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Four Relationship Flaws of The Bachelor‘s Jake Pavelka

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The current season of The Bachelorette took a fiery sidestep last Monday and aired an interview with last season's Bachelor, Jake. Known from the TV show The Bachelor, he appeared with the winner Vienna to discuss their highly publicized breakup. The interview looked like therapy gone wild. Vienna stated she never felt like she was loved or supported and Jake showed he lacks relationship skills. He is judgmental, without identity, condescending, and unsupportive. He has miles to go to be in a healthy relationship.

I've been married for eight years. It's been some work but the dividends far outweigh the effort. As for me, I say it's impossible to have a healthy relationship when you act as Jake does in this interview. If you haven't yet seen it, you might go watch it before we start a dialog. I am aware there is a "Team Jake" out there.

Jake's first flaw is being judgmental. I see this in the interview when he says, "I am so disgusted with you." This is cold in an off-screen relationship, but releasing such a word of abhorrence for her on television shows that he is lacking self-control and tact. Furthermore, when you are married you are concerned with solving things. If you don't want a divorce, or worse, a life of living with someone uncomfortably, you strive to listen in a relationship. When something is "disgusting" to you, you either remain silent or wait to get all the facts. Doing that on national TV, he might as well have put a bag over her head. When I heard him say that, I knew right away we were dealing with a guy who had a lot of growing up to do before he could handle a healthy relationship.

Jake's second flaw is his identity crisis. I see this when Vienna talks about the impression he created of being a pilot. She came to immediately find out he was more interested in being an L.A. Hollywood star. She says he would do Dancing With the Stars all day and at night go straight to his Twitter. I am sure celebs get far more adoring Tweeps following them than the average users such as myself. He ate up the attention. Jake wasn't sure who he was before the show and clearly this hindered his ability to communicate with his serious relationship partner. I think it is crucial for a self-actualized person to know who they are and what they want, and they should verbalize it to their partner.

Jake's third flaw is his condescending attitude and tone toward his partner. At the height of their bickering he has the gall to say, "Baby, be quiet when you're talking to me." We see Jake here as smug and stuck on himself. He doesn't want his partner to think she is equal with him. There is nothing wrong with using the term "baby," but when it is used at the height of argument only to be followed by insult? That's an immature man who knows little about a woman's need to be heard and validated.

Finally, Jake's self-centered attitude makes him appear lousy at relationships. You cannot be self-centered and have a successful relationship. Before I saw this episode, I thought this was common knowledge. Apparently not. She says he stopped kissing her and she didn't know why. Jake had this reply: "What man in America would ever want to be intimate with a woman that undermines him, emasculates him, and doesn't respect …" Then when she tries to clarify he says, "You're interrupting me, [that is disrespectful]." Jake appears as one of the most self-centered guys I have ever seen.

In conclusion, since there may be arguments as to who was right etc., I hold that Jake is not ready for a relationship because he is judgmental of Vienna, he lacks a vocational and psychological identity, he's condescending, and he's self-centered. I hope Jake stops pointing the finger at Vienna and somehow realizes he must suffer a little to learn about women and the needs they have in a marriage. Chances are he won't; after all, the entire show fed his ego so much, I wonder if he will ever be able to drag it off the couch.

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About Damien Riley

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Dude… Do you really think that anyone who tries to find “love” on a TV show isn’t trying to become a star? Could they really be looking for a serious relationship?! All those important moments when you first meet someone were spent in a competition and then they were going to get married after such a short time (6 months?). You can’t compare this concocted nonsense to a real relationship / marriage because it wasn’t started with integrity! It’s rating based drivel… Nothing more,nothing less.

  • Christine

    Vienna betrayed someone she claimed to “love” by airing all his dirty laundry to the tabloids for $40,000, then hooking up with an actor while Jake was out of town. He didn’t find out about this until he saw his face on a magazine cover. The actor Gregory Michael has come out saying Vienna lied, and that they DID make out while Jake was out of town. And you (very smugly and self-righteously) judge him for being angry at her? Does he not have a right to be angry for being betrayed by someone he still trusted and loved? I’m a woman, and I would say the exact same thing: I am disgusted that Vienna would sell out someone she “loves” for tabloid money. Jake showed admirable self-control and restraint in the face of Vienna’s betrayal and display of histrionics. If I were a 20-year-old girl, I might side with Vienna–but now that I’m a grown woman, married for 10 years, with three children, I know better. If I EVER acted as Vienna has and betrayed my loved one, I would expect no sympathy whatsoever. Next time your wife goes and trashes you in the tabloids for 40 grand, then has a fling with your neighbor while you’re out of town, how about I write a condescending article all about how you failed to show sufficient “compassion” to your wife at a post-split interview?

  • http://www.damienriley.com/ Damien Riley

    @Brian: What did you think of Jake in the interview? I agree that this situation is not a normal way to meet and marry. You are also correct it will have a whole different set of challenges. My wife and I watched the interview quite shocked at how rude he was to her. That’s what spurned this article, not so much trying to give Jake advice. I was thinking about what we can take from it for “ordinary life” relationships. Thanks for the comment.

  • Sarah

    Christine: Jake is 32 years old, Vienna is 23. He should be the leader in this relationship. The entire premise of their relationship was built around him being a pilot and wanting to build a future but instead he packs her away in an apartment, and stayed away most of the time and didn’t bother to WORK on a relationship. No one deserves to be cheated on, but he was treating her like crap well before she sold that story. His lack of maturity was blatantly obvious in that interview. I too have been married nearly 10 years with three kids and I say precisely the flip of what you are saying which is that at 20 I probably thought she was a huge jerk. Now I am experienced enough to see a man almost 10 years her senior who thought he could have his cake and eat it too. Enough said.

  • Mandy

    Both are at fault. In my opinion, they both came across bad in the interview. In this article, you failed to mention the fact that Vienna was constantly interrupting Jake and the host. She also kept wiping away fake tears…. Her eyes were dry when she dabbed them withthe Kleenex. She is just as fake as Jake and they are both after their 15 min. of fame. No sympathy for either from me.

  • Zee

    I respectfully disagree with you Mandy. I was never a fan of Vienna’s but her tears were real. And I noticed too, that her interrupting was because of his blatant lies. I totally get how hard it is to keep your mouth shut when someone straight lies about things which is exactly what Jake did. I started to see some of his negative traits on Dancing with the Stars but the interview truly showed how he clearly did not like or care about Vienna but wanted to keep their relationship for reasons that lacked integrity. That’s just my opinion. Christine, if you watched the interview, you’ll see how Vienna completely debunked Jake’s cheating accusations. I think he saw it as a way to save face and end the relationship but in reality, she had not cheated on him.

  • Suz

    I have been married to my husband over 20 years. I completely agree with the author. Jake has a huge ego and is fed by his time in the media. My husband does call him a fame whore. I even question his sexuality! When you have difficulty connecting and being intimate with women there is a big red flag!! Vienna expessed comments I hear from patients who are in an abusive relationship. The public needs to wake up and not support this man’s public escapades.

  • Marcia

    BINGO! I totally agree with your assessment of Jake. He is no less than a self centered jerk. While I was never a big fan of Vienna, I always thought she was somewhat immature, I expected more of Jake as a person.

  • Corinne

    It takes 2 people to make a relationship work. I watched the episode Monday night and felt that both parties were very immature. Obviously they both need some time to grow up.

  • klange

    I agree 100% with the writer of this article. I have not watch a bachelor or bachelorette show through a full season, as I find the whole premise of finding LOVE on TV ridiculous. I saw the mags that have their pics splayed all over them at the grocery store last week, and became interested in the he said she said crap. Can’t help it, and that’s what the mags are hoping for! What the fact is in this thing is, only THEY (Vienna and Jake) really know what happened in their relationship or lack thereof, but from that interview, all I could see was a woman desperate to be heard, and a man that could care less. He WAS condescending, he WAS self righteous, even borderline narcissistic. The whole ‘baby’ comment, the ‘stop interrupting me comment’… yes she interrupted him several times, in defence of herself. As far as taking money for an interview for a tabloid, that would have happened sooner or later, by him, or by her, and either way it is not the classiest thing in the world, again, it was an act of desperation by someone who just wants to be heard, and an attempt to get an immediate income to live off while waiting for real employment.
    Women are fighting all the time for equality, still in this day and age, and shows like this do NOT help. They focus on appearance, and fake self selling, and cat scraps for ratings. To belittle her for standing up for herself is what is disgusting.

  • http://www.damienriley.com/ Damien Riley

    This article was meant more as a “Do’s and dont’s” in a relationship. It was not meant as a “Team Vienna” type of thing. Still, I think we should discourage all men from treating women the way Jake treats Vienna in the video. I don’t think any woman would deserve that and I have no sympathy for Jake whatsoever based on what she “did to him.”

    I also get it that Jake is mostly an actor due to the nature of the show. I hope he learns to treat women with more respect so he himself can one day enjoy a healthy relationship in real life. He’s still a very young man at 32.

  • Rhonda

    I watched the interview, and I feel like Vienna showed just how spoiled and melo-dramatic she really is. That’s the same things that the other women in the house were seeing throughout the season of The Bachelor, but it took Jake a little longer to see it. I will say, Jake disappointed me in the interview too. I don’t blame him for being so callous and angry…I would too if I had come home to find that my mate had cheated and that the story had been sold to the tabloids. I don’t believe Vienna’s denials of cheating for a minute! But Jake was a little petty and childish with the underminig and immasculating comments, but Vienna really did just need to shut up and let him finish a complete sentence! SHEESH

  • fancmusic

    Damien, you hit the nail on the head! He was such a polished, controling, cool headed, pretty boy during the interview! More interested in glancing at the camera than heartfelt concern regarding their relationship!!! When he said anything to Vienna it was demeaning and in a self-rightous way. Definately puts himself on a pedestal, as if to not dirty himself in the dispute!! Jake is playing smooth talking ‘mind-controling games’at her expense!!

  • Cheryl

    Run as fast as you can Vienna. Jake’s reactions were deja vu and personal experience. A man who feels undermined by a woman having a point a view has serious self esteem issues and the latter is the foundation of alcoholism. This guy is no prize.

  • M.E.

    Cheryl, I agree with you 100%. I also think Jake picked Vienna because she was younger and less mature than the other women, making her (in Jake’s mind) easier to manipulate. And as far as getting paid by US magazine, I say “Good for you, Vienna.”

  • Eric

    This is a ridiculous article. The author seems to think this relationship is real. It would be too naive to think that Jake and Vienna were truly interested in finding love by going for a reality TV show. We (the viewers) were looking to be entertained; Jake and Vienna were looking for fame’ and ABC was looking to make money out of the show. So we were all served. No more no less!

  • rose

    Excellent article, Damien. I hope Jake will come across it and maybe learn something about women. He claims to be a nice guy, he even gives workshops on ‘chivalry’! LOL. If you are a nice guy, if you have chivalry, you shouldn’t have to announce it to everyone.

  • http://www.damienriley.com/ Damien Riley

    @rose: Thank you :) As far as Jake’s workshops on chivalry … how gauche. Thanks again.

  • Susan

    Well-written and exactly what I saw when watching Jake and Vienna’s interaction. Jake is trying to be this slick guy, but comes across as insecure and shallow. I mean how can you feel “undermined” when talking with your significant other about furniture placement–really! Glad Vienna got away from him.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    @Damien,

    I think that trying to take anything of value from these “reality’ shows are a complete waste of time. And, then go back to find out what these people are really like after the show and act like it’s shocking is just as lame. Again, if any of you take these shows at face value then you’re missing the point…It’s rating based fantasy. That’s it.

  • http://www.damienriley.com/ Damien Riley

    I agree with you Brian but it’s part of our culture and couples who are married and making it should speak out when they see examples like this in our culture. It was for that reason that I wrote this piece. I have to share how dangerous an attitude like Jake’s is, even if it were 100% scripted. Thanks for your input man.

  • klange

    Thank you Damien, for noting that not ALL couples are like this one. Obviously, there is a lot of opinion on the topic! The premise is real, even if the show and circumstances around it are not.

  • Maz

    He is so disgustingly smug.

    His “Oh, it was all her, I’ve never done anything, this is what it’s like being with HER” was completely transparent.

    She seemed fairly reasonable for someone who had had to deal with such a wanker for as long as she has.

    Funny, he wasn’t that bad on the show. No wonder he stopped flying to try and become an actor… His onscreen performance for the show was fabulous, I had no idea he was such a f*#kwit.

  • Kim1

    I think the only winners here are the girls he didn’t pick.

    I hear the whole damn lot of them sigh with relief.

  • http://www.ido-doi.com Stella Aghenie

    How to understand a woman, As women we on average try to do everything, and don’t like to ask for help(but often get upset when we don’t receive it). Women are constantly sending signals as if they were telegraph machines trying to pass on a message. Your job is to decode these messages and respond properly.

  • claire

    christine is a doosh, not need to get so personal toward the author.

  • bev edwards

    I am sticking up for Jake as I think he is a decent person. I couldn’t believe he couldn’t see through Vienna from day 1

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