In the third season of Sweet Magnolias, Helen finds herself in a difficult position once again and has to choose between Ryan and Erik.
Ryan is Helen’s first love. In the second season, they were together for a while, but they went their separate ways when they realized that they want different things in life — Helen wants children but Ryan does not.
Helen was pregnant with Ryan’s child, but she never got the chance to tell him about it, as she lost the child. Erik, a chef who works for Helen’s best friend, was the one who was there for her. She then decided to move on and pursue a romantic relationship with Erik.
However, when Miss Frances died, Ryan returned to Serenity and told Helen that he now wants the same things as her. In fact, he proposed marriage, but since Helen was with Erik, she told Ryan that she needed time to think about the proposal.
In the third season, Helen admits to her friends that she cares about Erik a lot, but she has always loved Ryan. She is conflicted, and Dana Sue points out that she is thinking about Ryan’s proposal while she is with Erik, which makes it clear what her heart wants.
Helen then tells Erik about her response to Ryan’s proposal, and Erik becomes convinced that she wants to be with Ryan. A heartbroken Erik walks out of Helen’s life. She wants to continue being his friend, but because she chooses Ryan, she loses him as a friend as well.
She also tells Ryan about her miscarriage, and he apologizes to her for taking so long to come around. Helen is not ready to marry him yet, as he needs to commit to her first.
Serenity is Helen’s home, and if she is going to have a future with Ryan, it will be in this town. So she asks Ryan to settle down in Serenity, and Ryan agrees.
Do Helen and Erik end up together?
Helen starts dating Ryan again, but she is insecure about their relationship, as Ryan has never been the one to settle down before. He keeps reassuring her that he will live in Serenity with her, but Helen is not comforted.
Helen offers to let CeCe live with her and be her legal guardian, which makes Helen responsible for a teenager, and Ryan is not happy about it. Helen also does not seem happy with Ryan, and even her friends can see that, but Helen does not want to accept the truth.
Eventually, Helen’s fears come true. Ryan tells her that he is not good at staying in one place and cannot live in Serenity. They break up once again, but this time, Helen is done with him; she will never give him another chance in the future.
At the same time, Helen and Erik still have feelings for each other, but Helen does not contact him because she is the one who ended their relationship and cannot expect him to be with her again. Things get better between Erik and Helen with Erik no longer trying to avoid her.
The two of them come close on the day of Dana Sue and Ronnie’s vow renewal ceremony. Later, Helen catches the bouquet at the ceremony, and it seems like Erik might approach her but then something stops him.
When Helen was with Ryan, Erik had started going on dates with a woman named Genevieve. It is still not known whether Erik and Helen will end up together or not, but this time, the choice lies in Erik’s hands.