Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Bachelor & other weird forms of dating

We're all friends here, right?
So I can openly admit to you that I, Haley Tucker, am a die-hard fan of The Bachelor.
I haven't been watching for that long, since Brad's second go around with the match making series. But every since that first episode, I was hooked.
I can't tell you what exactly draws me to the series; maybe it's the drama, the constant battle of 25 girls all vying for the heart of one man? I don't know, but man, I am addicted.
Last night, I was thinking about the reality of this show. How strange of a concept it is.
Charlene (one of my favorite gals of this season) mentioned on Monday night's episode that she felt it was unfair that she took someone's spot and that she waste Juan Pablo's time when she wasn't sure if he was 'the one.' She even said that the past 3 weeks hadn't been enough time to be prepared to accept a proposal.

Think about that.

In three weeks time, she didn't feel ready to get engaged. 

WELL, no kidding, Sherlock!
I want to stand up, applaud and give her the biggest of hugs for saying what everyone is thinking! Over the course of like, what, 8 or 9 weeks, these girls are supposed to fall in love with this guy? A guy they've NEVER met before? I mean, come. on.
And no matter how much I love this show, it will never cease to be absolutely ridiculous that these ladies are 'in love' by the end of filming. It's really no wonder why these relationships never last.

But then I hear "success" stories of those who have found love outside of the world of The Bachelor. Breigh texted me last night with news that Kacie B (a fan favorite of seasons past) recently got engaged to her boyfriend. My heart felt so happy for this girl - a girl who I'd never met and had only witnessed on reality television. You see, Kacie B was on TWO season of this show. First, on Ben's season, where she made it all the way to hometown dates before being let go. Then, she came back (to the surprise of many) during Sean's season, in which he let her go pretty quickly (apparently he only saw her as a 'good friend').
So this young woman goes on a reality show to find love, fails, goes on the same show again a year later and fails yet again.
And then a year after her second attempt, she ends up finding love in her own time, in an organic way, letting everything take it's own course. She even ends up engaged with this man, a person she met in a natural environment, outside of the confines of reality television.

I think that has a lot to say about the nature of this dating show, and of modern dating practices in general.
Women (and even some men!) are in the business of rushing relationships. They work so hard to get to certain milestones in relationships, without savoring the in-between moments that can be just as important as the big steps. And with something as fast paced as The Bachelor, you don't get the chance to date that person, one on one. You don't get the chance to find out what makes them tick, find out their weird quirks, or find out even something simple and mundane like their favorite color. And after the fast paced 3 months of constantly being filmed while attempting to get to know this man at the same time 24 other women are, you get engaged and then have to meet in secret over the course of the next 3 months just to keep the relationship under wraps until your season airs? I can't imagine being able to build a sustainable relationship and foundation for a marriage on this premise. Can you?

But this is the way a lot of relationships are conducted these days. Always rushing, always reaching for the next big goal, the next big milestone. And then we end up married and in a relationship with a person we don't know anything about.

Take for instance the last season of The Bachelorette. Desiree Hartsock was the sweetest gal, but she was obviously head over heels (in lust, not love, mind you) for Brooks. And all of a sudden, he up and left because he wasn't sure about marrying her (good for him, because AGAIN, 9 weeks is not enough time!). She was obviously heartbroken about him leaving, didn't want to continue on the journey, etc. etc. But the next morning, she has some moment of clarity and decides that Chris is the guy for her? Oh PLEASE, girl. We all know you just didn't want to leave the show empty handed (literally, I think all she wanted was a rock on her finger). I find it sad that not only is this true in dating shows such as The Bachelor, but in real life situations. Many girls are dating just to make it to the end goal of marriage.
This isn't what a true, real relationship is about! Why must we hurry love? Why must we be so quick to say "I love you," and so slow to really know a person from the inside out?

And don't get me started on the Fantasy Suite.

5 comments:

  1. I too am a die-hard Bachelor fan and agree with you on many of your points... Did you watch the season with Jason Mesnick? (I'm guessing not since he was pre-Brad) but he chose Melissa and then in between the time when the show finished shooting to when the season aired he changed his mind!! It was an outrage... but really, if it were real life it wouldn't seem that weird that after dating 9 weeks he realized he didn't want to marry her so moved on to someone else. (In this case his "ex-girlfriend.") Anyways, Jason and Molly (the girl he chose the 2nd time and married) have a podcast that I'm also obsessed with and they give a whole bunch of insight to what being on the show is really like. It's pretty interesting, I think you'd enjoy it. :)

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    1. I haven't seen that season but I've heard A LOT about it (Breigh talks about it often!!). I wonder if there's a way to watch past seasons online.... ;)
      I will look into the podcast! I've been looking for ones to listen to on my morning drives to work, yay!
      Anyway, high five for being a Bachelor fan. Us gals have got to stick together! :)

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  2. So, real talk: there was barely over a month between my first date with Tyler and his proposal. We just didn't announce it for a few months because we didn't want people to think we were nuts. It's weird so say that now, because it didn't seem rushed (probably because we talked for AGES before we ever went on that date), but if my daughter did that, holy moly. I would freak. Does that mean I'm on a Bachelor timetable? Yikes. ;)

    But yeah, the premise behind the Bachelor is ridiculous. I think that's why I've never been able to get into it? That, and the little feminist part of me gets uber annoyed at 25 women competing for a dude. I mean, have some respect, sister! If a guy has to browse around 24 other ladies before he commits to you, he's probably not THAT interested. It just makes me sad for those girls--even if you end up with the guy, how do you not have baggage from that show that you bring into your relationship? UGH. See, I'm getting sad just thinking about it. THIS IS WHY I CAN'T WATCH.

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  4. I have to admit I am a huge Bachelor fan too (although I haven't been watching much this time around). I was sad about the whole Dessiree-Brooks thing and how she just moved on so quickly. Oh well- reality tv, gotta love it!

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