Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Why Dating Should Be More Like The Bachelor(ette)

I watch the Bachelor and Bachelorette with a group of girlfriends every Monday. 

We all crowd into my small, but cozy, living room with our snacks and wine and half-watch, half-talk through the episodes. We make up nicknames for the guys and girls (because who remembers names until the Top 5) and make jokes about where they found some of the men and the ones who remind us of ex-boyfriends/ex-husbands etc.

Most of my friends had never watched the show before I invited them to our weekly viewing party; but, it's easy to fall in love with the process (see what I did there Bachelor(ette) fans? ;)

The concept (for those who have living under a rock the last 20+ seasons) is one man or woman are introduced to 20-25 eligible singles. They go on extravagant dates and, every episode, some are sent home. Eight weeks later, it usually ends with a proposal followed by three months of keeping their relationship in the dark until the finale and "live" after the final rose "catch-up" special.

As much as we enjoy snarking on this show I think we all secretly love it. Our reasons may be different but I know for me I do love watching people fall in love. I enjoy getting a glimpse into people's lives and finding out new things about them (maybe that's part of the reason I love being a reporter!?) I also love the optimism and excitement that comes with the early stages of relationships.

I have been on a few dates since separating from London's daddy almost two years ago. It wasn't until recently that I finally felt ready to put myself out there again.  But, I realize it's harder than just being ready. Where do you meet someone these days?  I spend all of my time at work, with London or working out at home and am not even sure if I can make time for a relationship.

Last night, as we were watching I started thinking about the show and dating. 

Are they actually on to something?

Should dating, in real-life, be more like The Bachelorette?

1. You don't have to go looking for potential matches. The show literally gives you eligible men. I presume you've laid out some sort of guidelines for the qualities you're looking for and your type but that's it. Someone else does all the leg work for you.

2. Distractions are eliminated. Contestants aren't able to have any cell phones. There's no television, books, magazines or video games.You're forced to be present. I'm definitely guilty of having my cell phone with me on dates especially since my job requires me to basically be on-call 24/7.

3. You don't have to plan your dates. You simply are told what you'll need to bring (ie: workout gear, a swimsuit or a nice dress) and show up at a certain time. That sounds like a dream. I don't know about you but the most frustrating thing a guy can say to me is "what do you want to do tonight?" or "I don't care, where do you want to eat?" I'm easy-going and like surprises so not having to plan a date sounds perfect! 

4. There's no ghosting. If you're not interested in a guy, or vice-versa, you have to be honest about it. You can't just stop replying to texts or cancelling dates with no explanation. You either don't give them a rose or you tell them you're leaving the show, on your own terms, because you're not interested. If only it was this simple in real-life. I'm still wondering what happened to that guy I went on three dates with and then he disappeared...

5. You get to know each other's families before it become too serious. There's some saying about "you're not just dating the guy, you're dating his family." This is so true. On the Bachelor(ette) you meet their families after six weeks of dating. While this may sound quick I like the fact you get a glimpse of your potential significant others family life before you're too invested. 

While those all sound amazing there's also some downfalls to dating on reality-tv. 

1. You have an assigned date to sleep together. Seriously, everyone knows the couples usually hook-up on the appropriately-named "fantasy-dates."  It's also very scandalous if you decide to have sex before then.

2.  Every week there's a set day he could break up with you. You spend the few days before rose ceremonies stressing out about if your connection is strong enough, spend hours getting hot, and then drink more than you need to while other women "steal him" to try and build a last-minute connection. 

3. Your breakup is filmed. If you don't make the cut it's usually in front of a room full of people including the women also dating your man and a production crew. No one likes being dumped but, on top of that, having millions of people watch as you sob in a limo about how you'll never find someone who loves you sounds awful.

4. You know exactly when you're going to get proposed to. See above re: I like surprises.

3. You have to share a heart-breaking story during your first one-on-one to feel like you have a connection. Or, basically so he remembers you. 

4. You have to pretend not to care that the guy you're interested in is dating/making out with 20+ other women. I don't care how secure and confident you are no one is okay with this.

So, while I don't think the Bachelor(ette) is the best way for me personally to meet someone I do love watching other people's fairy tales come true. I'm a romantic and I love watching people fall in love.

Until, my own "Prince Charming" comes around I'm sticking with these ladies and our weekly date nights.

Do you watch The Bachelor(ette?)
Have you ever been on a blind date?
If you're engaged/married how long did you date before you got engaged?

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