With hometowns rapidly approaching on The Bachelorette, one-on-one dates are more valuable than ever. And in the July 19 episode, Mike P. was finally rewarded with one of those dates. Usually, a one-on-one is an opportunity to connect and emotionally engage with the lead, but Mike’s tantric cuddling date was a bit too awkward for both fans and Katie alike.
Mike, who has been open about his decision to abstain from sex until marriage, was placed in increasingly awkward situations throughout the season. Much to everyone’s surprise, he proved he was up for the challenge and actually thrived on sex-themed dates, charming Katie with his vulnerability and sensitivity. When it came time for the one-on-one, he gamely entered the New Mexico woods and sat through guided cuddling with Katie. But after their instructor left, he made a few too many comparisons between Katie and his mother.
“She reminds me of my mom. She is a better cuddler though. My mom is going to be so mad, but it’s time to move on,” he said at one point.
He said this to the camera several times, before telling Katie directly as they held each other intimately — not exactly when you want to her about your partner’s significant other. Viewers were, to say the least, uncomfortable.
In the end, Mike wasn’t able to connect with Katie on the level they’d both hoped, and before the dinner portion of their one-on-one, an emotional Katie cut the date short. Mike took the rejection in stride. “No matter what the result is, my respect for you is never going to change,” he said. “I know what type of wife you’re going to be and I know what type of mother you’re going to be, and I know one of those guys is really lucky. I’m bummed I don’t get to experience life with you, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to be rooting for you.”
As Mike climbed into a black SUV ready to take him away, Katie told the cameras. “I know what I signed up for, but that doesn’t make it easier,” which is a testament to Katie’s group of guys, her connections with them, and the increasing difficulty of each elimination.
As numbers continue to dwindle, every rose ceremony and every date becomes amplified. This season is certainly living up to the drama that the franchise routinely promises, and it’s only made more riveting when all of the men are strong contenders.