Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How the Bachelorette Sets You Up To Be a Delusional Dater

Watching the Bachelorette last night (yes, I watch that Bachelorette –previously documented here), I started to feel for Nick despite wanting Josh to win.  Here’s why: The premise of the Bachelor is that you enter a “journey to find love.”  It occurs in a vacuum that entails international jet setting with dates that end in literal fireworks and serenades at personal concerts.  But beyond the logistics, each Bachelor or Bachelorette continues to urge that you open up to let the process work.  Make sure you tell him or her that you’re falling in love, albeit two weeks in and with no verbal reciprocation. It’s the process, Chris Harrison reminds you.  But for whom?

Image via Andi's Twitter

While candidates vie for the Bachelorette’s, in this case Andi’s, heart, they truly put themselves out there: writing secret admirer letters, cheesy poems and immediately divulging intimate details about their family lives and troubled pasts.  And what do they receive in return?  Radio silence or a thank you followed by a passionate make out in which the contestant must take solace.  Certainly if your friend told you that she repeatedly said, “I love you,” and her boyfriend continuously responded with a thank you, you’d be concerned for her sanity and immediately label her a delusional dater, effectively defined as the girl who talks about a guy like they're in a relationship but she probably just asked to borrow his pen once and uses public information about him via Facebook and Instagram to alert her friends on his whereabouts (FYI, Betches Love This has a great post about the DD here).

Likely, for the sake of the show, the Bachelorette is ordered to remain mum on that fact to ensure the wow factor of the finale, finally removing her poker face and revealing where her heart truly lies.  And that’s ultimately a key ingredient in the show’s continued success.  People bet, create brackets and play drinking games that hinge on the show’s outcome.

But what it means is that it leaves a host of men or women in its trails, ordered to pick up the pieces when they can’t seem to shake what went wrong.  There’s Farmer Chris, Romantic Marcus and lastly, Devastated Nick.

In many ways, the Bachelorette in no ways resembles real life.  I mean, where’s my handpicked assortment of 25 bachelors; group dates, which bear no resemblance to your typical double date; and, fantasy suite with a key from Chris Harrison “should we choose to forgo our individual rooms”?  But in others, it resembles modern dating, specifically, in that, most people are dating multiple people at a time.  With apps like Tinder and Hinge, you can be simultaneously talking to upwards of 15 people.  How many you will actually meet in real life, now that’s another story.  But the difference being that in real life, it’s two-sided and it’s reasonable to DTR (define the relationship) prior to an engagement.

Andi said it best in After the Final Rose, admitting there was nothing wrong with their relationship, but "something else was more right," essentially proclaiming the premise of the show.  Key takeaway: it's better to be the Bachelorette than one of 25 hoping you can accelerate your relationship at super speed just to keep up.

Well, here’s to hoping Nick will get over it already and to the premiere of Bachelor in Paradise next week!

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