Lyndsey Gavin’s love story has yet to be written.
Gavin, a 23-year-old North Vancouver resident, walked away from love during the season finale of The Bachelor Canada on Wednesday night, leaving many female fans on social media inspired and declaring Lyndsey a feminist who knows what she wants.The stunning Mexican scenery played second fiddle to the reality show’s dramatic ending, which saw Lyndsey break up with bachelor Chris Leroux before the former Major League Baseball pitcher had a chance to reveal his pick.
On one hand there was Lyndsey, the girl–next–door who gave Chris butterflies in his stomach and his first kiss on the show. And on the other, Mikaela Wightman, a fashionista from Winnipeg.
Lyndsey and Chris declared their love for each other, even with the odds stacked against them. Skeptical family members, a 10-year age gap and 4,500 kilometres apart were big hurdles the couple had to jump over on their journey to the final rose.
In the end, Lyndsey followed her heart home to North Vancouver.
All along she was upfront with Chris: leaving Vancouver for love was not an option. It turned out Chris had the same sentiments about Toronto. It proved to be a sticking point in their relationship, pitting Vancouver against Toronto, and the reason Lyndsey walked away.
Sitting in a coffee shop in serene Deep Cove this week, Lyndsey reflects on newfound fame and never forgetting her roots.
She’s dressed comfortably in jeans and a cosy cream coloured sweater. Her long blond locks rest on her down vest, a staple in the wardrobe of this North Van native.
Growing up by the Seymour River, Lyndsey naturally played outside and developed a sense of adventure early on.
Her mom is her hero. Mama G, as Lyndsey affectionately calls her, worked graveyards at CP Rail and ran a daycare during the day because she couldn’t afford to have someone else watch her four children.
“She looked tired but she was always so happy to do it because she wanted to be a mom and just loved us so much,” says Lyndsey.
She had her first crush in high school at Windsor. His name was Jacob.
“I think that’s going to be the truest and purist form of love I’ll ever have,” Lyndsey declares.
She was the “huge nerd” in high school who wore all pink. He was the star of the football team.
Someone cue the Taylor Swift music.
Lyndsey made a brazen move at the end of Grade 9. With summer vacation and endless possibilities waiting outside those high school doors, she scrawled her phone number in Jacob’s yearbook.
“I feel like there’s nothing bad that can happen if you just ask or try,” says Lyndsey, who enjoys imparting relationship advice via her blog.
Mr. Football called. They started dating that summer and stayed together for four years.
Lyndsey went on to CapU, where she studied marketing and public relations. An internship at a PR firm took her to the bright lights of New York, where she met Chris 1.0. (Remember: same name, same age as the Bachelor.)
“I thought I was going to marry him. He was everything that I wanted,” says Lyndsey, who was 18 at the time and needed to make a practical decision.
He was American. She was Canadian. They were in love. Different citizenships were not going to stand in their way.
Lyndsey had come home for a camping trip. She hadn’t seen her family for half a year and was looking forward to catching up and gushing about her American beau.
Out of the blue, a colleague texted Lyndsey to say: “Look at your phone.” It was picture of Chris’ Tinder profile.
“It was shock. I was heartbroken,” recalls Lyndsey.
The aspiring writer poured her heart into her journal. Then she took off for Peru, where she gained perspective and learned life tools she would later employ when making a tough decision with Chris 2.0.
“To do what makes you happy,” says Lyndsey. “At the end of the day you really have to look out for yourself.”
Lyndsey planned to come back from Peru and get a desk job. But decided she still needed some adventure. She has her whole life to be chained to a desk. Or not.
Adventure for Lyndsey came in the form of applying to be on The Bachelor.
“I was not expecting to fall in love with someone at all, actually,” she says.
Lyndsey knew the odds weren’t that great.
“There are 20 women and one guy."
Contestants don’t know anything about the bachelor until they take that first high-heeled step out of the limo and the cameras start rolling. Lyndsey confesses she wasn’t blown away when she first saw Chris Leroux.
“And then he said his name was Chris and I was like, ‘Oh no,’” she says with a laugh.
Lyndsey’s strategy was to play the show straight and be herself. No games, no drama, just refreshingly honesty on a reality show – for Lyndsey’s part at least.
“People will see through, people being Chris, if … you’re being a character. And some of the girls were so see-through,” says Lyndsey.
The down-to-earth beauty, and youngest contestant on the show, never got drawn into the drama. With all those other women vying for Leroux’s heart, how did Gavin keep jealousy at bay?
With a mature outlook on life.
“He’s going to choose who he is going to choose,” says Lyndsey. “And if it isn’t you, that’s totally OK. There are so many people in this world. If this one man doesn’t choose you, it’s fine.”
Lyndsey didn’t know a pop fly from a foul ball before she met Leroux. But she knocked it out of the park during a group baseball date with Chris, hitting the ball far enough to make it to third base and scoring some points with the bachelor.
She really fell in love with Chris that day. In the Dominican Republic where the show took them at one point, a groundskeeper asked if there was any leftover food.
Lyndsey said she watched, sans rolling cameras, as Chris scooped up as many snacks as his broad shoulders allowed and kept going back for more food to give to the man.
“I was like OK, that’s a good guy,” she says.
Defending the 10-year age gap and rising above the skepticism, Lyndsey says it’s simple.
“You either have a connection with someone or you don’t – it’s completely up to those two people if they are going to make that a problem,” she says, adding age is a relative term.
In the end, it was geographical distance that drew the couple apart. It appears Leroux’s heart was still with Lyndsey, as he never proposed to Mikaela and even awkwardly called her Lyndsey at one point.
Back in the Deep Cove café, a couple of staff come up to Lyndsey and start gushing about how much they liked her on the show.
“Yeah, it’s so funny,” says Lyndsey smiling, of the newfound attention.
She swears not much has changed in her life since the show. Some sponsorship opportunities arose with a couple clothing companies.
Most of Lyndsey’s sartorial style on the show, including her rose ceremony dresses, came from North Shore thrift shops, such as the Salvation Army on Lonsdale. One outfit that caught the eye of other Bachelor contestants was $4.
Lyndsey’s game plan is to go on another adventure to get over heartbreak, a few days after ringing in the new year.
With her creativity in tow, Lyndsey will immerse herself in Australia for three months, decompress, focus on writing her book and play music. And maybe find love along the way.
“I think that love is by far the greatest part of life,” says Lyndsey. “I won’t be seeking it out, I know that when it’s supposed to find me, it will ... but I’m ready for it.”