It’s the Bachelor’s Fault You’re Not in Love
Let’s say you meet a great guy. He’s handsome and charming, dresses well, has an interesting job. And he really wants to “get to know you.”
Let’s say said guy is very upfront about the fact that he’s “playing the field” – with, say, about two dozen other special ladies. And being the secure, modern gal you are, you agree to the rules of the game.
Now, let’s say, over the course of five weeks, you get to spend approximately fifteen minutes, two times per week, sitting on a sofa in a secluded corner with the object of your affections while a few dozen pairs of eyes strain to watch you, and attempt to inject enough witty banter, heartfelt emotion, and tongue-wrestling into the interlude to convince the fella that you’re worth keeping around. And then, let’s say, on one occasion over the course of these five weeks, you get to spend an entire day with your man, just the two of you. Alone, together. Well, with cameras. But also maybe in a helicopter on the way to the most gorgeous deserted island mountain cave river you’ve ever seen.
That’s it. Six 15-minute chats, one epic helicopter date. Are you in love yet?
If you’re a contestant on the Bachelor, you damn well better be, because next week you’ll be headed back to your hometown for an epically awkward dinner with your mom and second-cousins, trying to explain to your father for the umpteenth time why you’re looking for love on national TV. At this point, if you’re not in love…or close…you’re toast.
Of course, the Bachelor is a deliciously terrible TV show, and it has an approximately 3% success rate for the relationships it spawns, every reasonable person in the country knows helicopter rides do not equal love.
Except. Except twice a year ABC manages to fill its mansions with dozens of starry-eyed suitors who, if “there for the right reasons,” are ready to hop on the fast track to wedded bliss.
And except…don’t tell me you’ve never done the date five gut check…are we falling in love yet? Because if the Bachelor is to be believed…hell, if any rom com or chick lit novel is to be believed…it just takes a couple of dates, or chance meetings, or conversations on the secluded couch to go from strangers to soulmates and if you don’t get there in that time well…it must not be love.
And in your date five “oh my god do I love you” moment, you may be thinking, as surely the Bachelorettes are thinking, that this rush of goofy giggly newness combined with some actual chemistry sure feels and looks a lot like the love you see in the movies, and that must be it, right?
It can be hard to remember that per The Bachelor, relationships with a helicopter-date foundation and a zero to love in two hours trajectory have an abysmal long-term track record. You’re probably not remembering each brutally awkward tearful reveal when a Bachelorette gets cornered into sharing something intensely personal on what is, for all intents and purposes, a second date. You probably don’t have to get the key to the fantasy suite if you want a little alone time with your dude. And you may not be thinking “wow…if it’s this good now, imagine how awesome it’ll be five or six weeks or three months from now if I let it develop naturally and don’t try to rush this kind of intimacy!”
Seeing how many Bachelors and Bachelorettes have actually turned into husbands and wives…maybe slow deserves a shot.