Once a year the buzz begins revolving around this show, called The Bachelor (or The Bachelorette). For some this means girls night, for others wine and a cozy blanket, or maybe just a cat on your lap while being engrossed in this so called quest for love.
Now I'll admit, I used to watch an episode here and there, disappointed when I had to miss one, but looking back I can't see why. Watching the show wouldn't change the results no matter how much you wanted to. A trend I began to notice was that the girl or guy who is displayed as a bad choice became a favorite in the eyes of the rose-giver. How does someone with such a bad personality (granted, this was the reality TV version of them and not necessarily accurate) gain the affection of a seemingly nice young man/woman? At least that accurately describes society today, hiding the bad parts and only showing the good when you want something out of a situation.
The "relationships" have a very high fail rate with only three couples that did not terminate their relationships of 21 on The Bachelor, and five of the 12 completed seasons of The Bachelorette remain together. Looking at it from this standpoint, I'm not sure why they keep trying.
The show is just watching people go on what I would consider blind dates, being awkward, playing it up for the camera, and getting into undesirable situations. For many of these dates, you have to throw caution to the wind and try to forget that your parents may be watching it when the episodes finally air.
There was one episode in particular that sparked my dislike. Juan Pablo had a group date in which they were doing a photo-shoot with ModelsnMutts. Andi was asked to pose with just a sign as her wardrobe. She didn't want to do it, but was pressured into it. You could see the discomfort written across her face and embedded in her response.
HOW IS THIS OKAY?
It's "out of her comfort zone" and so many others', as well! It made me uncomfortable to watch. My empathy level was through the roof and I was really hoping she would walk away from it, knowing how unrealistic that was (as it is reality TV).
They could have filmed a video for the shelter. They didn't need to bring nudity into it in order to get people to adopt an animal, and if that is the kind of encouragement it takes to get a pet, they really need to rethink that decision. If they have to go to extremes such as this to promote a pooch or keep a show going, they need to rethink their motives and come up with a better solution.
Another thing this show demonstrates is wealth. Look at where the people live, how they dress, and what they do for a living. All of them are showcase people -- doctors, sales associates, pediatric nurses, and the list goes on. They live in expensive homes. They dress like they're going to hit the red carpet. They are not every day people.
The star of the show is "dating" twenty or more people at the same time, and those in the big group don't seem to care for the most part. They have rivalries among themselves. This seems pretty natural to me given they are all pining after the same person.
How is it okay to walk around kissing everyone in the room? Don't they feel any remorse? I don't think they would walk around kissing every guy or girl they found attractive on the street. There is the technicality of them not being exclusive, but in reality, what will physical aspects of a relationship do other than cause the bachelor/bachelorette and the contestants to think about the fact that they are smooching with at least half the people in the room.
One-on-one dates are basically trust tests, but if I were the one being tested, I think I would rather not go on a date that made me feel uncomfortable. How does someone's fear of doing something and love of you connect? Does my dislike for spinach mean that we aren't compatible? Just because I don't trust myself to survive walking on a tightrope over a river 100 feet down, even if you are cheering me on, shouldn't influence how you feel about me. I trust my partner not to force me into situations where I am petrified to move. How can I trust a person who constantly and persistently throws my fears in my face to get me to feel as though I may overcome them because of their presence, rather than my own abilities?
Shows like this encourage jealousy, anger, self-worth problems, lack of confidence, and increase the number of insecurities people have when it comes to a relationship.
There are so many other ways to go about finding someone to spend your life with. Join clubs, go out to events in the area, maybe even try to approach someone at work. There you have a base for a relationship, and you've already deemed something as interesting by being where you are, like a concert, bar, wherever it is you meet.
A show like this is a great example of what you want to avoid getting yourself into. Sure, it's fun to watch. The exotic locations are ones that some people only dream of.
If you don't want excess drama, more broken hearts, and unrealistic expectations, I would suggest not using a television show like this as your definition of "dating."