TV

The Bachelorette NZ: Lesina explains her shock decision to leave the show alone

Lesina may not have found love, but perhaps she found herself.

By Karyn Henger
After two months of reality TV dating The Bachelorette NZ's Lesina Nakhid-Schuster has chosen no one to be her Forever Person.
The 32-year-old doctor - who is staying firmly out of the limelight working as a locum in Australia at the moment - had narrowed down her bevvy of 25 contenders (admittedly, half were there for the show's second bachelorette Lily McManus) to two: Auckland travel agent Logan Carr and Hamilton teacher Aaron McNabb.
But on Sunday night's episode she sent Logan home, telling him through tears that she didn't feel any chemistry with him.
And on Monday's episode she broke up with Aaron, saying, "This was such a hard decision.. so I've decided I didn't want to take anyone to the final rose [ceremony]."
Their final date had been an emotional one, with Lesina more vulnerable than we've ever seen her before.
"I just don't know what to do," she told Aaron.
"How would we get along outside the bubble? I know you said we're at similar life stages and it's up to me to believe you."
Before the final rose ceremony she asked Aaron to meet her again at a lonely, windswept West Coast beach - and it was there that she revealed her decision to go it alone.
While Aaron hadn't seen it coming (and was gutted), many viewers had. They called it weeks ago on their internet chat groups dedicated to super-fans of the show.
Lesina had increasingly begun talking about a "third option- walking away with no one".
And on her Instagram page she inadvertently let the cat out of the bag when she told her followers her storyline "didn't exactly go the way everyone wanted it to".
Lesina admitted afterwards that she had surprised herself by falling for a man like Aaron.
"He can be kind of sassy and strong willed and I never thought I'd be really attracted to that, but I have been.
"And he's made me laugh with his quirky sense of humour that I feel like only I get. When I look at him I just have a lot of care for him. But I couldn't say that I saw a forever with him and that's what it came down to.
"I knew what I wanted from the beginning and it was finding that long term person, a forever person," she continued. "And I think if I hadn't found that I wasn't going to pretend I had... I'm really proud that I feel empowered enough at this second that I didn't find the right person for me... and it's okay that I've left this with no one."
But while Lesina feels at peace with her decision and the journey she took to come to it, some of the bachelors have accused her of not knowing what she wanted.
Dargaville kumara grower Michael Frood and Auckland sailing coach Mike Bullot both quit the show in frustration, with Michael Frood claiming Lesina never gave him a chance and Mike Bullot saying he found her to be hard to read.
"I know why I'm here and I don't know if she does," Mike said bluntly. "I don't know if she's... being completely honest with us or maybe not completely honest with herself, but either one doesn't feel comfortable."
Richie Boyens, who won Lily McManus' heart, weighed in too, warning Aaron and Logan:
"What does that say eh?" (In reference to the two Michaels' exits.)
"For the girl that you guys are supposedly trying to get to know, and other people find it so hard to get to know her?
"Lesina just sort of seems like she turns up and reads off her scripted card sometimes."
Midway through the series Lesina admitted that she "came into this being really fussy and maybe check listing people and that's just not the way to go, I realise that now."
She also seemed to realise that she was putting too much pressure on herself "to be this perfect girl".
But who's to say the outcome would have been any different if she'd taken a more relaxed approach?
And so while Lesina didn't find love, maybe she did find the beginnings of a more loving relationship with herself.
"This whole journey has been a way different experience than what I thought it would be. But in a good way," Lesina reflected.
"I've had to relearn a lot about myself and that's kind of challenged me in a way I didn't think it would.
"It's okay to just be me and I don't have to be this perfect person all the time and no one else is perfect and that's really good for me to learn going into a relationship as well.
"Like, we both come in flawed and it's just about... loving their flaws. It's such an age-old time thing. Everyone's like 'yeah I already knew that' but I didn't know that. And so I've learnt that which is good."