy. And also ad the love novels, TV, fairytale movies we in modern times tend to think that monogamy is the only way. And for women this is more ideal, but for men it is unnatural. We were studying ancient Babylon and the higher ups of society had many women-wives-concubines. Even in the Christian Bible people like Jacob, Solomon, Abraham they all had a few+++ wives. These men did love each of their wives, but in different ways..and sure the man would have a favorite of the bunch, but the question can he love more then 1 women..For SURE!

    Comment by John Claymore — March 16, 2012 @ 1:06 am

  14. Constantine, I absolutely love your blogs for their insightfulness, honesty and also your pure genius writing skills. You are one intelligent man and a talented writer at that. Maybe you should consider a career change? ;) . Anyway, as some of the other comments mentioned, you really should blog about Emily’s season. Take care!

    Comment by Melissa — March 16, 2012 @ 5:25 am

  15. Maya Angelou has said “when someone shows you who they are…believe them”

    Comment by G. — March 16, 2012 @ 8:44 am

  16. Check back on your earlier comments about Courtney (esp. Blog #3?). That was your true first impression and you know you’re too perceptive to have been wrong. You won’t be able to see her for Ben because you care about him too much. Tell Courtney to “Step away from the gas can”. Bless you both Red Dragons.

    Comment by Jennifer S — March 16, 2012 @ 10:28 am

  17. @ Hey, yo, John Claymore, what about the women? I’m a female with two boyfriends, three on the weekend. And one of the them always p*sses me off so I just rotate. I love each guy for their own separate qualities and can’t imagine settling down with just one of them. Again, it would be like picking which child I loved the most. Though if I was held at gunpoint and forced to choose, I’d go Bob, the one with the one with the biggest weiner.

    Comment by Dudette — March 16, 2012 @ 10:34 am

  18. Comment by Amanda — March 15, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

    I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    I’m so tired of reading, talking and writing about this. How the heck does Fleiss rope us in year-after-year, laughing all the way to the bank. This season was not so much fun to watch, but like millions of others, I did it every damn week.

    Everyone but Courtney…..on to bigger and better things for all of you.

    Ben and Courtney….good luck. You’ll need it.

    Comment by karyn — March 16, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

  19. Great blog, Constatine, you write so well

    Comment by noreen — March 16, 2012 @ 4:55 pm

  20. I just wanted to thank you, Constantine, for sharing your views and for your special support of Ben and Courtney.
    I wish them all the very best.

    Comment by Nikki — March 16, 2012 @ 8:36 pm

  21. I appreciate your bothering to respond Constantine and acknowledge that you have a point – I’ve gone overboard and it’s not helping anyone. I’m just a lot older than you are and I’m seeing a familiar personality profile (or THINK I am right?)

    Comment by Victoria — March 16, 2012 @ 9:50 pm

  22. I appreciate your bothering to respond Constantine and acknowledge that you have a point – I’ve gone overboard and it’s not helping anyone. I’m just a lot older than you are and I’m seeing a familiar personality profile (or THINK I am right?)

    Comment by Victoria — March 16, 2012 @ 9:50 pm

  23. @Dudette
    Yeah I read you, some women also can love more then 1 man, this is not uncommon and many queens of olden days did have many men-lovers etc. But it is more of a common theme of men.
    I have a male student in my class who has 3 girlfriends (and sleeps with all of them) all the girls know of this, and it creates jealousy. That is where the problem would be. I can imagine the drama in a house if a man has 5 wives and they all live together. It would be like an episode of WTA everyday.
    Also I have many gay students who tend to be rather promiscuous. Some of them love more then 1 partner at a time. My observation is that gay males tend to be very polygamous.
    Believe me this..if society said it is OK for a man to have more then 1 wife, we would be seeing a revolution, esp in the higher ups of society. In days past the aristocracy were very polygamous. In Old Europe the aristocratic who were the land barons had many women..and many wives.

    Comment by John Clymore — March 16, 2012 @ 11:52 pm

  24. Well great discussion and a difficult topic in a culture that purging itself of an unrealistic minority who are a dying group holding on for their last hurrah.

    I hope that in the next 20-30 years as we all learn that love is so complex and different with everyone in our lives, that we will start talking more openly. With open discussion will increase the breath of our understanding of ‘love’, ‘lust’, ‘like’, ‘passion’, ….. ‘gender’… ‘sex’ our culture is transitioning and I believe is creating a new center…but the swing feels like crap for me right now and I think many of us who want to be open and free from the oppression of the conservative approach to companionship.

    I am lesbian and being with one person for life does not appeal to me… I enjoy dating and I enjoy long times of being single… not being partnered.. I have friends who navigate having more than one committed healthy long term relationship at a time. others who ar in longterm loving marriages all make since to me… why is one morally correct????? the other sinful???? because a religion or religious peopole want to infuse their beliefes of “TRUTH” into law… hummm a problem

    basicly love is different, evolves.. has layers, is effected by many things… and yes is an experience that may be in the moment and never agian with a person… we dont know why?????? I hunch it is like many ‘experiences’ in life one keeps chasing them.. at times that is what an addiction is..
    this could be toooooo much in love with love.. ha

    Comment by jj — March 17, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

  25. Thanks to Constantine for a very well written blog and sharp humor. On the broader spectrum as to whether or not a MAN OR A WOMAN can love 2 people at the same time: if I were asked to just quickly answer yes or no, I would probably say yes, in general one can. However, ultimately I agree with Constantine’s view. The biggest gift that my parents gave my brothers & sisters & me was their love, devotion & respect for each other, and for us, of course. This is not a moral judgment of some who do choose to have multiple partners, but I don’t believe that one can love in the same way, to the depth & beauty, when so many people are involved. Just take Ben’s experience with Courtney, for instance, and one is reminded of how much time and conscious effort is required to really get to know (to ‘love’) another human being.

    I have many more viewpoints on that, but on to the more focused discussion – Ben & Courtney. I’ve been back & forth on them as a couple. Yes, I saw his immediate, strong attraction to Courtney, and was both sad and hopeful for them after the After Final Rose episode. However, they both seem so confused – Ben especially, and he doesn’t seem ready for marriage. I thought Ben might have said at The Final Rose that he was too confused to move forward; perhaps he didn’t want to take the risk of losing Courtney. However, I read an article by People writer Monica Rizzo 3/17 (…) who says she interviewed both Ben & Courtney, and there are several surprising quotes. With regard to Ben’s grabbing another woman’s rear recently, he says that was a ‘butt pat,’ and goes on: “My friends grab my butt. I’m physical & affectionate with friends – guys and girls..” It wasn’t just that one statement (if accurate), that confused me about the article. But I think it’s been exhausted enough.

    On the subject of Courtney possibly being on Dancing with the Stars: this is another source of confusion for me. IF what they both repeatedly said was true: that the source of their problems was being apart, and not able to grow together in love, in private, away from the public, then I don’t see that this would be a consideration. Not even if they had been stronger as a couple. DWTS takes a LOT of time & commitment, and of course you’re under public scrutiny.

    Comment by Terrisa — March 17, 2012 @ 11:22 pm

  26. @ John Clymore I think there’d be more of a revolution if women could have as many husbands as they want! Or if they decided to make their own “tribe” and keep the men on the side. Kind of like the Bonobo monkeys – the females stick with each other and help take care of each other’s offspring, while the males have no idea who they’ve fathered and are there to provide sperm and protection. The women stick together and don’t fight with each other over the males; males are secondary. Incidentally, the Bonobos are the most peaceful of all the apes.

    I wonder if Fleiss could somehow make a show out of all this with humans as the bonobos are quite promiscuous, but I doubt Fleiss’ role in society is to teach anyone anything lol.

    Comment by Dudette — March 18, 2012 @ 4:38 pm

  27. You are one highly evolved, intelligent dudette!

    Comment by Terrisa — March 18, 2012 @ 9:01 pm

  28. @ Terrisa ;-) )) Thank God Courtney didn’t join DWTS! I find the whole thing exhausting too and wish them well. Shame on Fleiss.

    I guess The Bachelor kind of shows what many of us young women in the free world have become: competitors against each other for the attention and approval of a man. We join the clique but are still wary of each other. We spend how much time, energy and money on makeup, clothes, accessories, diet food and gyms so we can get male approval and snag a guy? And then when we hit our forties we go into fullscale panic and surgery mode because “getting older” for women is “ugly” and our men are looking at younger mates. What if we ditched everything that the fairytales and media have taught us? What if women embraced getting older and wiser and channeled their gifts of compassion into a worthwhile fight? The human race can only evolve if the females get together to do it – because let’s face it – the men don’t have a very good track record!

    Comment by Dudette — March 19, 2012 @ 4:30 pm

  29. Been. I watched every episode. You made the wrong choice the things Courtney said to them other girls like to kacey. B when she said how did that feel coming out of your mouth. You toataly should of picked kacey.b u saw the other side of the in it to win it Courtney

    Comment by starr — March 21, 2012 @ 3:30 pm


    Comment by Maria P. — March 23, 2012 @ 12:58 am

  31. Oh god now you can see why Ashley brought you to final 3 even though she was not into romantically you. It ‘s courageous to openly admit that you played a part in a someone’s love story. Props to you.

    show over. Move on. Time to shake hands and make friends.

    Comment by confused — April 1, 2012 @ 1:26 am

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