It's a slap in the face to real love.
I always cringe when the details about the latest season of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette hits my news feed. It surprises everyone who knows me, considering I'm the queen basic bitch when it comes to love (seriously, I'm a huge gush and romantic at heart).
But if there's one reality show that I despise more than any other, it's a show that claims to help people find love by making a spectacle of love in the first place.
I'll even go as far to say that if you're single (or if you're not), watching The Bachelor or The Bachelorette is unhealthy, unrealistic and frankly, a little bit sexist. While I get (and hope) that most people who tune-in realize that these aren't true relationships forming before our eyes or people falling magically in love with one another — the whole idea behind pitting women or men against each other to win the affection and attention of one singular super-special (but not really) person — is nauseating to me.
Here are five reasons I really hate ABC's long-running show and why I hope you'll stop watching it, stat.
1. There's no one worth competing for.
They've had some pretty successful people as the headlining single on the show: millionaires, vice-presidents of major companies, former professional football players, actors, pilots. And they're all described and shown as the "perfect partner." For whatever reason, these 20 or so women are lining up to be the one he picks as his wife.
Ugh. I'm sorry, but I've been on enough first dates (and written enough articles about dating) to know that statistically speaking, not all of those women will like this one guy, regardless of his chiseled body, straight teeth or massive bank account. Even so, they go into the show with a "gameplan" and a "strategic way to win," instead of focusing on what they should be asking themselves: not if he likes them and will pick them, but if they like him and actually want to date him. You know, after he's done dating the other 19 women.
2. Women — and men! — aren't meant to be in brackets.
I know it's all in good fun and a friendly way to win some cash if you win, but brackets that are based on seemingly real people's emotional mindset and their apparent desire to find their soulmate just feels creepy to me. Sure, when it's basketball or football, at least it's a team working together to win an actual title.
But when it's about picking someone based on "how crazy they come across" or "how attractive they are," it feels so much less about what being in a healthy relationship is about and so much more about judging the hell out of strangers.
3. It completely ignores homosexual love.
In all of the seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, there has never been a homosexual season. Ever. If you're going to be a show about "helping people find love," how can you omit an entire community because you're afraid of losing viewers? It, again, shows how the show is betting on unrealistic views of relationships. People aren't only heterosexual.
4. It hasn't worked.
There are very few couples who met on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette who are still together. And I can understand why: being on a TV show for the first six weeks of your getting-to-know-you period, while your could-be partner dates other people and figures out which one he or she loves more, seems like a lot of pressure.
It's not a way to build true, genuine, concrete emotions and memories with someone. There's no way to be vulnerable when you're on live TV or a way to build trust if you know your partner isn't just dating you.
5. It's yet another way that our culture discounts love.
I've already been pretty vocal about my dislike for dating apps and The Bachelor fuels my fire. We're a generation that was raised on instant gratification and the swiping left and right helps to continue that notion.
The Bachelor franchise does, too: someone decides that they're ready to find the love of their life, and bam! Suddenly, they're handed 25 beautiful, successful, eligible singles to choose from? Who will fight over them? Cry over them? Sleep with them? Do anything to win their love? That's not how building a relationship works. Not even a little bit.
So, while I'm sure those Monday nights spent watching the drama and seeing people upset or angry as they change from witty banter on a date to a cat fight with other competitors are entertaining, might I suggest you tune into something more beneficial for your dating life? Say, maybe, grabbing a bite at your favorite local pub and actually talking to the singles there? Or trying a boxing or boot camp class and suggesting a smoothie afterward with someone you meet?
To me, that's a much more productive and healthy way to carve your viewpoint on relationships. No brackets needed.