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The Bachelorette: Why Luke P.’s Behavior has Unhealthy Written All Over It

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PHOTO: Courtesy of The Bachelorette/ABC
One Love Heart Blue Written by One Love student fellow Hollin Hanau

The Bachelor franchise has always been my guilty pleasure. Every Monday night at 8:00 pm, I throw on my pajamas, snuggle up on my couch, and tune in to ABC for roses, drama, and Chris Harrison… OH MY! While in seasons past I have typically hidden my secret Bachelor obsession from the world, something about Hannah B.’s season has led me to share what I’ve been watching on the Bachelorette with friends, coworkers, and family alike. This something is the man who is undoubtedly this season’s most controversial character: Luke P.

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We’ve seen bad behaviors from contestants before, like those who were obviously there to promote their business or the people who, as we later found out, had abandoned girlfriends and fiancés to get onto the show. There’s no shortage of examples of unhealthy love. I bring up Luke P. because his behaviors throughout Hannah’s season have stood out as some of the most unhealthy behaviors I’ve ever seen on the franchise.

When I think about the early warning signs of an unhealthy relationship, Luke P. ticks almost every box, from his intensity to his extreme jealousy. As Hannah said in last week’s episode, “There are red flags everywhere.” And don’t get me wrong, I understand that the Bachelor world is not one that necessarily imitates reality. We know that most relationships do not develop while a couple is isolated in a mansion or going on forced group dates. Regardless, the signs we’re seeing are very real, and they all point to unhealthy.

Here are 5 of Luke’s top unhealthy moment, so far:

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PHOTO: Courtesy of The Bachelorette/ABC

1. Luke Takes Intensity to a Whole New Level

It’s no secret that the timeline of the Bachelorette process is not realistic—most seasons film over the course of only six to nine weeks—but this season, Luke P. took the Bachelorette’s notorious fast pace to a whole new level when he stood on stage and professed his love to Hannah on their first date. All too often, relationships that begin with high levels of intensity are those that ultimately become the unhealthiest. Since shows like the Bachelor encourage relationships that develop quickly and intensely, this could unintentionally give viewers the impression that this is a normal part of a new relationship.

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2. Luke Becomes Jealous and Tries to Isolate Hannah

Another red flag we have seen from Luke P. is his possessive jealousy. Remember the pet-themed group date from Episode 3 when Luke becomes threatened after he watches Hannah take pics with other men after she took them with him. I’m not sure if he’s ever seen the Bachelorette before agreeing to be a part of the show, but the concept of going on a group date seemed to be completely lost on him. In a fit of jealousy, Luke insists that Hannah take more pictures with him to soothe his insecurities.

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Later, when Hannah tries to walk to her dressing room to change, Luke tries to come along. But his ploy to get her alone prompted Hannah to say this to a producer, “He doesn’t have to be beside me all the time to know we are good. We are good. I need him to slow his roll.” Luke’s extreme jealousy and subsequent attempts to isolate Hannah from the group are all unhealthy sign that Luke continues to display each week.

3. Luke Slut Shames Hannah

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PHOTO: Courtesy of The Bachelorette/ABC

Luke has guilted Hannah on several occasions throughout the season, but the most glaring example happened after a risqué date with another man. After Hannah went naked bungee jumping on her date with Garrett (apparently Latvians have some quirky traditions), Luke pulled her aside to express his disappointment in her. In an attempt to guilt Hannah for partaking in the activity, Luke says, “I know your body is a temple… I’m just thinking about you holding him bare-skinned and I’m just thinking in my mind… it really pissed me off.” Yes, you read that correctly. Because unhealthy relationships are rooted in power and control, unhealthy partners routinely guilt you for doing something they deem wrong or for not doing what they’ve asked. So, it’s totally not surprising that Luke would make Hannah feel bad for participating in her one-on-one date activity.

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4. Luke Manipulates Hannah (and totally pulls the “I Wanted You to Meet My Parents” card)

One of the most exacerbating things about Luke is his constant manipulation which has become apparent to many of us fans. In the same moment in which Luke and Hannah are discussing the bungee-jumping incident, he manipulates her by bringing up his family and the idea of potentially introducing them to her. He tells Hannah, “I’m looking for you to meet my family soon and I felt like it was a slap in the face”– “it” being Hannah bungee jumping naked with Garrett. Luke knows that meeting the parents is a big deal in a relationship and is something that holds weight to Hannah. For him to dangle that experience in front of her face and use it as a ‘be-on-your-best-behavior’ warning was incredibly manipulative.

RELATED: What Emotional Abuse Really Means

 

5. Luke Gaslights Hannah

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PHOTO: Courtesy of The Bachelorette/ABC

Hannah has repeatedly stated that Luke drives her crazy, and this past week was no exception. When Hannah confronts Luke for his comments regarding the bungee jumping incident, he constantly back peddles saying “you misunderstood me” instead of “I was wrong.” In doing so, Luke makes Hannah question herself and question her sanity – she literally tells Chris Harrison, “I’m either falling in love with Luke, or Luke is making me go crazy.” These confusing feelings of high highs and low lows prevent Hannah from sending Luke home and giving up on him entirely. Feeling unsteady or “crazy” as Hannah puts it, in a relationship is a common sign that your partner is unhealthy and you.

RELATED: 7 Signs of Gaslighting

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PHOTO: Courtesy of The Bachelorette/ABC

I think we can all agree—Luke’s behavior towards Hannah throughout this season has been unhealthy. We do want to be clear though, relationships do not have to include violence to be deemed “unhealthy.” A common misconception people hold about relationships that escalate to abuse is they have to become physically violent to be considered dangerous. But even in the absence of physical abuse, unhealthy relationships can wreak mental and emotional havoc and, in more severe cases, can be physically dangerous.

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Although none of these behaviors are acceptable for Hannah or in any relationship, at One Love we believe everyone can learn to love better and bring more healthy behavior into their relationships. If you find yourself doing any of these things in your relationship, we want you to know there is help for you. And if you recognize any of these signs in your relationship or that of a friend, you shouldn’t take it lightly. Visit our Real-Time Resources page to see what resources are available to you if you need help with an abusive partner, or have questions about your relationship.

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