‘The Bachelor’: Clayton Echard Believes ‘Real World’ Dating Rules Don’t Apply on the Show

Instead of swiping right on Tinder or going on a blind date, a group of 30 women goes on The Bachelor in hopes of being Mrs. Right for the show’s newest bachelor. This season of The Bachelor stars former NFL player Clayton Echard. Finding the right one among a large group of women is not necessarily typical dating. After Clayton’s turmoil with Susie Evans during the fantasy suite dates, he admits normal dating rules don’t apply.

[Warning: The article contains mild spoilers for Clayton Echard’s season of The Bachelor.]

Clayton Echard and Gabby Windey on 'The Bachelor' sitting in park and laughing.
Clayton Echard and Gabby Windey on ‘The Bachelor’ | John Medland via ABC

Clayton Echard narrowed it down to 3 women on ‘The Bachelor’

Fans were getting closer to see who Clayton would get down on one knee for. Before the finale, The Bachelor hit a snag when Susie learned Clayton slept with both Rachel Recchia and Gabby Windey during their fantasy suite dates. He also told her the truth about saying “I love you” to both women.

The events led Susie to lose her trust in Clayton and their relationship. But fans were more upset at the Bachelor’s reaction to the events. Clayton felt his feelings were misled, and things would have changed if he had known Susie’s feelings beforehand. Fans also accused Clayton of “gaslighting” Susie and making her feel guilty.

According to Us Weekly, Clayton feels guilt. The Bachelor admitted, “I allowed my emotions to attack her, and I wish I wouldn’t have done that. I was very upset. And I let my emotions get the best of me.” Clayton admits he had certain expectations about being on The Bachelor and how dating works.

Clayton Echard believed he could openly explore relationships on ‘The Bachelor’

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Looking back at the situation with Susie and his decision to have sexual intercourse with Gabby and Rachel, Clayton explains his reasoning. The Bachelor is not a run-of-the-mill dating environment. But Clayton explains the three women said he could explore the relationships to the fullest. Being the bachelor to 30 women, Clayton believed normal dating rules were off the table.

“I assumed — this is where I made one of my biggest mistakes [and I wish going forward I learned to ask more questions and never assume — because I assumed given the environment that we are, me being the Bachelor in this environment dating 30 women that the real-world rules did not apply,” said Clayton.

Clayton felt there was some leeway to developing feelings and relationships on The Bachelor. He explains, “if these women will stick around and watch me kiss other women in front of them — which that would never be acceptable in the real world.”

To Clayton, this meant certain rules were null and void. But the Bachelor explains there was a particular responsibility put on him. He says it was up to him to “compartmentalize” each relationship and only focus on one contestant while with them.

The Bachelor has advice for the next hopeful looking for love

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After the fantasy suite dates, the finale of The Bachelor could be unlike anything fans have seen before. Not only did Clayton have to admit his actions to Gabby and Rachel, but dealing with the consequences. Even the Bachelor’s parents were not on board with what he did.

Each season of The Bachelor comes with its problems, drama, villains, and more. Clayton explains he was 100% authentic during his time on the show.

Clayton advises the next bachelor, “If you stay true to yourself, you can live with your actions at the end of the day. If you don’t stay true to yourself — if you make decisions that aren’t your own in that role — that will eat you up until the end of the day.”

Fans will get to see how well Clayton’s “authentic” actions did during the finale of The Bachelor tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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