5 Signs His Apology Is Bullsh*T
This season of The Bachelorette has had more than a few villains, but one guy's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde act stole the show. After a promising start that made him seem like a total catch, noted Princeton graduate and death defy-er Ian, a 28-year-old executive recruiter from Los Angeles, did an about-face and verbally ripped Kaitlyn apart. He offered up gems like, "I came here expecting to meet the girl that had her heart broken and devastated by Chris Soules, not the girl that wanted to get her field plowed by Chris," "I don't find Kaitlyn interesting," "I have a good time in my own life. I meet chicks and have a lot of sex," and "I am an enigma and who I am is a gift you unwrap for life."
It wouldn't have been a surprise if he'd stuck to his douche-y guns on last night's "Men Tell All" episode. But instead, he got down on his knees not once, but twice, to apologize to for his actions. After he took off his jacket (to show he meant business, obviously), Ian started off with, "I think it's clear that this was certainly a season that was full of tension and emotions." Hello, understatement! As he got down onto his knees, Chris Harrison voiced all of America's thoughts and asked a baffled, "What are you doing?" But Ian soldiered on. "In the end, I said things I really wish I hadn't," he said. "I really regret the way that I left, I regret the things that I said, and I really regret the way that it made Kaitlyn feel. I'm sorry."
RELATED: Did the Bachelorette Really Owe an Apology for Having Sex on the Show?
He continued, explaining that he was on his knees to prove how heartfelt his apology was. He then said he specifically wanted to apologize to Kaitlyn, her family, both his and her mothers, the other contestants, the audience, and all of America. After that, the crowd granted him an enthusiastic round of applause, while the guys hauled him up from his knees with handshakes and pats on the back.
Later, he got a chance to repeat his apology to Kaitlyn. He handed her a note, assumed his kneeling position, then said, "This is who I am. I am humble. It's unfortunate that—" Then a sneaky leg cramp interrupted him (too much kneeling?), so he had to stand before continuing, "Given what you said about the backlash you've received, I want to apologize to you for any backlash you received as a result of what I said on the show. I received backlash, too. I understand where you're coming from." After saying his actions weren't representative of who he is as a human being and he's sorry, Kaitlyn gave him a hug and accepted his apology.
RELATED: A Definitive Ranking of Every Bachelorette Breakup
But was Ian being genuine? Some viewers thought he was putting on an act.
Others clearly believed it was the real deal:
Here, Jane Greer, Ph.D., author of What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship, explains what makes it clear when a guy is faking an apology—for the cameras or otherwise.
1. He Doesn't Seem to Understand Why He's Apologizing
After actually saying "I'm sorry," comprehending what he did wrong is the bare minimum for an apology. "Sorry on its own is like a balloon without a string," says Greer. "It needs to be tied to him explaining how he hurt you." If he's not showing an awareness of why what he did wasn't okay and how it affected your feelings, he probably doesn't get that he did anything wrong in the first place. "The apology is just the beginning," says Greer. "The first thing it needs to be packaged with is an explanation of what exactly he's apologizing for."
2. He Makes It All About Him
Empathy is key for a successful apology, but it needs to be done the right way. Take Ian's assertion that, because he's received backlash (caused by his own actions), he understands how Kaitlyn's feeling. His heart might have been in the right place with that, but the execution was clumsy. "When someone brings in their own experience, he runs the risk of trivializing the intensity of your feelings," says Greer. Instead of making it sound like he knew exactly how Kaitlyn felt, Ian could have tweaked the language and settled on something like, "I'm sorry I created some backlash that was upsetting for you. I've been through some myself, and it wasn't fair to help put you in that position." That way, it doesn't make it seem like he thinks they're in the same exact situation.
3. He Makes a Show Out of It
So about that whole getting-on-his-knees and apologizing to America thing. "That's television, so it makes more sense there, but if a man is falling all over himself just repeating that he's sorry, it may not be sincere," says Greer. Without an explanation of how he plans on changing any hurtful behaviors in the future, dramatic apologies can fall flat. "An apology should include some sort of intention about how he's going to change going forward," says Greer. That's one major way you'll know he cares about not making the same mistake twice.
4. His Actions Don't Mimic His Words
Following a guy's stated resolve to do better, he needs to actually, you know, do better. "You have to give it time to play out because what people say in the moment can only be supported by what they do in the future," says Greer. Otherwise, a lack of change shows he can't take ownership of the apology. We won't know if Ian has that sort of romantic meltdown again, but if none of his future dates are subject to a rant about how top-notch he is, chances are he meant the apology.
5. He Expects You to Get Over It ASAP
If a guy does all of the above, he could still undermine what would otherwise be a good apology by expecting you to go back to normal in an instant. "That's more about him wanting you to get on with it without fully understanding why you might need more time," says Greer. Instead, after explaining that he knows how he hurt you and what he'll do to make sure it doesn't happen again, a guy who's truly sorry will get that it might take some time for you to heal.