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?

122 thoughts on “Why I Hate The Bachelor”

  1. Great post, Brandon.  I find that, in the sheer absence of helicopter rides over Tahitian waterfalls in my own life, real love is about getting up out of your warm bed at 5am to let the dog out so your spouse doesn’t have to.  It’s a lot of grace mixed with letting someone else be first–and, when done God’s way, it’s just crazy beautiful!  I agree–this show has done a lot to really jack up the expectations of a lot of women–married and unmarried…

    1. I love that description Thea…getting out of bed to take the dog out so your spouse doesn’t have to. I agree, it is a crazy beautiful thing. Thanks for offering your perspective, it is much appreciated!

  2. Out of all the seasons of the Bachelor and the Bachelorette, I think only two of the couples are still together. Obviously it has a poor track record, probably because it turns love into a competition and creates “relationships” under ridiculously hyped up circumstances. Give me real relationships any day!

  3. Loved your rant, man.  I’ve probably watched the Bachelor one and a half times, and had the same exact thoughts as you (just not as articulated!).  I appreciate your advice- to not use it as an escape from your marriage, and to pursue the things you long for on the Bachelor IN YOUR marriage.  

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  6. yes the bachelor show is stupid, but not as stupid as the women on it. and im saying this as a woman. some of them, after knowing him for 2 days, said “I can really see us getting married.” Idiots. anyways, just so you know, NONE of the bachelors have married the women they gave roses to. They never make it nearly that far.

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  17. I completely agree with you. The show is so disbelievingly ridiculous. I tried watching the show The Bachelorette just now out of boredom and had to stop during the introduction of the too good to be true perfect guys that are supposedly already in love with a girl they have not met. The worst part is that the girl who is looking for love in all of these men has already been on The Bachelor, won and went through an unsuccessful engagement with the not so prince charming. It baffles me how they can be so naive/stupid/ignorant to think they can really find love through a reality tv show.

  18. You obviously watch the show. You should have had a different title for your article : ”WHY I HATE MYSELF FOR WATCHING THE BACHELOR” 🙂 I agree with some of your points, but I don’t think they matter because articles like this one aren’t going to change what the show is: PURE ENTERTAINMENT. Whether it’s real or not matters little to people who are watching.

    1. Hilarious:) Actually, I’ve never really watched it, but my wife has, so I’ve caught bits and pieces.

      And I know it’s just entertainment and not harmful for everyone (and that in fact it’s enjoyed by many). I was just expressing why I hate it.

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  103. I will take a hard line on this one. I do think the show is inherently vile and if you are watching it, you are part of the problem. It is vile b/c it feeds into fantasy regarding what should be a serious commitment. The ratings do not know if you are watching for mockery or what. It encourages it.

  104. I hate it with a passion. Can’t even stand commercials for it. I’m happily married but it took me until I was 26 to find my happily ever after, and we met at a retail store that we worked at. The fact that people watch it for entertainment value pisses me off because it only promotes the bs of it all. Fake, unrealistic men and women that non of us can actually relate to.

  105. Why are the women on the Bachelor so unbelievably Stupid? The poor Bachelor must be given a test asking how dumb they want their wife to be -to be. All the baby voices (signs of sexual abuse), drunken stalkers, fake hair, no real job or career achievements or possibilities and very few brain cells to rub together between the entire female cast is just a shameful cross section of the female population supposedly giving some ‘alleged average guy’ a shot at a future wife. Sad.

  106. I was waiting for the news to come on, and watched the last 10 or so mins last night. Never seeing it before. I have friends that watch it and Mondays are such a big deal. It made me mad! First of all if we as women really liked a guy we never hope never would be OK with him running around kissing and hugging other women. Ish. Love is not a game. Then it showed previews for next week and Ben stays the night with each girl. Yuck! Then he told 2 girls he loved them. If that was real life we would tell that man to hit the road. So why do we love the show knowing that. Morally I can not watch it…still makes me sick.

  107. David Peterson

    My wife puts everyone’s life on hold for this piece of crap. She tried to get me to watch it with her put I said no in no uncertain terms. When its on, I escape to the garage or the computer. What disgusts me the most is the idea of taking the most important human decision anyone can make and turning it into a cheap, tawdry gameshow.

    1. Your last sentence is EXACTLY what I think and haven’t been able to put into words!! Perfect!! Thank you!!!

  108. I’ll go a step further…..anyone watching this crap show must have a very low IQ. This show and others like it(most reality tv) cater to the Kardashian type of person…….vain self absorbed ego maniacs with a hint of narcissism. To top it off shows like this and others continue year after year and a show like Person of Interest gets axed after only 5 years…..pathetic.

  109. I met a girl who watch it everyday, once i seen an episode and knew what its all about, it was the last time she heard from me, it just say alot about her haha FAKE everything fake feelings, fake life, fake ppl, like not just the idea of how fake reality shows are and even the idea of having bunch of chicks around one guy trying to impress him, is just so wrong, who is the man here SMH!!

  110. I just found “The Bachelor” on Netflix, the season with Ben as the bachelor. I had never seen this show before but thought it might be mildly entertaining to see how 1 guy vs over 20 women would pan out. Now I see that the entertainment value of the show is the only thing keeping this show going, and the “reality tv” category that the show is cast into is totally ironic. These poor girls don’t actually want love, they want attention. Ben says he’s looking for a “wife” but I wonder what kind of a husband he will be to the woman that he chooses when that woman has had to sit back and watch him go through the same routine with all those other amazingly attractive women. It’s emotionally traumatizing to watch a potential partner (or current partner, or even an ex) become physically and emotionally intimate with another woman in front of you, no wonder Lace is such a drama queen! By pitting these women against each other in an arena, real love becomes an impossible reality in this “reality show” because the focus for every woman must be to “get time with Ben” while the focus for Ben is to avoid singling out a potential match for fear of missing out on a better opportunity (a mindset that fosters cheating in relationships, or a lack/phobia of commitment in general). One last thing that disgusts me about “The Bachelor” is the fact that these women are running off of the assumption that Ben has proved himself enough to occupy the level of emotional space and investment that each woman appears to be putting in, a clear indication that either (a) the women are faking it for the sake of continuing their appearance in the show or (b) the women are delusional and exhibiting self-abandonment and co-dependancy tendencies. The difficult thing about reality TV is that a good portion of viewers probably hate the show, yet can’t stop watching it because of the ego boost that comes with being horrified by such a blatant display of abandonment of values. Reality TV also sucks for the people who genuinely like the show because it doesn’t promote reality on the basis of healthy connections and values, it only thrives off of the exploitation of the naivety of consumers/viewers.

  111. Thanks Brandon. I really needed to hear that. Especially knowing someone wrote this 6 years ago. is even better.I never have watched entire episodes or season’s of it just bits and pieces when changing the channel. And my god to my show how degrading it was. I completely understand why some who watches this show isn’t evil or anything. But its down right disgusting. The only person truly having fun is The Bachelor’s/Bacheloretts who get to have fun with multiple people at the same time. The participants are just here for fame from what i can tell. But i know it’s all fake and scripted. In the end they dont even marry. What was the point i mean?

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