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Bachelorette's Eric Bigger Says Rachel Lindsay Made the Wrong Choice: Bryan Abasolo ‘Seemed Like a Rebound’

“Honestly, from watching the show last night for the first time, I don’t think she picked the right man in that moment,” Eric Bigger recently confessed to Bachelor Nation alums Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti on their podcast, The Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous Podcast.

Bigger, 29, admittedly fell in love with Lindsay during his journey on the ABC reality dating show, but was sent home after his fantasy suite date.

“Prior to seeing the show, I always thought Bryan was the guy for her once I left,” Bigger candidly admitted to Higgins and Iaconetti. Though Bigger called Bryan “my guy” and “cool,” the personal trainer ultimately didn’t think Abasolo and Lindsay were a perfect match.

“I love him … but I felt bad for him. It seemed like he was a rebound,” Bigger said about Lindsay’s fiance. “I could be wrong, but that’s what it looked like in my eyes and maybe the feelings they had for each other is different from what I see. But man, it was tough.”

FROM PEN: Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay on Why She Chose Bryan Abasolo: ‘He is perfect for me’

As for what exactly he saw go down between Lindsay and her final two, Bigger said it all came down to a proposal.

“Rachel put herself in a bind from saying ‘I want a proposal.’ So she held herself accountable in a place where I think it was pride,” he explained after much analysis.

“Her pride wouldn’t let her not do what she wanted to do and that was she wanted a proposal and Peter didn’t want that. So if it wasn’t a proposal, then you’re out, which I get,” Bigger continued. “Sometimes it’s hard, it’s really hard. She made her decision and she’s off to the races, but I just think if she never would’ve said, ‘I want a proposal,’ and made that the priority, she would’ve been okay.”

In addition to calling Abasolo a “rebound,” Bigger previously called Lindsay’s husband-to-be a “consolation prize.”

“From what was shown last night, I think Bryan was the consolation prize. He was second place,” he said in his Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family interview.

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Do Rebound Relationships Ever Work?

We’ve all been there: You emerge from an apocalyptic breakup, when suddenly, a mere four days into singledom, you randomly meet your soulmate. What are the chances! Sure, he’s a 24-year-old night janitor at NYU dentistry school, and you met him at 3:00 a.m. while blacked out and stumbling home, and he calls you “shorty” despite being six inches smaller than you, but whatever—you just connect on a really profound level. (Plus, he gives good head.) For some reason, all of your friends get awkwardly silent when you talk about how wonderfully your new relationship is going, but that’s just because they’re jealous. You’re in love, LOL! And you’re so over your ex, you probably wouldn’t even recognize him if you ran into him at SoulCycle .

Back to reality: Of course you’re not in love—you’re an emotional maniac. In fact, you’re on a rebound. After a big breakup, the idea of going cold turkey into going solo is low-key terrifying. Without someone to do nothing with, the days are suddenly so creepily long. After my last relationship ended, I remember thinking: “Wait . . . who do I text when I’m hungry to ask what I should eat for lunch?” I hadn’t made that decision by myself in three years. I needed something to ease me out of my dependency—I needed relationship methadone. I needed head from a janitor.

Every time I end a relationship, I tell myself that this time will be different—this time I’ll use all my newfound freedom to get more writing done, to start boxing like those models on Instagram, and to learn Espanol. But instead, I just shut my eyes and zombie walk into a new “relationship.” Anything to avoid being alone with my thoughts.

Of course, it’s not polite to use people as emotional airbags, but no one’s perfect. After the trauma of a breakup, should we beat ourselves up for being desperate, drunk, and delusional? Or are rebounds a natural—even healthy—part of the relationship life cycle?

The way I see it, there are two types of rebounds. First, there’s the classic rebound, where you leave a breakup and immediately start dating someone new and get way too serious way too fast—like you just slot a random person into the space that your ex used to occupy in your life (imagine a soap opera, when they recast an established role with an actor you’ve never seen before and then just move on like nothing happened). Think of it like subletting your vagina: Since the previous dick moved out so suddenly, you have no choice but to fill it with a random Craigslist deep house DJ, because you’re too broke(n) to leave it unoccupied until a proper replacement comes along.

Type two is what I call the “rampage rebound,” which is when you basically run as far as you can in the opposite direction of “serious” and just have sex with anything nearby and remotely sentient. This isn’t even a sublet. This is straight Airbnb—and you vet potential visitors in the same way. Like, okay, so you’re visiting from Macedonia and can’t speak English and have a tribal tattoo—yes, you’re approved, just don’t break anything.

The funny thing about a classic rebound is that, often, everyone can see that you’re rebounding—except you. Case in point: my friend “Clara,” a 32-year-old civil rights lawyer. Last summer, Clara split with her boyfriend of seven years, and a month later was “totally in love” with a socially awkward poet. Right. “Yeah, that was 100 percent a rebound,” Clara sighed, as we scarfed down chicken wings in Brooklyn. “Even though verbally I was saying, ‘I’m not looking for a boyfriend,’ in my head I thought, ‘Yup, we’ll get married—that’s it, I won!’ In hindsight, I just needed a warm body to watch Netflix with, to avoid the existential anxiety of being alone. It’s like Malia Obama deferring college for a year; I deferred being alone.”

Clara pointed out that usually a rebound immediately follows either a debilitating heartbreak or a relationship that felt mind-numbingly stagnant, after either of which, to suddenly have even a low level attraction to someone can feel transcendent when compared to the hell you just crawled out of. “I hadn’t been in love with my ex in a while, so it was thrilling to feel any connection with someone. Like, I was obsessed with him, and yet I didn’t take the time to get to know him, or to decide for myself if I even liked him.” She paused for a second, and involuntarily half-gagged. “Ugh, I can’t believe I dated him—he’s so boring! Like, what did we even talk about that weekend when we drove to Connecticut for five hours? I could never in a million years do that again.”

The problem with deferring a loan, of course, is that you eventually have to pay it back—with interest. “It’s funny,” Clara recalled. “When I finally ended things with my rebound, I was way more upset than I needed to be, because I had spent the six months we were together not dealing with my breakup. And then when I was truly alone, and had to face the reality of what had happened, it was terrifying. But the rebound was kind of perfect, because it was like baby steps. The idea that I could still be with someone felt safer to me, which is probably something I should unpack with my shrink.”

Of course, not everyone leaves a relationship and quickly lies to themselves about finding “the one”; for some people, it takes a village. The technical term for this is “fucking through your feelings.” My friend Maria is an expert. Maria is a 37-year-old jewelry designer who recently ended a 15-year relationship. This past weekend, I sat down with her and a magnum bottle of cheap Chardonnay to be regaled with stories of her slutty recovery. “It had been 15 years, okay,” Maria told me, already sweating. “I hadn’t had good sex in so long, so my thing was like—I want to get out there and fuck. I just wanted to feel sexy again. But then it went a little rogue . . . ”

The rampage commenced when, just days after her breakup, Maria got a flirty Facebook message from a guy she dated in her 20s, who’s now married. “At first I was like, ‘No, I’m not going to bone a married dude,’ ” she said. “But then he told that me he hadn’t had sex in a year, and I was like, ‘Okay, I have to do my part for mankind.’ At first it was hot—like Cinemax-on-a-late-Saturday-afternoon hot. But after a while it was like this position, that position, blow jobs upside down. I was like, ‘Wait, I’m too basic for this.’ I was looking to have a fun sexual adventure, but this felt too contrived. And then he stuck half his tongue in my butt. I was like, ‘Ow, dude, this isn’t the olympics.’ ”

Often, a rebound is about proving to ourselves that we’re not ugly and boring—that we’re still fun, and that people still want to have sex with us. But in the process of reminding ourselves of all of this, sometimes we end up overcompensating. Maria wasn’t discouraged: A week later at a family party, she ran into a guy she used to babysit when he was 12, who had since grown into a 23-year-old (with abs). “He was following me around the party like a puppy,” she told me, “and then he started rubbing my leg under the table. I was like, ‘This is weird. I helped you with your math homework.’ In a better mind frame I probably wouldn’t have fucked him, but I was like, ‘Ya know what—whatever, let’s just do this whole fantasy thing.’ And it turned out to be a really fun, hot experience.” She had hit her sexual stride.

Of course, during a rebound period, you’re ending up in bed with people who, under normal circumstances, you wouldn’t even register as human when scanning a dance floor. But Maria was okay with that. Until finally came her fling with Alex, the DJ–slash–drug addict. “ Yeah , so he gave me gonorrhea,” she said, nodding in slow motion. “So that was my bottom. Actually, I was strangely grateful that I got gonorrhea, because afterward I was like, ‘Okay, let’s bring it home. We’ve had fun.’ ” She shrugged. “I also learned a valuable life lesson: Never fuck a New York City DJ raw.”

People say that casual sex can leave you feeling empty—especially when you’re in a fragile state, like after a breakup. But according to Maria, that wasn’t the case. For all of the doctors appointments and blow job–induced neck pain that resulted from her rampage, Maria said that, in the end, it worked—it all helped her to move on. “For me, rebounding straight into another relationship wouldn’t have been healthy. I needed to truly enjoy people again—to have the thrilling moments as well as the disastrous moments. That was my medicine. It wasn’t about feeling ‘young’ again, but about feeling sexy, wanted, passionate, and spontaneous—all the things you kind of lose when you’re in a relationship. And when I was with my ‘rebounds’ I forgot about my ex completely, which is a big deal.”

The point is, we can all give ourselves a break for being sexually psychotic, post-breakup. Sometimes you just need a cushion. Like, if I’m going to jump out of a burning building, I’d always prefer to land on an air mattress (with abs)—I’ll still probably end up crippled, but it will hurt a little less. It probably won’t surprise you that my last rebound and I didn’t work out. And when I finally took off my martini goggles, a month into our love affair, I was admittedly like “Wait, eww .” But he was the perfect filling for my emotional cavity. And conveniently, in the end he realized that I was a romantic liability, and wanted to get away from me, too.

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