1. Be transparent
This can also be called the “don’t-have-a-secret-girlfriend rule.” In the digital age it’s pretty difficult to hide something like a secret girlfriend from your new girlfriend, even if you’re not on a reality show. The truth will come out, and you’ll look like a jerk. Avoid unnecessary drama and just be upfront with the person you are dating.
2. Likeability matters
In every season of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette there is one guy or girl that does not get along with their fellow contestants. They make the same pitch, “I’m not here to make friends!” but the truth is, you don’t have to be there to make friends. People make friends as a byproduct of the thing they are doing all the time. It’s actually less common to do something with the specific end-goal of making friends. Dating doesn’t happen in a vacuum, no matter what your goal is it doesn’t hurt to make friends on the way there. If you choose not to do this, be aware that no one wants to date someone that none of their friends or family will like. Play well with others already!
3. Rejection isn’t always about you, personally
In the end, chance is an element in everything. You can be the greatest, hottest person in the world and you might just not be a good match for what the other person wants. Some people prefer brunettes, some like people with a certain kind of humor. At the end of his second season of The Bachelor, Brad Womack chose no one. Out of 25 beautiful, hand-picked women he could not find one person he wanted to continue dating. Clearly this about Brad, not the quality of the women. Don’t take it personally when someone rejects you, it’s likely much more about them than it is about you.
4. Don’t be a creep
There’s a fine line between something that seems sweet and something that seems stalkerish—and that line is usually determined by whether the other person is attracted to you. However, there are some things that are just unequivocally creepy: rushing into talk of marriage, babies and sex is a no-no until you’re at least out of the limo. Speaking of sex, don’t define yourself by it before people know anything else about you. Also, unless you’re truly only looking for a zany person who’s going to appreciate you showing up to your first date in a costume, learn to follow social cues before letting your freak flag fly.
5. Know what’s important to you, and how to find it
In every season there’s one or more dates where the Bachelor/Bachelorette wants to test the contestants to see if they are “up for anything.” That’s a great quality to look for but the execution of this is without exception terrible. It’s a pageant, a stand up comedy show or a karaoke routine—which is not a test of fun-lovingness or whether someone is laid back, it’s just about how extroverted they are. In dating it’s important to know what your dealbreakers are—but know also know how to look for it in people of varying personality types.
6. There’s no such thing as happily ever after
How many Bachelor couples have we seen have a beautiful, tear-inducing engagement only to read about their breakup in the tabloids the next day? Relationships keep going after you announce your engagement on Facebook. There’s not an end point to putting work into it for it to be healthy and happy.
7. If at first you don’t succeed, there’s always the spin-off
Lots of Bachelor/Bachelorette cast offs have gotten their own season of the show to find love, and those that don’t in-breed at “bachelor events” or the other spin-off, Bachelor Pad. Something that seems like an incredible loss at the time might be creating the opportunity for something better.