The final episode (really 2 episodes with ATFR) always makes me feel like I watched the romantic equivalent of all 3 Lord of The Rings. Right? Though I winced every time I heard Chris, or Ben, or the girls say the word “journey.” Now that the show is done it really does feel like a long adventure has come to a close.

Especially after watching ATFR, I feel a little sad actually. Maybe it’s a little bit of guilt, or ashamed of disliking Courtney so much. Maybe I am just a sucker for seeing people in tears. Maybe it’s the end of the adventure…

But let’s revisit the episode and pull out some things to laugh/poke fun at.

I loved seeing the interaction between Ben and his Mom and sister when they showed up Switzerland. He gave them multiple hugs and couldn’t say enough about how relieved he was to see them, how good it was to have them around, and how much he missed them. So awesome. I love seeing a close-knit family. It such an important part of life. So special.

Ben briefly describes the women to his mom and sister. As all of us have been feeling all season, Ben’s sister is weary of Courtney’s lack of friendships with the other girls and that she is a Model. And as we know already, Ben describes Lindzi as a “slow burn.”

Lindzi shows up and is clearly nervous, she fuddles around with a fork during lunch (adorable) and she seems anxious talking to Julie and Ben’s mom. Any nerves seem to disappear though once she is able to describe why she loves Ben, and that she IS IN LOVE with him. She wins Julie over immediately, and while they were standing outside on the balcony, I could honestly see them being friends/sister in laws. Again, I saw a glazed over lack of interest for Lindzi, from Ben… though I really did think Ben wanted something more to be there. I think he wanted that for weeks and weeks…it just wasn’t there with Lindzi. I wouldn’t go as far to say that they seemed uncomfortable during their alone time but there was certainly a spark missing between them.

Courtney arrives and I was surprised that I wasn’t that nervous for her. I was imagining that I would be holding my breath the whole time, wondering how the HELL she was going to pull herself out of the massive hole she had built… but she was great. She seemed genuinely happy to meet Ben’s family. She appeared honest in describing her feelings…and more importantly I think when Ben and Courtney were together on that mountain, sledding and barbecuing (would we call that barbecue?) I was certain it was going to be her. Ben looked like he was in love. He couldn’t get enough kisses, and hand holding and physical contact. They were laughing together and giddy, and while it is hard to forget how terrible she was to the other girls the last 9 weeks. Seeing her on the WTA the week before, and hearing her be truly remorseful, and apologize. I will never ask anything more from someone to diffuse my disliking of them. She really did win me over last week… and seeing her so happy with Ben in that moment during their picnic I was actually happy for her, and Ben.

Fast forward to the proposal.

I don’t pretend to know a lot about fashion. But, am I nuts or did the girls’ dresses look beautiful…sure…absolutely. But what in the hell… were those cloak things? Courtney looked Cruella Deville, Linzdi looked an Elf from Lord of the Rings. I can imagine no circumstance and no woman on earth that those two pieces of clothing would seem attractive. Yikes.

Fortunately, Lindzi loses the Harry Potter Cloak of Invisibility before she sees Ben. Unfortunately, she gets dumped. Again, I really can’t say I was surprised here. I would have been SHOCKED if he did pick her. It just wasn’t there. I think Lindzi is incredible and seems to be a wonderful, kind, caring woman on the inside. But honestly I don’t feel like we got to know her that well. Think about how much we got to know and love, Nicki, Emily, Kacie B. I don’t feel like I got to know Lindzi anywhere near as much as I did with those other girls. I am NOT saying I disliked Lindzi. I AM saying I can see why Ben didn’t pick her.

The proposal to Courtney is beautiful. I was a fan actually. She was sincere in her tears, and her happiness. And Ben, not exactly a wordsmith, did manage to spill out a heartfelt honest proposal. It WAS the fairy-tale moment that we all expect in the end. I don’t think it was with the person any of us would have picked.

That being said: The After The Final Rose show. Whew.

Seriously, where to begin.

Life can deal out some interesting lessons. One that I am constantly enamored by is a lesson in forgiveness. It is one of life’s hardest tests. I think it sucks to forgive someone. Ultimately it makes us swallow our pride and admit your “wrongness” doesn’t mean as much as how much I care for you. That is a super VULNERABLE and difficult thing to admit to another human, especially if the “wrong-doing” is something big.

I also think that humans mistake forgiveness as a sign of weakness. It is deemed as kind of “unmanly”. Done too much, and all of a sudden you are being a “doormat”, people are “walking all over you”.

I believe the opposite is true. I think it shows an incredible amount of strength to forgive. I think it shows you have a courageous heart, and a strong mind to be able to show someone that you can love them, and support them despite them hurting you. That’s friggin bad ass.

Point being – I think Ben showed a lot of strength in forgiving Courtney. Maybe he didn’t come right out and say it, but him sitting there with her, putting the ring back on her finger, saying I love you, and I still want to marry you – THAT was strength. THAT is how I think humans should live, and treat one another.

I know I am sapping it up right now, and I don’t want to get even mushier. But I also want to applaud Courtney in her strength as well. She swallowed her pride, sat in front of America (THINK ABOUT HOW HARD THAT WAS FOR HER) and said… “I was wrong… I regret a lot…but I still love this man, and still want to be with him.”

Maybe a lot of people (I think most of America) will disagree. But I think Courtney deserves a fresh look in my book. Yes, I “hated” her during the show. I ragged on her; I called her a demon, hahaha. And you know what, she kind of was. She was rude, inconsiderate, spiteful, harsh and more! A long list of reasons to brush her off as a B*ITCH.

But, she admitted her mistakes; she IS in love with Ben. It was NOT an act. And I am all for it.

At the end of the day (season) I think the show worked. I think two people are in love, and are going to try and get married.

JP and Ashley were a breath of fresh air (as always). I got to hang out with these two ALL DAY last Monday and I literally can’t say enough good things about them. They are so much fun, so likable. They are constantly smiling, playing/flirting with each other. I can’t wait to see the day they get married and if I don’t get invited to the wedding I will be crashing it for sure. Hahaha.

It has been a surprisingly fun addition to my week to blog about this show and read all of your comments.

I do not know what the future holds for me in terms of Bachelor Pad 3 or The Bachelor. I have read in a lot of your comments that you want me to be the next Bachelor and I am humbled by those thoughts and so thankful for your support. If it does happen, then I will have you all to thank. If it doesn’t then I thank you anyway for your kind words and your love.

It feels like I get asked about my love life all the time, what my dating situation is. And while I wouldn’t say that I am lonely, I do have a small amount of sadness that I haven’t found her yet. My twin brother is happily married; my younger sister is happily married. My parents have been happily married for over 25 years.

I am supremely confident that she is out there. I just don’t think it is our time yet. So if you are reading this now I am looking for you. I am almost positive I will know it from the second I see you. So my eyes are open.

Thank you all for reading.

All my Love

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  1. Another great blog:) The only reason I would ever go on one of these shows is to meet someone as simultaneously nice and cute as you (namely: just you). So here’s another vote for Michael As Bachelor!! Somebody send these blogs and comments to Fleiss. I’m also happy to see how supportive you have become of Courtney and Ben– at the end of the day, none of the viewers should be wasting our energy in anything but goodwill towards these two people whom we only know from a heavily edited television show. Many seem to be forgetting that.

    Comment by Katy — March 14, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

  2. “I just don’t think it is our time yet. So if you are reading this now I am looking for you. I am almost positive I will know it from the second I see you. So my eyes are open.” – easliy one of the most romantic, endearing and swoon-worthy things I’ve ever read! It has been my personal experience that for the most part men are always on guard – like it might change how manly they are to admit the things you wrote here. Michael – I can honestly say reading your blog has been a highlight of the season! I hope that you will continue to write for Bachelornation when it comes time for Bachelorette/Bach Pad. Thanks again on a wonderful blog – you have great insight and a smart, witty opinion!

    Comment by Jenn — March 14, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

  3. Michael,
    You put Ben to shame. Your far too kind, gracious and authentic to be in his category. If you choose to be The Bachelor, do us all a favor and listen to the other ladies. They are usually right;)
    Your such an awesome guy! Your blog is also true…much as I hate to admit it and frankly, its hard to read nice things being said about either Ben or Courtney (both are low caliber individuals imo) they do appear to be in love and deserve a break from our scrutiny.
    Michael for the next Bachelor!

    Comment by Amanda — March 14, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

  4. Hello,

    Thank you for the great recap. I think that I tend to mostly agree with how you see it all. One thing that you did not mention that sort of stuck out to me was when Ben’s sister asked Courtney about the problems with the other girls. Courtney said that she did try really hard in the beginning to be friends and get to know them. I sort of feel like because they had not seen the season at that point, she kind of took advantage and lied again. I feel like it was a little lie, but had a huge effect on the outcome since Ben was really looking to his mom and sister’s opinions in finally putting the Courtney issue to bed. Hmmmm….. anyway. I do hope it works out for them though!

    Take Care!

    Comment by Heather — March 14, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

  5. The Bachelor would be lucky to have Michael on! Any woman would be lucky to have him fall in love with her.

    Comment by Laura — March 14, 2012 @ 12:32 pm

  6. I think ABC poisoned the well and made all you bloggers change your story so that Courtney and Ben don’t get as many hate stories.

    Monday’s After the Final Rose – was again ABC’s attempt at reverse psychology trying to get people to want to root for the couple.

    I refuse to fall for it. Lame!

    This was the worst Bachelor season ever. What a waste of my time!

    Comment by nicole — March 14, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

  7. Oh boy……I wish it was 20 years ago and I’d be stalking you for a date LMAO! Your words are so kind and honest and you will make some woman the happiest ever. I’d love to see you be the next bachelor!
    Good luck in life and love,

    Comment by Momma G — March 14, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

  8. I will not miss the show, but I will definitely miss reading your blogs, Michael! Best of luck to you and I hope to hear more from you in the future!!

    Comment by Tracey — March 14, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

  9. Good synopsis….and correct from the way I saw it, too. Besides the word “journey”, I also cringed at how many times Ben said “falling in love” about too many girls this season.

    Comment by Sara — March 14, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

  10. Great perspective on forgiveness. I always appreciate your honestly and you willingness to be vulnerable. In the end, that may turn out to be your best asset in a relationship.

    Saw this TED talks recently about vulnerability and thought I would pass it on and maybe I’ll get to see you at your Raleigh concert soon :)


    Comment by liza — March 14, 2012 @ 12:42 pm

  11. I just *heart* your blogs… you are right on here. Absolutely everything you stated above is BANG on. (Including the GOD AWFUL cloaks!)

    I think you’d be a great Bachelor and whomever you end up marrying will truly be incredbily lucky.

    I wish Ben and Courtney well. She was horrible and I hope she has learned a lesson but truly, I do think they are in love and maybe being in love with Ben will quash her insecurity and allow her to blossom.

    Best wishes to you Michael!!!

    Comment by J — March 14, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

  12. Michael….bachelor season 17??? u should u are a wonderful sweet person. and i wish u all the best in finding “the love of ur life” ur right it will happen…dont search for it….just be u and u will find a wonderful woman to love you for u. :) fell in love with u jillians season and bach pad 3. True love is out there…

    Comment by brittany — March 14, 2012 @ 12:48 pm

  13. Your blog is hilarious! A guy that’s cute AND funny, how have you not been snatched up already? I hope you find that someone because you deserve it! I’ve been in France and following The Bachelor online and I too think I was quick to blacklist Courtney. Everyone is so harsh on her but no one knows how they would act in her situation so how can they judge? I do think they are in love and hopefully the drama with the other girls won’t hold them back from a lifetime of happiness.

    Ps. Michael for Bachelor! I would love to watch that season

    Comment by Erin — March 14, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

  14. Completely agree about forgiving others. No matter what the situation allowing someone to live rent free in your head is worse for you then it is for them! Forgiving someone is stating what they did was right by any means. But it’s allowing you to move forward without that situation or person taking over your life. As you said forgiveness gives you strength.

    I personally don’t believe in love at first sight. Of course you can look across room or at a picture or whatever and think Whoaw! (sorry had to use it tee hee) But in order to know if they are ‘the one’ you have to take getting to know them. A pretty face without a good character is just a pretty face (I think Courtney proved that in the beginning). But a pretty face with a good character is the right one for somebody. Of course you have choices all around the world that love even just a coffee date with you. Personally mine would be ice cream while playing with all the toys at Toys ‘r’ us (I just wanna be a toys ‘r’ us kid. I don’t wanna grow up. I don’t wanna grow up. Hahaha). So she is there looking for you too. But I think it’s more than knowing just by one look but more so be willing to know she could be anyone, anywhere, at anytime and you may not know until you take the time to get to know her. 
    All the best to you and thanks for the great blogs!!!

    Comment by Darla — March 14, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

  15. Still not sure about Courtney’s true feelings. Going back to when she said (during a later episode) “if not Ben, there are other fish in the sea”… or something to that effect. People just don’t say things like that without meaning it. That was the icing on the cake IMO.

    In the end it is just a tv show but I sure hope Ben knows what he is really getting into. Leopards do not change their spots (or whatever that old saying is…)

    Comment by SKae — March 14, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

  16. I absolutely adore you Michael, from your music to your blog and the fact that you’re an all around incredible person! Wish I was in your view ;) maybe you’re my “him” ..much love!

    Comment by Danielle — March 14, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

  17. michael, check out the tune “on my way” by boyce avenue. perfect reminder on those days when you’re feeling that little bit of sadness.

    Comment by jules — March 14, 2012 @ 1:18 pm

  18. Love your blog and your insight!

    Comment by Natalie — March 14, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

  19. Micheal Pleaseeee!! You are a very sweet and kind man, please don’t fall for sweet smiles and fake apologies from beautiful girls like Courtney, anyone can shed one tear, please look deeper.

    Guys like you are the reason Mean Girls take advantage of sweet and kind good man. don’t fall for it!

    I truly believe in forgiving others too, but not when they give me a fake apology and I really think Courtney gave a fake “well.. I have to do it, but i don’t mean it” apology!

    Comment by OCrazy — March 14, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

  20. Oh.. and btw you have a fan all the way from the Netherlands! :D just wanted to let you know, you have international fans too!

    Comment by OCrazy — March 14, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

  21. You are one in a million Michael…:)
    I agree with you about Courtney that it took a lot of guts to apologize in front of America like she did. I truly believe she meant every word of it and it’s obvious how much she is in love with Ben.
    I wish the best for the both of them and hope they find happiness with one another.

    Comment by Amy — March 14, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

  22. Awww. You are sweet, kind, cute and funny. Watch your back because I will be TOTALLY stalking you.

    Comment by Jolene — March 14, 2012 @ 1:46 pm

  23. I think you’re great. From your enthusiasm to your zest for life, your incredible passion for love and respect for women, family, friends…it’s the full package. I wish there was something we fans could do to directly influence who ABC chooses for The Bachelor. Do you want to do it? I think you’d find a healthy balance between making good television and making good choices-something that seemed to be lacking in seasons past. I am always impressed with the hard work and dedication that the producers of this show put in, you can tell it’s their life and they should be proud of the end result. But if you, Mr. Stag wer center stage, I don’t think they’d have to work AS hard to make excellent television. I also think you’d flood the casting site with applicants. Any single girl would be blessed to have you in their life. Mr Fleiss, talented producers, please say yes to Michael Stagliano. Let’s make a true love story. Sure, throw some crazies in there. If anyone can have fun with crazies while still maintaining his true self, it’s you Michael. Thank you for writing this whole season, it was truly amazing and I hope you’ll return when Emily appears on the small screen.

    Comment by CHitch — March 14, 2012 @ 1:46 pm

  24. You have a way with words; through music and this blog!

    Comment by Jennifer — March 14, 2012 @ 1:48 pm

  25. Nice blog!

    Comment by Yumiko — March 14, 2012 @ 1:49 pm

  26. I also have to say that I too love your blogs! You definitely put Ben to shame in the wordsmith department! You are eloquent, funny, charismatic, and charming! You would make a much more interesting Bachelor than Ben ever did! I seriously question ABC’s casting decision on that one. I think that Ben was one of the worst casting decisions they have ever made for a lead.

    While I agree that Ben and Courtney definitely had/have chemistry, and I have no doubts that they are in love, I don’t agree that Courtney was sincere in her apologies. Personally, I thought her “tears” were a terrible attempt at acting. In fact, during ATFR, there were NO tears.

    Furthermore, I thought that during the engagement, Courtney seemed more excited about the ring bling than the actual proposal. Just an observation.

    Anyways, considering the way she came across on TV, I would never want any male in my life going anywhere near the dating department w/ Courtney. With that said though, Ben obviously sees something in her, so I don’t wish them any ill will. They definitely have a tough road ahead…

    Comment by Skeptic — March 14, 2012 @ 1:50 pm

  27. You have HEART. I am just sad for you that you ever even ever thought Holly was a good match for you. She is a playa and guess what, she hooked up w/a righteous playa, ONE THAT IS HATED BY THE BACHELOR FOUNATION. Nobody likes this bastard…NOBODY. Holly is a reject too.

    You got it going on Michael. Fantastic heart, great friends, solid family. YOU WILL HAVE THAT LIFE, the life Holly can only imagine when her life turns to chit in about 5 years. You will be fine. You deserve the love of your life, something Holly will find illusive, even though she is delusional now and thinks she has found it.




    Comment by Rachel — March 14, 2012 @ 2:05 pm


    Comment by Rachel — March 14, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

  29. I would undoubtedly watch you as the Bachelor! Get a down-to-earth, good guy in there, although it would be hard to watch all the fakers on there, because you deserve someone wonderful & genuine! I know you will find what you’re looking for, and then you will know why everything else had to happen first… Thanks for an always entertaining blog :)

    Comment by Dee Marie — March 14, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

  30. David’s blog right before yours was horrific…reading yours is like a breath of fresh air!

    Don’t ever give up on love! And, love at first sight does happen (not sure how often but it does). From the first date I was head over heals (and him likewise) for the man who would later become my husband. I knew he was going to be the one I was going to marry. What was even more hilarious, looking back I remember a lot of friends/critics thinking it would surely not last because of the intense level of passion we had for each other. However, 20+ years later and a house filled with kids I suppose have proven that idea wrong.

    Long term loving relationships are wonderful. 20+ years and my heart still does flip-flops for my man!

    Comment by Chris — March 14, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

  31. I’m so sad this is the last one! I love love love reading what you have to say. You are so kind and intelligent..and obviously very gracious regarding Courtney. Any woman that you end up with is very very lucky..hold out for a good one:) The best of wishes to you!

    Comment by Megan — March 14, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

  32. @ Skeptic – you are SPOT ON! I agree with everything you said – Courtney had no tears – just confusion that everyone was mad at her.

    Michael – Fabulous Blog (again!!!)!. She is out there – keep looking and you will bump into her one day – that is how I met my guy.xxooxox

    Comment by Katie — March 14, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

  33. I’ve read a lot of criticism about the capes, but really… they were on top of a giant hill in Switzerland! That is not a warm place to be, and if I got to choose between looking a little silly but staying warm and freezing my butt off but looking great, I’m going with the cape. Just saying…

    Comment by Bee — March 14, 2012 @ 2:52 pm

  34. You know why Courtney shouldn’t have resorted to all of the evil shenanigans? She didn’t need to, and it was SO unbecoming. It made America hate her. You could tell the second Ben laid eyes on her in episode one he was going to pick her. She didn’t need to undermine all of the other women; he loved her at first sight, and she just made herself look bad and subsequently was hated. Bad behavior isn’t necessary. If the man loves you, just let him love you – don’t deceive him into it.

    Comment by Max — March 14, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

  35. Micheal,
    I absolutely love your blog! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and making us laugh! :) I think you are an incredible person! I know you will find the right girl for you! I understand the little sadness of not finding that person yet. I wish you all the best whether it be through the bachelor or you bump into her one day! Although I would love to see you again on tv! you make the show very enjoyable! Thanks for all the insight and laughs this season and i hope u blog again! :)

    Comment by Courtney — March 14, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

  36. Thank you, Michael! Everything you do is always so refreshing. I would be extremely excited to go on this televised journey again if you were The Bachelor. Considering we have Emily’s season and a Bachelor Pad to get through before another Bachelor happens that could be a while, though, and I truly wish you find your lady sooner than that! If that happens, though, we have to find you another way to sneak onto tv to delight us :)

    Comment by Car — March 14, 2012 @ 3:18 pm

  37. I loved reading your blogs over the past few months. I agree that I do have some mixed feelings for Courtney now. (probably the tears), but I do believe that her and Ben are good for each other after what they have been through. The cloaks were awful. And Courtney’s gloves. Who wears gloves if you are preparing to be proposed to? Hope to see more blogs from you again.

    Also, I would love to see you on TV again. Any woman would be so happy to be with you forever. (including me):)

    Comment by Kristin — March 14, 2012 @ 3:22 pm

  38. Ben Flajnik Cream Dream http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWt_DifczOM

    Comment by andy — March 14, 2012 @ 3:32 pm

  39. Great blog as always Michael. I also loved your insight on ATFR after party :) I do wish you will be the next bachelor. I think you’d be great. You deserve all the love and happiness out there, you’re such a great guy. You were one of my favs since Jillian’s season. And if you dont get chosen, maybe you should make a “Shawntel” like appearance if Emily O’Brien or Lindzi get chosen as the next bachelorette. If not, “Pick me! Choose me! Love me!!” hahaaa :)

    Comment by Susan :) — March 14, 2012 @ 4:28 pm

  40. You, my friend, are a CLASS ACT!! I always enjoy your blogs and just think the world of you! But darn it I am happily married…lol!!! U will find her…When the timing it right!!!


    Comment by Dana Doster — March 14, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

  41. Oh goodness Michael, you are such a beautiful romantic. From one romantic to another, thank you for your great blogs this season, I have enjoyed reading them. You really are a very decent person, it is obvious in the way you express yourself and in your actions. I don’t believe you can really know much about people without interacting quite a lot, but your reaction at the Bachelor Pad finale when you found out about Holly’s engagement, told me a lot about you than probably hanging out with you for hours and hours could reveal to me. You are a good guy and I hope you find what you search for someday!

    Comment by sunny — March 14, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

  42. You are so adorable.

    Comment by emm — March 14, 2012 @ 5:16 pm

  43. I hope you will be the next Bachelor. You write the best blog here.

    Comment by ML — March 14, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

  44. When I first saw you on The Bachelorette, I thought ughhh he’s cute but he’s such a young breakdancer…deff. not husband material at this moment. Now, after your appearance on BPad2 and your blogs, ur incredible and one of the best bachelors in the entire franchise:)

    Comment by Alice — March 14, 2012 @ 6:12 pm

  45. While I would truly enjoy see you as The Bachelor, I would be scared to death they would sneak a Courtney in your batch and with your good heart, I’m afraid you would fall for her shenanigans.

    Comment by ilja — March 14, 2012 @ 7:16 pm

  46. I actually wanted Ben and Courtney to end up together. I am not a fan of either, but she is the only one he seemed to have a connection with, and I think they kind of suit each other well. Just because either of them may not be the time of people many viewers are looking for in a significant other does not mean they aren’t right for each other.
    It would break my heart if you were the bachelor. I’d have to watch because I love watching you, but I don’t know if my heart could bear it.

    Comment by Tabitha — March 14, 2012 @ 7:35 pm

  47. All hearts should be as big and as pure as your is!

    Comment by Lisa — March 14, 2012 @ 7:36 pm

  48. You are ADORABLE!!!!!! BEST BLOGS EVER WRITTEN! Will miss reading! Love your thoughts on everything. Wishing you ALL life’s best, always! You deserve it, Michael!

    Comment by Alyssa — March 14, 2012 @ 8:03 pm

  49. I just had to add one more thing. I know you wrote before that you read all the comments. Just because you have such a good heart and I really want you to find someone great, can I give you some elderly sister advice which may or may not be useful to you? It is what older sisters do, give unsolicitated advice :) ….but something in what you write seems like it comes from such a good place in the heart that I want to give something back to you in case you may find it of any use in the future.

    On Women (the inside scoop here:))….whenever you find someone special, keep all thoughts of her to yourself for a while, no matter how hard that may be. There is a reason for this and it isn’t about being secretive or untruthful….it is that love is such a vulnerable thing, whenever it even begins to bloom so many things come to scare it away. So keep it as protected as you can initially so a sense of safety and comfort is created. True romantics are not frivolous with their emotion and they need every support to be able to slowly bloom. So even though it is sweet, don’t mention a girl in your blog/any public forum/to your friends or even family. Take you time to know someone to see if anything is truly honest and open and familiar and real about it. A wise person once said that we often get dillusioned only when we have an illusion to begin with.

    I would venture to say, Michael, that in my life experience, most people don’t know each other. They only know their own stories that they have told themselves about someone else. And when someone does something that challenges that wonderful story in our head, we think “did I know this person?”. When truly, we only knew our OWN thoughts about them, but not them. It takes a long time to get to know someone and only those parts that they allow you to see. It is very difficult to ascertain, even in the closest of relationships where so much is shared, how much you don’t know someone. This was a difficult but profound lesson for me to learn in my life. I became disillusioned because I wanted to believe the best of people and often remembered those stories that supported how I wanted to feel about them and pushed away those stories that contradicted my ideas about them, because well, I liked some of these individuals so much. Almost all of us do this, if not all, and I think it takes a very long time to even realize that we do it.

    While it is so romantic what you wrote at the end: “I am looking for you. I am almost positive I will know it from the second I see you. So my eyes are open.” I hope you know to be cautious of this. As far as I understand things, I don’t believe there is such a thing as love at first sight. I think there is attraction at first sight. But love takes time to develop. You may have instant soul recognition of someone (where someone just feels so familiar as if you have known them forever) and that can happen when you look at someone’s eyes. But that is also deceptive, be careful of that. Again, you can be recognizing something that is for you or that isn’t (but has a lesson to teach you), these ‘soul recogition’ things when they happen, are so rare that we often give them more importance in the romantic domain than they perhaps deserve. Hard earned sisterly advice about relationships and things to think about before you get into a real heart space with someone? How does this person resolve conflict? When they are mad, how do they act? You won’t ever know how you feel about anybody until you get them angry at YOU. That is when you’ll find out if you are compatible in any way or not. If the way you resolve conflict isn’t great, doesn’t matter how attracted you both are, run like hell. Over time that relationship will chip at other’s soul until you will be forced to leave each other. Conflict resolution is huge between any two people. Not at all something I thought about in my romantic daydreams of my younger years. Also, how does this person love and what has made them who they are? Have they been abused? One in every 3 women in this country (likely higher percentage than that) has been raped by the age of 18. Any man has an awfully good chance of being with a woman who may have been through difficult life experiences. People grow up with all sorts of issues and challenges to face and knowing someone and their childhood is huge in knowing how they became the people they became. Every life has deep, dark places that aren’t shared until great comfort and trust is achieved with another. We are such a product of those early years. There are so many things like this Michael that men and women have to explore in each other before attempting to be in a relationship with someone. It is a great responsibility for someone to give you their heart, their whole heart, as I suspect you are after. You can’t afford to fall in love with own illusion about them (which is what an incredibly large portion of society does) if you are after real love, it will have to be a real space. That takes time and safety and a real connection and knowing. OK, the end of my elderly advice :) . I just wanted to give you something back for all the beauty you showed in this blog today. If my advice is irrelevant, please discard happily. But if there was anything of any use to you, I hope it may help you in finding what it is that your heart yearns for! Good luck to you!

    Comment by sunny — March 14, 2012 @ 8:30 pm

  50. I love reading all the LOVE for you Michael. You are a most excellent man.

    Comment by KISSES — March 14, 2012 @ 8:40 pm

  51. I did NOT feel sorry for Courtney. I did however feel badly for Ben. He looked like he was at the end of his rope. He looked exhausted and like he needed to go stay with his mom for a week or so and have her take care of him and tell him it would be ok…poor guy. I don’t think he was cut out for this. If they can make it work why should we as bachelor fans stand in the way? I hope they find love. I really do. That is as long as she doesn’t drag him through the mud like I think she will. My theory about why she can’t keep a guy is because she puts herself first. A man will get sick of that. That being said, I wish the very best of luck and love to both of them.

    Comment by Elizabeth — March 14, 2012 @ 9:29 pm

  52. Mike,
    You are so precious. I’ve thought you were adorable from the moment you stepped out of that limo and said hi to Jillian. Although I love the Bachelor, I think my favorite part of this season has been reading your blog. Thank you for these treasures – they always made my week!

    Good luck on your upcoming tour! I can’t wait to read all about it! And I also wish you luck with your search for love – I not-so-secretly wish it was me!

    Keep doing what you do :)

    Comment by Erica — March 14, 2012 @ 9:36 pm

  53. Comment by Rachel — March 14, 2012 @ 2:05 pm
    I dont think it was very nice to bring up Holly and Blake on this blog , Michael has moved on I think you should too.
    That was rude, and not called for, this blog wasnt about her and him , and to call them names like that was wrong. Michael just talked about forgiveness and you say such things?

    Comment by not a nice post ! — March 14, 2012 @ 11:39 pm

  54. Michael, you are a class A act! I have watched you since your Debut with Jillian. The best part of this journey, (haha) for me, was your blog! I am soo going to miss it, but i am also thankful i follow you on twitter! I wish you THE BEST of luck! Come to Cincinnati to play! – Holly

    Comment by Holly — March 15, 2012 @ 6:32 am

  55. It’s not that I love Courtney now, but I think she loves Ben. And you know what? Bitches need love too.

    Comment by Megan — March 15, 2012 @ 6:36 am

  56. You are awesome. Have really enjoyed your blog.

    Comment by Sarah — March 15, 2012 @ 8:47 am

  57. “I am supremely confident that she is out there. I just don’t think it is our time yet.”—- This line just made my day. You are the best, Michael- , and I hope I one day find a guy just as positive and nice as you :)

    Comment by noreen — March 15, 2012 @ 10:43 am

  58. What I enjoy most about your blogs is that you always invite comments and thank us for reading and I really appreciate that.

    I also respect your finale analysis and there are so many lessons to be learnt. The pivotal episode for me is where Emily in the group setting, wanting forgiveness explained to Courtney that she may have misjudged her and was sorry, only for her to deliver that infamous ” so now I’m just to bend over and take it up a tail pipe”. Then hear her wanting to take it all back at the Tell All. Hey that’s KARMA!!! Let us all be careful of the type of energy we put out in the world.

    Viewers have spoken and the producers also reaped karma, with the season having the lowest ratings for a finale in the entire franchise. So I’m not sure the show worked in that regard. We want romance!Drama and mean spiritedness should not be rewarded with a diamond ring:-)

    Are Ben and Courtney in love? hmmmm… in lust maybe. I found Ben’s use of I’m falling “in love” with you and I “love” someone else very interesting.”I love you vs I’m in love with you” which is deeper??

    I then look at the foundation that the relationship was built on and its rocky at best. He constantly refers to the “side of Courtney” he sees. Yikes, will he ever be sure which side of Courtney he’s going to come home to? hopefully never to the side that will “twist the knife”.

    Maybe individual and couples therapy can lift the fog, and make them accountable to each other. It concerned me when he said on the AFTR that there was nothing wrong with them as a couple, just everyone and everything else surrounding them. He looked so tired and stressed,not sure if he even believed half the things he was saying, because if that were true they would never have broken up. Unless they plan to live on a private island, they are going to have external interactions.

    Yet in my faith, there is always something that we never give up on and that is HOPE…for all parties concerned. I especially hope that in time you will find TRUE LOVE, just be patient and ready :)

    Comment by Reality_bites — March 15, 2012 @ 11:11 am

  59. That was great Michael! I agree, that we should back off from insulting Courtney. I’m sure we have all said hurtful things in our lives, only it wasn’t on camera for the world to see and remember. Ben forgives her and that is all that matters. Also, you are young (27?) so you don’t have to be sad about not finding “the one” yet… it will be worth the wait when it comes! (spoken by someone who is 25 and single :) )

    Take care!

    Comment by Alina — March 15, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

  60. Michael.. I am so gonna miss your blogs. They were like my weekly dose of fun and sweetness what am I gonna do now?!?
    That being said, I’m glad it’s over.. it was kinda painful watching something we knew how it was gonna end for weeks just go on episode after episode. Best thing of the season: the bachelorettes.. Kacie, Nicki, Emily, Jennifer, Lindzi and the others were the highlight of the bachelor 16. Worst thing of the season: THE BACHELOR. I was so excited it was him (not that I didn’t want you to be, Michael, but if it’s ever gonna be you I’ve got to be there!) I really liked Ben on Ashley’s season but he turned out to be just really flavourless (if that’s even a word – makes sense in Italian :D ) He was obviously gonna choose Courtney since day 1, he ignored all the warnings the girls gave him about her being mean only to get upset during airing and to dump her in the middle of it. Not cool. I think he could’ve seen how mean she was being if he wanted to, while they were filming. I remember a couple of times when she said pretty mean things about the others in front of him, so why be all of a sudden upset and incapable of handling the situation? Because he cares ALOT about people’s opinions. So Ben, maybe America won’t like you for choosing to be with her, but personally the fact you dumped her like that makes me like you even less. On the contrary, she was really sweet, shopping for wedding dresses when the rumors of him cheating came out, not many girls would have done that and I think it shows she cares and loves and trusts him. Maybe he could learn a thing or two from her!
    Apart from that, I hope they’ll make it, she seems really in love and so does him, so all the best to them.
    Dear Michael, I will this blogs like hell. I hope to get to see you soon in one of your shows. All the best for your music career and for your life. I’m sure you’ll find HER when the time is right and you’ll have a long happy life together.

    Comment by ChiaraSacks — March 15, 2012 @ 4:37 pm

  61. The ending of this season of the Bachelor feels more like a funeral than the hopeful beginning of a love story. I guess some of us see it inevitably crashing and burning, but it’s only Ben who will suffer the scars and it leaves us feeling melancholy. You people who have been on the Bachelor/Bachelorette been revealing all kinds of behind the scenes info and it’s demonstrating that the show is as deceptive and manipulative as some of the contestants on it. The sleaziness of this season also has left a weird feeling of distaste in my mouth. I knew the show was edited but I didn’t know that it was doctored to this degree. Poor Ben and his family.

    Comment by Shelagh — March 15, 2012 @ 5:02 pm

  62. you are honestly the best!!! just so adorable! i hope you’re the next bachelor! :)

    Comment by Danielle — March 16, 2012 @ 7:38 am

  63. Michael— You are the best and I absolutely love you!!! All my friends and I have such a crush on you!!! How do we get you to be the next Bachelor because we need to make this happen!!!!!!

    Also- come back to NYC for a gig! I missed you last time and I was so sad :(


    Comment by BachFan4Life — March 16, 2012 @ 7:42 am

  64. Micheal,
    You have been such a huge fan of mine since bachelor pad. I have followed u and kept up with all your blogs. Never have commented but I am today since this is your last one. U deserve all the happiness in the world, u are such a genuine, wonderful man. Any woman would b so lucky to have u. Hope to see u soon!!! Good luck out there. Much love to u!!!!

    Comment by Patricia — March 16, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

  65. @Megan “Bitches need love too.” LOLOLOLOLOL

    Comment by Megan's Fan — March 16, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

  66. Love how genuine you are! You WILL find the one. God is just using this time to shape you and her into the husband and wife that each of you need. Trust Him and His timing! You have captured our hearts and one day will capture hers! Continue to love others with that big heart of yours <3

    Comment by sara — March 17, 2012 @ 1:48 am

  67. Ben was the worst bachelor ever! So boring! They keep saying he is funny and goofy and i didnt see that AT ALL. When was he ever funny?

    Comment by Anna — March 17, 2012 @ 4:25 am

  68. Gwyneth Paltrow rocked a cape at the Oscars but you’re right, it looked odd on L&C.
    I nominate u again for the bachelor!

    Comment by Lauren — March 20, 2012 @ 10:47 pm

  69. Love the blog! And love the idea of you and Miss Emily O’Brien together, hehe. That’s been on my mind since you mentioned how cute, flirty and fun she was when you met several of the ladies from Ben’s season. ;-)

    Comment by Amanda — March 22, 2012 @ 1:41 pm

  70. Hey MIchael- And to anyone else in need of this advice: Another brief comment from an elder: As you can see from The Bachelor (seasons of Ben and Jake) if a woman DOES NOT GET ALONG WITH AN ENTIRE GROUP OTHER WOMEN, please take it as the flying red flag that it is!!!! Women GET ALONG in groups. Not everyone in every group, but women are social and have friends. Don’t think it is because the women “are jealous.” This woman WILL NOT get along with your family or even with you eventually because it is all about them!!! Done with the sermon….Thanks again Michael, you are such a great guy and I hope you find a great love who truly deserves and appreciates the great loving and kind person that you are.

    Comment by emm — March 26, 2012 @ 4:32 pm

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