We wish there were more men in Australia like Ab Sow

Contestant Ab Sow politely rejected Becky Miles’ rose at the first rose ceremony of this season’s The Bachelorette, and it proved exactly why men need to be more honest when it comes to dating.

The premiere of the Bachelorette Australia 2020 was a world first for several reasons.

For starters, there was not one, but two bachelorettes – sisters Elly and Becky Miles – looking for their partner amongst the same group of 20 eligible bachelors.

And secondly, in an unexpected turn of events, one contestant exited the mansion voluntarily because he simply felt he didn’t have a connection with either of the women.

27-year-old Ab Sow was offered a rose by Becky at the rose ceremony, but politely rejected it.

“Becky, I’m really sorry. You’re absolutely beautiful and unfortunately, I cannot accept this rose,” the filmmaker told Becky, leaving her shocked.

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Ab and Becky then stepped aside for a private chat where he was able to explain his unexpected decision.

“I just don’t think I’m the right person for you,” he explained to her. “It’s only right that I’m honest with you right now instead of letting you know down the road.”

While Becky was initially stunned, she handled the situation gracefully and was actually grateful for Ab’s morality.

“I really appreciate your honesty, for stepping up and telling us how you feel,” the 30-year-old said.

Viewers flocked to Twitter to praise Ab for his honesty.

“Cudo AB. For being honest, that’s a first,’ one person said.

A second person posted: “Honesty is Key.”

In fact, relationship expert Briony Leo is actually surprised this hasn’t happened before.

“It’s just assumed that everyone will fall for the Bachelor or Bachelorette automatically, which is nuts,” she tells Body+Soul.

Leo explains that trusting your gut instinct when you don’t feel chemistry comes with many positives.

“The positives of doing this are that, firstly, you are saving both of your time by being honest and upfront. In a real world situation, calling it mid-first date might be a bit extreme, but also gives you both the opportunity to press pause on things and not get too attached. We might feel like we are protecting people’s feelings by saying yes to more dates, but in reality it might actually make it more painful further on down the track if they are developing an emotional connection.”

She continues: “In a dating show scenario, it also opens up the field for other people who are interested in them to connect and spend time together, without you getting in the way.”

While she does point out that feelings can “develop over time and we can get to know people over a few dates, and then make a decision”, sometimes the spark isn’t there from the beginning and that’s OK.

“If the spark really isn’t there from the beginning, it can be good to find a compassionate and kind way of letting them down easily. They won’t like it at the time, but it will be much easier to get over than if you’d had three or four dates with them and then had the conversation!”

So, to all the men in the world, please take advice from Ab and just be honest. Thank you and goodbye.

Briony Leo is an Australian psychologist and relationship expert, currently based in New York City, with specialist training in EMDR, Neurofeedback, Schema Therapy and ACT therapy. You can find her here.