Being on "The Bachelor" or "The Bachelorette" is hard enough for the average contestant. But for those rare few that have left a child behind in the hopes of finding love on reality TV, the time in the mansion is even less glamorous.
That's what the latest castoff, Tony Pieper, found out when he went in pursuit of Emily Maynard's hand. In a recent conference call interview, Pieper talked about his time in the house, missing his son, and whether the separation is viewed differently for moms and dads.
Tony Pieper Missed His Son While Filming 'The Bachelorette.'
Pieper is one of three single dads who showed up to woo mother-of-one Maynard this season on "The Bachelorette." In the first rose ceremony, she sent Brent, a father of six children packing. That left 33-year-old Doug Clerget from Seattle, Washington, and Pieper, the lumber trader from Beaverton, Oregon.
Clerget seems to have taken his time away from his son in stride, but Pieper was clearly struggling with the distance as Episode 2 unfolded. His emotions flared after the competitors played with a bunch of kids during their group date.
Emily Maynard Sent Tony to Be With His Son.
At that night's cocktail party, Pieper was reduced to tears. Sensitive to his situation, Maynard sat him down for a chat. Understanding how hard it can be to leave your child behind after her own experience on "The Bachelor," she did the decent thing and sent Pieper home.
He admitted that he was surprised that she made that choice, but conceded that he probably would have come to that decision on his own. A connection between Maynard and Pieper didn't seem to be developing, and that is the only thing that would have made staying worth his sacrifice.
Pieper acknowledged, "It would've been easier for me to really think to myself, 'Hey, this could be the love of my life, and I could be able to start a family with her, which would benefit me and my son, and everything would be great because we'd be a family.' But I just don't feel like I had enough time with her to really make that decision."
Tony Pieper Said Society Views Single Moms and Dads Differently.
Ultimately the pull of fatherhood won out over the hope of romance. And even though some contenders are obviously capable of setting their full-time parental duties aside for the chance at love, Pieper doesn't think that being a man or a woman is a factor in how easy or difficult the separation may be.
Still he agreed that the world might give a father who spent time away from his kid more latitude than a woman who made a similar choice. "Society says that you're a single mom, you should always be around your kids, and you probably shouldn't be away for a long period of time. And as a single dad, it might be a little bit different just because the motherly role in society is a lot stronger. But I wouldn't see any difference in it personally."
Watch "The Bachelorette" on Monday nights at 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. Central on ABC.
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