What are we learning about love and relationships from watching these shows?
Is it just me or is TV out of control with all the dating shows being aired? According to this article in The New York Times, three new shows aired this month with each program being worse and worse. The first program to air was Eva Longoria's show, Ready for Love, but it was cancelled after only two episodes. The idea was that three matchmakers had to scour the world to find matches for their clients. (My thought: if these matchmakers had to "scour the world" to find someone a match, this client was being way too picky, anyway.)
Next to hit the airwaves was Find Me My Man on Oxygen, featuring Miami matchmaker Natalie Clarice. The show, created to help Miami's professional women find love, is clearly another reality dating series ... sans the reality. One client was a past pageant winner who showed up wearing her crown! Seriously? I smell hints of Kenya Moore from Bravo's Real Housewives of Atlanta who has plenty of her own dating nonsense going on.
The third is some of the worst TV ever seen. Dates From Hell, which debuted on Investigation Discovery, reenacts dates gone horribly wrong, often ending in violence. Is this something single men and women really need to see? I'm sure some of this goes on, but it only seems to further dramatize situations that are already dramatic. For example, the clip on the program's official website shows a man hitting his girlfriend and what does she do? Leave the apartment? Oh no, she decides to hit him back.
So what are we learning about love and relationships from watching these dating TV shows?
Nothing in my opinion as a dating coach for women over 40. In fact, I think it's extremely harmful. First of all, shows like Dates From Hell only heighten the fears that many single women already have about dating. Secondly, these shows tend to glamorize unrealistic ideas about what constitutes as an ideal partner. This only reinforces limiting beliefs and ruins your chance for love.
As a dating professional, I find this trend to be a travesty and huge disservice to single men and women. But what can you do reality TV has skewed your perceptions about love? Here are five suggestions to get you back to the real world where finding love is truly possible.
1. Remember that reality TV has little to do with reality. Actors often play these parts with a lot of forced drama created strictly for ratings. Most men and women are nothing like the radical singles populating these dismal shows.
2. Stop watching shows that bring you down about love. If you just want to be entertained, pick something more positive and upbeat. Rent a funny romantic comedy or watch a sitcom instead. These movies and shows don't put on the pretense that they are simulating the real dating experience the way reality TV does. That's entertainment that will leave you feeling positive. Keep reading ...
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