The Allure of Aloof
After re-watching the first several episodes of the Bachelorette, two things seem pretty clear. First, Bentley is by far the most aloof of the 25 contestants. Time and time again, he holds back, appearing to relish in his reservation. Second, Ashley is attracted to his aloofness. The more he holds back, the more she seems to dig him.
What is the allure of the aloof? Well, most simply it differentiates Bentley from the other contestants. Not only does it keep him from coming off like a desperate schmuck (see cheesy Solar Ryan in almost every episode), but it also cultivates in him a quiet sense of confidence. While all the other guys are aggressively pursuing Ashley, trying to make the most of their 3 minutes of one-on-one time with her, Bentley casually holds back. Ashley ends up approaching him! While all the other guys feel the need to vomit out their biggest accomplishments (“I started a solar company,”) or their most tragic experiences (“my dad was an alcoholic”), presumably to impress Ashley or evoke her sympathies, Bentley nonchalantly mentions the one thing that is most likely to be a deal-breaker (and maintain his distance from her): that he’s a divorced father. By essentially doing the opposite of what the others do and what the show expects, Bentley stands out from the pack and emerges as the most authentic and genuine guy on the show (note the same “realness” gets him in a pickle during the ITM interviews).
Aloofness signals that a guy is complex; he’s likely to be a challenge. In short, he’s interesting. Like any other smart girl, Ashley simply has a hard time resisting.