She is a bad dancer and a reluctant romantic. Her idea of a fun date is an escape room. She is stubborn and independent, and if a guy takes her to Dave & Busters, she will totally whip his sorry butt in a game of arcade basketball.
Obviously, two-time “The Bachelor” contestant Becca Tilley is not girlfriend material. Just ask Becca Tilley.
“I am just terrible at this relationship thing,” says the 28-year-old Tilley, who appeared in the 2015 and 2016 editions of the ABC TV reality show. “I’m all, ‘Hey, do you want to go to an escape room with me?’ It’s not natural.”
But let us not weep into our champagne on Tilley’s behalf. Although she did not find love with bachelors Chris Soules or Ben Higgins, the former San Diego resident has found her version of reality-TV romance.
In November, Tilley officially told the world that she was truly, madly dating Robert Graham, who appeared in the 2013 season of “The Bachelorette” and the 2014 edition of “Bachelor in Paradise.”
So, for the first time in forever, Tilley actually has a date for Valentine’s Day. She also has a wealth of hard-earned knowledge about love, romance and how to rebound from being dumped on television with more than 9 million people watching.
From the comforting joys of junk food to the excruciating challenges of the “The Bachelor” group date, here are some bonbons from Tilley’s heart-shaped memory box. You know you can’t stop at one.
Best date, real-life version
As her zillions of social-media followers know, Tilley loves her In-N-Out Burger splurges. (“That’s self-love,” she says with a grin.) But when it comes to a date that involves, say, other people, Tilley loves the Cinépolis luxury movie theaters in Del Mar, a day at the beach and any escape room at any time.
“I am so obsessed,” Tilley says of the interactive adventure game craze. “Usually, I do it with a group. But when Robert said, ‘Let’s see if we can do one by ourselves,’ I was so happy.”
Worst date, TV version
Was it the time she and her fellow contestants had to race through a muddy obstacle course while wearing wedding dresses? Nope. Or the time she had to help bachelor Ben officiate weddings at a Las Vegas wedding chapel? Not that, either — although she was a nervous wreck the whole time.
As it turns out, the worst “The Bachelor” dates were the group free-for-alls, where producers encouraged the women to drink as much champagne as possible and grab the bachelor’s divided attention by any means necessary. Gloves off, claws out, game on.
“I remember the first night, and the producers were saying, ‘If you want to talk to Chris, you’re going to have to interrupt the other girls,’ and I just couldn’t. I was too uncomfortable,” Tilley says. “Group dates are terrible. You’re trying to be cool, but inside, you’re mortified.”
That virgin thing
Tilley did not plan on telling the whole reality TV world that she is a virgin. But when fellow contestant Ashley Iaconetti was in tears after telling Chris that she was a virgin, Tilley blurted out that she was, too. Once the confession was out of the bag, Tilley decided to own it. And she’s still owning it.
“Robert and I have had a conversation about it, and having that conversation solidified the type of guy he is in my head,” Tilley explains. “It has never been a deal-breaker. Maybe I just surround myself with good men.”
A better breakup
When she lost Chris before the final Rose Ceremony, Tilley was sad, but not surprised. She wasn’t ready for a relationship, and he knew it. But she was really into Ben, so when Bachelor No. 2 gave her the boot early in the season, Tilley turned to food, friends and Netflix.
“I stayed on Ashley I.’s couch for two weeks,” Tilley says. “We had food delivered and watched ‘Scandal.’ I always say, ‘Surround yourself with girlfriends and family and let them be your support system. Go have a glass of wine and some junk food.’ ”
Real (TV) love?
Thanks to her time on “The Bachelor,” Tilley has a gaggle of girlfriends, a lifestyle blog (beccatilleyblog.com) and the kind of travel opportunities that did not come her way when she was an assistant in a San Diego chiropractor’s office.
But the best “The Bachelor” perk isn’t a perk, but a person. Robert Graham gets her, and that is worth more than a dozen Rose Ceremonies.
“I’ve been single for so long, and I am so used to being independent, and he has handled that with so much patience and grace,” she says “I was nervous about our friendship being ruined, but he was persistent and he gave me space. I was being difficult, and one of my friends finally said, ‘Would you be upset if he dated someone else?’ And that was a quick ‘Yes’ for me.”