• Timm won hearts across Australia as Angie broke his. (Channel 10)Source: Channel 10
Timm's gentle and considerate response to his rejection was a much-needed breath of fresh air.
Samuel Leighton-Dore

15 Nov 2019 - 11:33 AM  UPDATED 15 Nov 2019 - 11:35 AM

Last night, Australian TV audiences watched on with knots in their stomachs as this year's Bachelorette, Angie Kent, told fan-favourite Timm Hanly that she had fallen in love with another man - actor and fitness trainer Carlin Sterritt.

Throughout the show, Timm, a 27-year-old fire-proofer, had always been considered something of an outsider - a self-described gamble. Uncomfortable standing still, his fidgety and fun-loving nature soon endeared him to both Angie and fans of the reality TV franchise, with a majority of viewers hoping he would walk away hand-in-hand with the woman of his dreams. 

Spoiler alert: he didn't.

Still, while the rejection made for incredibly tough viewing, Timm's gracious handling of it was something of a revelation for the show - and for the boys and men watching from home. This lesson in kindness perhaps felt particularly potent because men can be hypersensitive to rejection.

At a time when the news cycle depicts a growing culture of 'incels' and the violence that can come with a man being told 'no', Timm's overtly gentle and considerate reaction was a much-needed breath of fresh air; an example of men rising to a challenging - and hurtful - interaction with grace.

"I do feel like you're my soulmate, I do," Angie told him, as the pair held hands in a Byron Bay rainforest.

"I feel it so much - and I love so much about you. I love everything that we've had. And a piece of me, I can't picture my life without you, I can't. I really can't."

Getting visibly emotional, Angie continued, her voice cracking: "You said to take a gamble, and I did. And I'm so happy I did. But I think a part of me..."

When she broke down crying, struggling to get the words out, Timm immediately began comforting Angie.

"Don't cry, don't cry," he repeated, kissing her forehead. "You're too good, relax. Don't be sad, be happy."

"Everything we've had is the best," Timm reassured her. "Don't cry over it, we have had the best time ever. This is the situation we're in and I'm so happy that I've met you. I've cherished every moment with you."

Then Timm did one better than comfort a distraught Angie, he vocalised his love and appreciation for Carlin - the man he's essentially been competing against this whole time.

Being rejected by someone you love is awful in the very best of circumstances - it's hard to imagine having to process it with an entire camera crew looking on, a microphone strapped to your chest, and a decent chunk of the national population watching from home.

Yet, despite being branded as a loose cannon, despite his erratic nature and party-boy attitude, Timm managed to put the very best of himself on display in the most difficult of environments; proving that sensitivity and masculinity aren't mutually exclusive, but can in fact be harmonious qualities.

And if that's the main takeaway of an Australian reality dating show in 2019, I for one am here for it.

Samuel Leighton-Dore is a writer, artist and author of How To Be A Big Strong Man.

How Ciarran from 'The Bachelorette' revealed another kind of manhood
"Ciarran is exactly the kind of man #BacheloretteAU should be showcasing."
The truth about masculinity: ‘Why don’t you just man up’?
“You were never supposed to talk about your feelings.”
A ‘quiet crisis’: A healthier brand of masculinity is a win for everyone
Australian men aren't happy. Here's why I think that is.
Billy Porter on breaking the rules of masculinity: ‘I’ve been laughed at’
“I've been laughed at, [but] I’m queer, I’m out, I’m fabulous."