My Dirty Little Secret…

I have a dirty little secret.

Are you ready to hear this?  Because it’s perverse.

My dirty little secret is that… I love The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.  And whatever spin off shows they can produce.

I don’t know why.  It’s like brain candy that I can’t turn off.

I love it so much that I reactivated my cable for the next couple of months.  Just because I needed to be able to PVR it.  Sad little creature that I am.

Like I said… Dirty Little Secret.

I don’t understand how this show could possibly work.  They select a man or woman and appoint them as the Bachelor or Bachelorette.  Then they take 25+ single men or women and the B chooses between them.  Because s/he is falling in love with them.  More than one of them.  At the same time.

I get that you can fall in love with more than one person at a time (though I would say you are unlucky if this happens?).   But can you really find love on a reality show with millions watching?  Even if you forget that there are millions watching what about the limited amount of time that these people get to spend together?  And the artificial environment in which they spend that time?  How is it possible that they find “real” love?

So the show brings up a lot of questions for me.  Because…

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I believe that we can think we are falling in love, before we have put in the time and effort that love really takes, if we spend too much time fixated on someone.  If you take a bunch of men or women and place them in a house together with nothing to do but fixate on the one person that they are all dating… of course this will amplify feelings!  It’s the competition, the validation if they choose you, more than the person themselves.

I think.  Maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe The Bachelor(ette) really does work.  I mean, I watch it and I have opinions on it, and I always get kind of giddy and girly on finale night.  (Don’t judge me! ).

I have come to think of the kind of love that I suspect they find on this show as “Ashley Syndrome” (AS).  AS is something that I defined after reading Gone With the Wind one too many times.  We have Scarlett, Ashley and Rhett.  Scarlett and Rhett are perfect for one another.  He loves her beyond anything most of us would hope for.  And yet Scarlett is so focused on Ashley that she can’t see what she has.  The sad thing is that Scarlett doesn’t actually see Ashley until it’s too late.  Scarlett takes Ashley and assigns him a personality, makes him into the kind of man she thinks she wants.  The thing is that she never really looks below the shell that she has attached to him to see the real man below.  She never looks below what she thinks she wants to find what she actually needs.  If Scarlett had just broken free of seeing what she wanted to see?  She would have been with Rhett.

I suspect that this is the kind of love that these people are finding.  If you don’t have enough time with someone, and yet you are fixated on them, don’t you inevitably start to build a persona around them?

It’s why it is so important to keep busy while dating.  To have hobbies, lots of friends, family, work.  To get to know someone when you are emotionally balanced and busy and your life is filled.  To fall in love with a person because you truly know them and not because you are filling a hole (a hole in your life to those of you with dirty minds – or is that just me?).

As for the Bachelor… I’ll be watching.  Personally, my money is on Britt.

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