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Why We Love Ben Higgins So Much, According to Science

Since we’re just hours away from The Bachelor season finale, it’s high time we take a step back from obsessing over bachelor contestant confessions — and who’s going to win — to think about the man, the myth, the boy from Indiana: Ben himself. It’s pretty obvious that being a Bachelor contestant can get pretty rough, but Ben seems to handle it like a champ (okay, save for a couple of tears) — maybe even more so than some of his predecessors. So what is it that we love so much about this reality tv star? Is it his dimples? His laid-back style? Media studies expert Holly Holladay says his looks are part of the charm, but the science behind why we love Ben is so much more than just chemistry.


Psychologists call it parasocial interaction. It’s a term used in the field to describe a one-way relationship with something or someone (mostly celebrities) who can’t reciprocate it. While this type of relationship can be with anything or anyone you feel emotional closeness with — a sports team, a book character, a political figure — Holladay says this type of “relationship” is especially common and inevitable when it comes to reality TV.

“I think what makes parasocial relationships so different when it comes to reality TV is that the characters are real, especially on shows like The Bachelor,” Holladay said.

This realness is accentuated by a very important factor in The Bachelor franchise: perceived accessibility. Because we, as viewers, can audition to date the people we see on screen, we have an ability to create a relationship with them without ever meeting them.

“That’s the beauty of The Bachelor cycle,” Holladay said. “One minute, you’re watching the bachelor as this figure on TV. And then all of a sudden, you’ve applied to be on the show and you’re dating him. In our minds, that person could be any of us.”

So that’s why the bachelors/ettes are so attractive to us. But what about Ben? Isn’t he special? Holladay says that we love Ben for the exact same reason we love all of the leads of the show. He’s accessible, and most importantly, he’s generic. Unlike Chris Soles and Juan Pablo, he could be any guy in America, and that “boy next door” characterization makes him relatable.

“Not only is he perfectly generic, he’s emotional and open,” Holladay said. “He tells us how he’s feeling. He cries. He says ‘I love you.’ He’s expressive in a way that not a lot of men are conditioned to be, and that’s appealing.”

Why are you in love with Ben? Tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photos via Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty)

Ahhh, fall. There are so many things to love about this time of year (give us ALL the sweaters and pumpkin-flavored eats). But, high on the list comes autumn decor candles, throws, textiles — you name it. Of course, buying items and actually adding them to your room are two different things. So we're turning to Instagram for the best styling advice and inspo for the season. Scroll on to see everything you need to get those wheels turning!

@sbkliving: Sometimes, it only takes a chic doormat to transition your front steps for the season. Hello, fall!

@rachelpuccetti: Excuse us while we spend an entire lazy Sunday relaxing in this fall-infused space.

@farmhousetofrills: A monochrome mantel never looked so chic. (That fireplace pumpkin setup is seriously *genius*.)

@faith_hope_home: Greet guests with a fall-themed entrance to set the tone for a day of pumpkin carving or scary movie marathoning.

@simplysoutherncottage: Don't forget about those nooks and crannies! This entryway/mudroom situation is capturing our little harvest-loving hearts.

@6thirtydecor: Speaking of pumpkins, pick up a few extra gourds to pave the way into your cozy autumn abode.

@farmsteadonfirst: That guest bedroom you weren't sure what to do with it? Transform it into a rustic retreat with some fall signage and mustard-yellow and green accents.

@fiddleleafinteriors: We're going to take a second to *swoon* over this adorable kitchen setup. Those farmhouse accents and simple centerpiece setup? We're in love.

@ohmydearblog: Contrary to what you think, florals *aren't* just for spring. Bring them into your abode by selecting buds in moody tones to pay homage to the season.

@simply.mrs.z: Drawn to modern style? Play up the Halloween vibes by picking black, orange and brass accents to rock on places like your bookshelf. (Bonus points for carrying the theme over to your textiles.)

@drivewaytodreams_crystal: We're going to go ahead and give two thumbs up to all of these orange-hued accents. Backdropped with a neutral furnishings and they truly *pop*!

@cripcollectiveig: For those who don't want to go overboard with the "fall stuff" this one will speak to you. Compile a couple of cute throws and a minimalist pumpkin print on your mantle and you're set

@cavcottage: Who said fun pillows were limited to furnishings only? We're ALL about this entry display.

@houseon77th: This daybed setup is a *dream*. But actually, this would be the perfect space to doze off in come the colder days.

@kristenforgione: For a more festive Halloween look, overhaul your living space with a spooky handmade addition like this one. *Googles paper bat DIYs.*