With Bachelor in Paradise between seasons, we have to get creative about getting our "contestants finding love" fix. And, luckily, one of the show's most famous faces is here to help out: Amanda Stanton turned down a date at the DMV, and she tweeted all about it. Which, thank goodness, because the new season of The Bachelor doesn't air until January 2018, and Winter Games is a whole month after that, so we were never gonna make it. But now all fans can be been rejuvenated with a real life mini-relationship drama, and an inspiring tale of a woman who's finding herself. Both of which give us all the strength we need to soldier through our work weeks.
It all started on Tuesday with what should have been a normal, boring trip to the DMV. But this is Amanda Stanton we're talking about, who seems to trip into a romantic comedy wherever she goes. Even on the beach in Mexico, when everyone else is gathered around a table playing a platonic game, someone is throwing glow sticks into a hot tub for our heroine. So it makes sense that, while everyone else was waiting to get their license renewed, or pay a fine, or take the worst photo of their life, the mother-of-two was getting scoped out. Except in this case, it wasn't quite for the #rightreasons.
We've all been there. When you're feeling yourself and making eyes at somebody, and it turns out you have a full head of lettuce stuck in your teeth. Or a pair of your own underwear stuck to the back of your sweater. The opportunities for embarrassment are endless, and Amanda got hit with one of the more minor ones on the scale, but it's still a blow to your confidence.
Except the story wasn't over yet. Just over 20 minutes later — only in rom-coms are DMV visits so short — the reality star tweeted an update to her fans. It turns out her on-again-off-again soulmate was interested in something other than the newness of her clothes.
If she keeps things up at this rate, we'll all be able to cancel our cable and just live vicariously through Amanda's internet dating stories. But, seriously, there is an awesome takeaway here, buried in the will-they-won't-they: the fact that the single mom turned down a date.
It might seem small, but this is a really big deal for Amanda, as viewers of BIP Seasons 3 and 4 well know. If you tuned into those seasons, you watched the 27-year-old get sucked into two relationships in a row that wound up being pretty all-consuming. First there was Josh Murray, who required Amanda's full and constant attention, like when he made demands about their sleeping arrangements even when they'd been isolated and making out all day.
Amanda returned for Season 4, and, even with the hiatus, quickly found herself pretty heavily involved with Robby Hayes. But this time around, she let her first experience inform her, and the single mom removed herself from the relationship before letting it go to the next level. That's a pretty clear indicator that she's thinking more about herself and what she wants, instead of just deferring to her partner. It's possible — and even encouraged — to go on these shows just to have fun and feel things out, so it's great to see her listening more to her own feelings.
And this latest encounter at the DMV is even more proof that Amanda is in a healthy new relationship... with herself. The fact that she could flirt with a cute guy without feeling obligated to hand over her number is a huge step. She's just out there living her life, open to something coming along without officially waiting for it. She knows where she's at, and right now that's an emotionally unavailable place.
That doesn't mean she needs to sit alone in her house like a spinster until The One comes along, it means that she needs to be out there having low-stakes experiences. And making flirty eye contact with a cute dude at the DMV who's attracted even though you left the tag on your sweater? That's about as low-stakes as it gets.
As she tweeted, Amanda is looking for someone who loves her the way she loves avocado toast, which is absolutely worth waiting for. It does mean that she's gonna have to turn down some tempting offers along the way, while she works on her relationship with herself. And that's a very good thing.