Now I’m not one to deny my love for The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. The drama, the contestants, and the extravagant dates all make for an entertaining show. However, I admit that The Bachelor franchise is completely and utterly unrealistic. I’m not just talking about the process itself, which is the most obvious difference, but also the small things these shows incorporate in to paint the perfect fairytale romance. The show, for those of you that are unfamiliar, follows a man or woman who have several men/women that are competing for a chance at love. The bachelor or bachelorette go on various dates to develop a connection with the contestants, and if that connection is not there, the contestants do not receive a “rose” during the date or the rose ceremony, and are therefore sent home. The purpose of this show is to help the bachelor or bachelorette find true love and hopefully be engaged by the end of the season.
The shows themselves seem interesting enough, but they haven’t become as popular as they have on that notion alone. The franchise prides itself on developing whirlwind romances amongst drama, confrontation, scandals, and any other complication you can think of. For me at least, I watch the show not because I believe in the process (which I wholeheartedly don’t, as you’ll see in a bit), but because of the insane drama that goes on in these shows. It’s entertaining to see the contestants fight over the most ridiculous things as they all compete for one person’s love.
Regardless of all the questions in the process, the show has some serious views. But, like I said before, they would not be as successful as they are without creating that drama and tension people love to watch.
So how does this process guarantee love then? Well, it doesn’t. Time and time again, the show has seen “perfect” couples tragically fall apart after the season ends. This is because the couple is now whisked away from the fairytale, exciting dating life that is The Bachelor/Bachelorette and dropped into the real world, where dates aren’t amazing helicopter rides in the Caribbean, or dinner and personal concerts with world famous artists. The shows pad on a lot of “fluff” to make them more interesting to their viewers, and trades off by chipping away the reality of the process of finding love. The following are just a few examples of the issues behind this franchise that prove the process of love is anything but what you see on TV.
1. The "Over-The-Top" Dates
I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve never been on a vacation, much less a date, like the ones on the show. Private dates in castles, helicopter rides over beautiful blue waters, lavish dinners, and personal concerts are just a few types of dates you are guaranteed to encounter when watching The Bachelor shows.
When you have a show with plenty of money, you have more than enough to pay for amazing dates viewers love to see. It makes all the viewers unbelievably jealous of what the contestants get to do, see, and experience. The show spends a lot of money on these dates for the enjoyment of the viewers rather than the person trying to find love. I mean, would you watch a show where someone goes on typical “dinner and a movie” dates for two whole months? I wouldn’t.
That’s why I’m completely in awe when the bachelor or bachelorette gush over how much they’re falling in love with the person they’re dating so early on. Of course, you’ll feel that way! I would too if someone sent me on an exhilarating and nerve-wracking date. The show not only sets people up on extravagant dates for our pleasure, but to also establish strong connections with the contestants early in the process. I mean, you only have two months to make sure people are falling in love, so the only way to do so is to manipulate the circumstances.
Therefore, that isn’t true love as much as it is a connection created by circumstance. It makes much more sense why couples break up after the show is over, especially when they’re in the real world now and no longer have heart pumping dates to make them fall in love.
2. The Group Dates
Don’t even get me started on how ridiculous the concept of these are.
I get it. You have about 25 men or women competing for one person’s heart, and you can’t possibly get through all those people in the span of two months with individual dates. But hear me out: how do you expect someone to make a deep, intimate connection with an individual if there are also several others competing for attention on the same so-called “date?”
I can’t tell you how many times men and women have gone home having only had group dates with the bachelor or bachelorette. I truly feel for those people. Yeah, I know they have plenty of chances for a one-on-one during the cocktail parties before the rose ceremony, but those two minutes are nothing compared to spending an evening with someone, with no stress of others interrupting. How can you expect someone to develop a connection in so little time? I don’t blame those people if they truly did try and still got eliminated. What’s worse is that the bachelor or bachelorette have no idea if they let the perfect person go, simply because they didn’t go on a one-on-one date with them.
3. The Exotic Destinations
Similar to what I said about the lavish dates, the destinations The Bachelor franchise send the contestants to are incredible. Europe, the Caribbean, East Asia, and many other regions of the world are used to inspire romance and love for the bachelor or bachelorette.
It makes sense to use these exotic destinations, especially since many of us have never been to these countries and would die if given the chance to go. And to top it off, they get to have even more extravagant dates in these foreign places, making the journey and the “love” the contestants feel that much more intense.
While I love seeing all the new and exotic places they go to, it begs the question of whether the scenery (much like the circumstances of the over-the-top dates) is what contributes to the feeling of love the men and women experience, or if it’s the connection itself.
4. The Hometown Dates
Probably the most anticipated (and the cutest) part of The Bachelor/Bachelorette series is the Hometown Dates. The bachelor or bachelorette finally gets to see the top four contestants’ families. It’s always fun to see where the person grew up, who their family is, and to see how their families react to the girl or guy they love.
The problem with these dates, however, is that they’re not thorough enough. How can someone’s family and friends determine if you’re a good match if they’re 1) being recorded on TV and 2) only allowed a certain time to do so? Let’s be honest here, all those moms and dads have plenty of important questions to ask, but they might be inappropriate to outright ask with a camera in their face.
I know that if I was the parent or sibling in that situation, I would want to thoroughly check this person out, because that’s your sibling or child at risk of getting hurt. But that seems impossible if you have to be on your best behavior because all of America is watching.
One thing everyone can agree on is the timing. There is very little chance someone can find their soulmate in two months. I’ve had friends I was still getting to know in two months.
It just doesn’t seem feasible to fast-track someone’s chance at finding their soulmate. Sure, we’ve seen some couples work out and have adorable little families, but they’re the exception, not the rule. The other couples usually break it off after several months, because that’s how long you typically need to get to know someone, let alone get engaged to.
6. Living In The Same House
Expecting all the men or women that are competing for the same person’s love to get along in one house is impossible. Obviously, the shows intended it to be this way for the drama and intensity, but nonetheless, this is unrealistic.
Can you imagine if all the people you were casually dating lived in the same house together? Seems like a nightmare to me.
It makes for great television, yes, but not for a great romance, especially if you have to deal with drama while trying to find the love of your life.
7. The Engagement
The most exciting part of this show is to see who the bachelor or bachelorette finally ends up with, and if the couple gets engaged. It’s nice to see the engagement, since the scene is decorated beautifully and in an exotic location, and the person just sent home the last man or woman. You look forward to the good part after seeing the tragic breakdown of the person that was sent home, and usually the show delivers a beautiful engagement, complete with tears, heartfelt speeches, and the final rose.
But, the engagement is just too perfect. If I were the bachelorette, I would want to be sure the person is saying words they truly mean, not something that was probably edited thoroughly by the producers to make it sound heartfelt and engagement-worthy.
The goal is not to make sure the bachelor or bachelorette finds love, but rather if the show put on a spectacular ending to the season. Making sure that there’s a beautiful and tearful engagement ensures that the audience is satisfied with the end and gives hope to viewers looking for love themselves. Too bad getting engaged doesn’t mean it’s all perfect from there on out.
As we’ve seen before, engagements have fallen apart. These elaborate events are just there to keep the viewers happy and tuning in for next season, regardless of whether the couple is ready to commit. And although we all look forward to a happy ending, it does come at a price for the couple if they don’t make it through.
As much as I love this series, it really has its faults when it comes to falling in love. Regardless, the show is and probably will continue to do well with its viewers. Many of us do watch it for the entertaining drama, and there’s no harm in that. But, if you are watching it for the romance and love, be cautious, because as much as we’d like to see a happy ending, the fairytales in this show are more built than naturally made.