MAFS is almost over, and while that’s sad but not TOO sad (Bachelor In Paradise is very much on the way), we’ll soon be leaving behind these people we’ve become alarmingly invested in. Like Connie Crayden, possibly the most genuine and pure of soul person we’ve seen on reality TV in Australia.

Connie won over hearts because she seemed so unlike other MAFS contestants. She wasn’t attention-seeking or clearly there for Instagram followers. Like Lizzie from last season, she struck a chord with us because she seemed genuinely to be looking for love.

As the series has progressed though, a lot of us have gone from loving Connie for her authenticity to feeling deeply frustrated with her as she continued to try making her relationship with Jonethen survive, even after weeks of him writing leave.

I think we can all see that Connie is a stellar human being with plenty of amazing qualities – so why is she trying so damn hard to please this ONE person? Her behaviour went from “working on the relationship for the MAFS experiment” to “trying to make Jonnie love me”. More and more, social media is awash with fans berating Connie for her desperation.

But the reality is, being mean to Connie online is kind of fucked up. It’s not like we all haven’t been there – no matter what your gender, it’s likely you’ve tried to mould yourself into the kind of person you think would be appealing to whoever you’re attracted to, whether it’s a specific person or an entire gender.

We’ve all lessened our personality for someone else, hoping that the reason they didn’t like us romantically was because we were TOO something – too chatty, too reserved, too uncool, too whatever. We’ve spent far too much time deliberating over what would make them happy, fashioned dates that catered only to their needs. Hell, fashioned entire RELATIONSHIPS that catered only to their needs.

In my second relationship, I was broken up with every three months like clockwork. I can now see I was dating someone emotionally unavailable, a guy who was too immature at the time to handle that moment when the honeymoon period’s over and little tiffs emerge.

Instead of walking away from the relationship, I persisted. Things were complicated – he was the first guy I’d had sex with, so I don’t think I felt ready to enter the dating world again and have new sexual partners.

After breakup number two, I compromised with him. And by compromise, I mean I bent myself into a pretzel to accommodate his needs, and his needs only. We ended up in a non-committal, casual hook up relationship where I would do most of the legwork, messaging him a couple of times a week at night, then going over to have sex.

It fucking sucked. I was deeply, deeply unhappy. When I was with him, I felt great. But then the high wore off as soon as we’d fucked. My self-esteem plummeted. I pretended everything was cool and chill, but internally I was dying.

I finally exited that relationship when I hit rock bottom – I picked my ex up from a party at 11pm. He was trashed, and I was going extremely out of my way to collect him like some fucking chauffeur. We went to his place, had sex, and midway through I was like “what the fuck am I doing.” It was a proper snap-revelation, and I ended things the following day.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t go back – again. But this time I was stronger. I point blank said I wasn’t doing a re-run of our relationship unless we were 100% together, boyfriend/girlfriend, trying to make it work. My ex agreed, and we had another three month round before ending things permanently. Because this time, when shit hit the fan as it always did, I actually ASKED if he saw a future for us. He said no, and I yeeted myself outta there.

As much as you may be thinking “wow, that guy was a dick”, he really wasn’t. This was all me. I was so desperate for his love that I did everything in my power to deliver exactly what he wanted, on a silver platter. I don’t think Jonethen’s a dick, either. His situation is different – he’s on a reality TV show where he’s essentially required to stick around if his partner writes stay. If you’ve been reading my recaps, you’d also see I don’t really think he’s even giving Connie mixed messages – he likes her, he just doesn’t LIKE-like her.

But really, why I told you that long-winded story is to say that I DEEPLY relate to Connie’s MAFS behaviour. She’s clinging to a dead relationship because she likes the guy, and is trying to find ways to make him see the potential with them. It’s hard to let go of something that isn’t working when you so desperately want it to work. It’s hard when you believe the other person is being a fucking idiot and not seeing how great things could be. It’s hard when they sometimes show interest, but never enough to make a relationship.

But what I’ve learned is that at the end of the day, your needs as a person are valid. Compromising in a relationship is important, but squashing down who you are and what you want to please the other person isn’t compromise.

But even more to the point, you YOURSELF are valid. Your personality and your appearance are a total vibe for many people, and just because one person isn’t picking up what you’re putting down doesn’t mean something’s wrong with you. It doesn’t mean you should pretend to like shit that you don’t, or be LESS loud or LESS quiet, MORE fun or MORE chill.

You should just be you – and if the other person isn’t into it, kiss ’em goodbye.