Typically, I am not a huge fan of The Bachelor/Bachelorette. I watch reality TV on occasion – “The Biggest Loser” is my guilty favorite – but in terms of competition dating shows, I’ve never really been smitten (pun originally not intended).
My mom, however, is a huge fan of The Bachelor, and I watch it occasionally with her when she unwinds on the couch at night with her habitual glass of wine. This season, since I’m currently living at home, I decided to humor her and watch the season, start to finish. Following any TV show you tend to root for your favorites and become invested, but at its core, I’m realizing more and more that “The Bachelor” just isn’t really for me.
Sure, it’s entertaining and fun to watch. I looked forward to seeing what happened every week, which girls started drama, and who got sent home by the handsome Bachelor Chris. At the same time though, it made me kind of sad.
There’s a reason the show doesn’t have a huge track record of successful couples. “The Bachelor” plays with emotions – and that’s a dangerous game to play.
In the beginning, I guess it’s all sort of harmless. A whole bunch of women or men flirt with the same one man or woman in hopes of sparking a connection. As the season progresses, the contestant pool slims down, and the remaining “players” start to develop real feelings for the bachelor or bachelorette in question. The lucky person who gets all of these eligible singles to choose from doesn’t really have it so easy either – because in the end, they do still have to choose.
Watching this season with my mom, as less and less girls remained, it hurt my heart a little bit watching each girl fall in love with Chris, this season’s bachelor heartbreaker. Who knows how legit the show really is. I’m sure not all of the feelings we see on our TVs are real. Inevitably though, a lot of them are.
Real people developed real feelings for someone who eventually breaks every one of their hearts except for one. That lucky heart will not be broken. That heart might always wonder, though, if the person who chose them believes 100% in their decision. They might always wonder if their bachelor still has lingering feelings for the ones they let go.
My heart hurt as I watched girls cry over their departure, over their lost chance at love.
As much as my mother loves this show, she is always telling my siblings and I that we are never allowed to go on it (if we disobeyed her and did go on the show, however, she would root for us). It’s not something I would ever do, but I realized you could end up in a similar situation without actually going on the show.
My mother told me never to end up on the bachelor, but I think I accidentally did.
I was in a situation where a man I cared deeply about was choosing between being with me and another girl. Both of us girls knew about it – we were never in the dark or being played, at least I don’t think so. He wasn’t happy about it, and when he realized what was happening, tried to make his decision as quickly as possible. It sucked, but I’m not angry about it.
I try not to hold any resentment about the fact that he got himself into that situation in the first place. Hearts are tricky things. It happened, it sucked, but eventually he chose.
I know exactly how all of the ladies on The Bachelor feel. I was all of the girls on The Bachelor that didn’t get picked.
I was the girl he didn’t choose. Bachelor ladies – I 100% know how you all feel.
It’s something you can bounce back from. It’s something that in the end will only make you stronger. I know that. That doesn’t change the fact, though, that when it was happening, it hurt worse than so many other offenses to the heart – and that’s why it’s so weird to me that people would willingly put themselves into that kind of a situation.
When you open your heart up to someone like that, you don’t see the end. You know that this person is going to end up with someone. They’ve made that clear. You know what you feel, and so you don’t see any situation in which there would be an end for the two of you – only a happy ending. You know there’s another girl, of course, and it makes you a little uneasy, but still. He’s going to end up with someone. You love him; therefore it has to be you. Right?
You’re so convinced that he’s going to choose you because you can feel what the two of you have. You see how he is with you. You see that it’s real. What you’re forgetting is that that other person he’s seeing feels all of that too – and she’s just as amazing with him as you are.
Watching The Bachelor breaks my heart, because when Chris finally chose, I know how the other girls feel. I’ve been there. I’ve held my knees to my chest and cried myself to sleep because another girl swept his heart away. I’ve gone back and relived everything I ever did and said – could I have been better? I’ve kicked myself because I convinced myself I could have done something to ensure that I was that lucky chosen girl.
On a past episode, Chris said that he had gotten to the point where when he lets a girl go, he knew he could be making the biggest mistake of his life. That’s the risk you run, when you get yourself into a situation where you have to choose. You might always wonder what would have happened if you had chosen differently.
You pressure yourself to choose, and wonder if it was the pressure that made you pick the way you did. If the pressure hadn’t been there – would things have turned out differently?
It’s hard for the person choosing, too. I truly believe you can love more than one person at once. It’s not ideal. It’s not fair. But it happens.
It’s hard not to compare yourself to the girl that he did choose. What does she have that I don’t, you wonder? Nothing, is the answer. She doesn’t have anything that you don’t. Don’t fall into that trap. She’s just a person that happens to fit him well. It doesn’t mean that you couldn’t have worked with him too. It doesn’t make you any less wonderful. Of course though, that’s what it feels like.
To all of the girls on “The Bachelor” this past season: I get it. You try to be strong and put on a brave face. Maybe you never even really liked him anyway, you think. It wasn’t that big of a deal. It never would have worked. I know you don’t really believe any of the things you tell yourself. I know it hurts like fucking hell. I also know you’ll move on.
It’s difficult for me to get behind a show that produces that kind of pain, but I still feel for the girls feeling the pain. It’ll get better. The dust will settle. At least, in the end, “The Bachelor” can teach us that it is possible to love, lose, and move on. I guess, that’s a lesson very much worth learning.
Eventually, ladies, we’ll be the girl someone chooses. For good.