Why I Hate The Bachelor

Last night I had the very unfortunate timing to sit down on my couch while the last 5 minutes of The Bachelor were on. For some unknown and embarrassing reason I endured them. Why did I do such a thing? I have no idea.

But seriously. I hate it. This may be a tad exaggerated, but it’s not a fake rant. My insides genuinely stir watching it. It makes me feel sad, angry, and nauseous at the same time.

Why, you ask? Why such vitriol?

1. It’s FAKE.

Those poor girls that are tearing up over whether they’ll get a rose or not…you think they’re really in love with that guy? (What’s his name, Ben?)

No they’re not in love with him. They’re in love with “love”, and by “love” I mean their messed up and manipulated idea of love. Plus, I’d assume they are also quite fond of free exotic vacations, ridiculous pampering, LOTS of make up, spray on tans, high-dollar dresses, and being paraded around on national TV like a Barbie doll for millions of adoring fans.

That’s what they’re in love with. I’d love to know how many of The Bachelor/Bachelorette marriages last longer than 5 years. I’d bet two of my toes that it’s not many.

I have been married for almost five wonderful years, and what I know from my very happy marriage is that real love is very different from the bull-hockey you see on The Bachelor. It’s not always fuzzies and giggles. It’s not some fairy tale extravaganza where you’re whisked around to the most romantic places in the world to eat chocolate covered strawberries and decide whether or not your fickle feelings feel like they are in “love” with that particular person in that moment.

No, it’s better than that. It’s much less dramatic. More real. Less ooy-gooey. Less butterflies, more commitment. More like a long-term friendship where you would not only die for them, you want to live for them, too. Even when you don’t feel like it and sometimes it’s very un-romantic and totally unlike The Bachelor, you want to serve them anyway, because they are yours. They are your best friend and you know that–so you love them and you don’t have to ask your feelings what they think about that. Sure there are butterflies, and they are awesome. But more than fairy-tale in the sky butterflies, they are everyday “I’m so blessed to do life with this person” butterflies.

And those are better. Because they actually last & grow stronger over time, instead of fizzling out when the fairy-tale ends.

2. Did you hear me say it’s FAKE?

(Refer to #1)

3. Because it’s basically emotional porn.

When I watch it I can’t help but imagine all the females around the world watching it, oohhing and aahhing, saying things like “I wish I could find a guy like that…”

(Refer back to #s 1 and 2)

Do you really think you know the real Ben or whatever his name is from watching this staged-for-ratings show? Yeah, I bet he’s awesome. He probably has lilacs growing out of his chest in lieu of hair. I bet he could chop down a tree with his bare hands and then catch a falling damsel in distress before it hit the ground.

Or…maybe he’s a real guy with VERY real flaws. Flaws like the guys you know. Maybe he’s not near as romantic and awesome when he doesn’t have a crew whose jobs depend on their creativity and a ginormous budget to pull off his romantic stunts.

Fast forward five years to when Ben and whoever he gives the rose to may or may not still be married. If they are still married, I’m predicting some kind of scene where the lucky girl is crying because she’s realized that he’s a jacked-up sinner like the rest of us, and she’s screaming “Where’s the Ben I met back on The Bachelor?”

So, in conclusion, I really do hate The Bachelor. But a few things to clarify:

What I Am NOT Saying

That if you watch the show you are evil, dumb, or stupid. That the show is inherently evil. I have friends who watch it for the sheer ridiculousness or entertainment value, which I can definitely see. Or maybe you watch it to admirably poke fun at it like my friend Knox.

What I Am Saying

That if you watch the show, I hope you are discerning. Especially if you a) desperately want to be married or b) are in an unhappy marriage and watching the show is some kind of escape where you dream about what could be.

If that is true, please be careful and don’t let it lead you into fairy-tale land. Don’t let it give you impossible expectations and decide, “I’m not getting married unless it’s just like that.” I hate to break it to you, but the odds of getting proposed to with a five carat diamond in Tahiti on national TV are pretty slim.

And if your marriage is not great, don’t run to that crap to daydream. Pursue your spouse. Go to marriage counseling. Have much needed, honest conversations that you avoid all the time. I know some of you have it really tough and I hate that. Don’t give up. Discern the things you are trying to get from The Bachelor and figure out how to pursue those in your marriage. The things that the show plays on and distorts–romance and emotion–should be present in a healthy marriage. Keep fighting.

Okay. That ends my rant about The Bachelor for now. Thanks for enduring it if you’ve read this far. And if you so desire, I’d love to hear your thoughts about the show. Do you watch it? Do you like it or hate it like me?

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