What The Bachelorette Show Can Teach Us About Love...

Jennifer Brown Banks

"People who need people are the luckiest people in the world."--Barbara Streisand

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I am ashamed to admit it. Well…at least just a little bit. But, one of my secret “guilty pleasures” is watching reality TV romance shows.

Yep. I confess.

Perhaps it's because I'm an incurable romantic. Or it could be because seeing the many dramas of dating and mating on screen is entertaining, enlightening and sometimes even comical.

Most recently, I’ve been glued to the boob tube checking out the Bachelorette Show. It has been an unusual season with a lot of twists and turns for sure. Have you seen it?

In the process, I’ve discovered that there is much to be learned here from this medium; if we are receptive students. Whether we are currently in a relationship, looking for Mr. Good Bar or seeking to increase our aptitude in matters of the heart.

Here’s how Psychology Today describes the show’s popularity and process: “ To ramp up the romance and intrigue, the show takes the cast and crew to various interesting and luxurious locations around the U.S.—and for this installment, gorgeous places around Europe. Filming on location adds to the carefree, exciting, romantic vibe, which can’t help but spark feelings of love between the eligible one and the suitors. Being in exciting, unfamiliar surroundings also makes it possible for the Bachelors and Bachelorettes to compartmentalize their relationships and ride the rollercoaster of fantasy courting, as in, “Today I’m in love with Eric in Denmark; a couple days ago, I was in love with Peter in Norway; in few days, I’ll be in love with Bryan again in Switzerland. It’s amazing and all good!” What a fabulous ride—for them and for us!! We become loyal viewers due to the vicarious pleasure we experience, thanks to the feel-good chemistry of oxytocin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and testosterone/estrogen triggered in our brains. It’s like a good romance novel come to life!

I couldn’t agree more.

So if you're on board, here are a few lessons on love, heartbreak and life extracted from TV land worth noting for the new year, courtesy of this popular dating show.

Love involves risk—always!

Whether you meet someone on a TV show, on the Internet, through a mutual friend, or in line at the local grocers, there are no guarantees. Decide that you're in it to win it! I've known of people who married after dating just a few weeks, and have been happily married for decades. Conversely, I've known people who lived together for years before getting married, and couldn't make it work, shortly thereafter. Matters of the heart are often unpredictable.

The heart has a mind of its own.

I was really a little disappointed with the really nice guys that Tayshia (this season’s bachelorette) sent home early in the elimination process. From all accounts, they were “solid,” handsome and successful. But she ultimately went with someone who made her feel the way she desired and who pulled her heart strings. This only goes to prove that we can’t help who we fall in love with.

Compatibility is crucial for longevity.

Attraction brings two people together, while mutual core values and interests solidifies the union. If you're looking to go the distance in love, and perhaps transition to marital bliss, partnering with someone who has a similar perspective on relationships and similar goals increases the chances for long-term success.

There's someone for everyone!

Hold out for the real deal. Some time ago, I was watching the dating show MORE TO LOVE, (which by the way, I think is a very cool and innovative concept in dating shows), when I was saddened to see so many women who felt that their large physical status relegated them to being lonely spinsters for life. That's unfortunate. Many are discovering how untrue this myth is, courtesy of the cute real estate developer who preferred, as he puts it “big, beautiful women”. The verdict is in: love is an “equal-opportunity employer!"

Dating success is sometimes a numbers game.

Let's face it, sometimes you have to “kiss a few frogs.” But on the positive side is that through trial and error you cultivate a better understanding of your personal needs, your love style, the dynamics of dating, and what works for your ultimate happiness.

Desperation is always unattractive, no matter who wears it.

Many of the contestants on these dating reality shows don't realize that excessive tears, threats, pulling out the claws, and crazy behavior makes them losers in more ways than one. It's true that sometimes it's not how you "score", but how you play the game that counts. Class is crucial.

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You can't make another person love you.

And frankly, why should you want to? Love is much better when it's mutual, and when it's natural and unforced. Love can't be bought or bargained.

Successful dating and mating requires effective strategy.

I remember watching an episode on the Bachelor's many moons ago when one of the women stated to the featured hunk that her “time clock was ticking” and she was looking to tie the knot as soon as possible. Huh? As with many things in life, proper timing is crucial, not to mention a good dose of common sense and realistic expectations.

Real men do cry.

Though they don’t often display it or convey it, men have the same fears, vulnerabilities and doubts as women do in matters of the heart. Don’t operate on stereotypes. Learn your man to earn your man!

Factor in family... at the right time.

I don’t know about you, but I personally wouldn’t do any family introductions until the relationship was in the most serious stages. And even then it’s good to be selective about who and/or when we introduce them to the nuts on our family tree. LOL

On several episodes of The Bachelor and Bachelorette, there have actually been family feuds, internal conflicts and disharmony. Proceed with caution here. Though we love our family members, they may not be "loveable" to others right away.

Exit with class.

There's great validity to the expression "The best revenge is a good life."

In closing...

So there you have it folks, key lessons on life and love for you courtesy of the “boob tube”!

Contrary to popular opinion, it can actually be a "smart" resource when it comes to matters of the heart.

Image credits: Pixabay.com

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Veteran freelance writer, award-winning blogger, thought leader, herbal tea enthusiast. My mission is to entertain, engage and inform readers with articles that are interesting, enriching and diverse.

Chicago, IL
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