Love, relationships, self-love and reality TV…
‘Why I’m Breaking Up with The Bachelor’ by Annie Babbit

What started as a silly reality television show 18 seasons ago soon became my ABC, Monday night addiction. I found myself rushing back from work and wolfing down my dinner only to loaf on the couch for the evening and hang on every word voiced from the dreamy-eyed millionaire. However, I have recently recognized a problem, not only with the manufactured love that is the driving force behind this money-making series, but also with how my own beliefs were being affected.

Here are five detrimental takeaways from ‘The Bachelor:’

Unrealistic Expectations.

The show flat out makes us ladies believe that a very Cinderella story is in our future. Not only is the show a fabrication of love, but also a fabrication of a real man. Sure, there are good-looking men out there that have money. But for many—if not most—Prince Charming will find us in very ordinary circumstances: at the gym, from back in college or through a mutual friend. Furthermore, do not be fooled into thinking that “male model” or “millionaire” ought to be on your Top 10 List for his qualities. It’s important to never settle, but if you’re looking for the “perfect” bachelor, you’ll undoubtedly be disappointed and pass over some very quality men in your future.

Gimmicks Are Uninviting.

Showing up and proposing? Pretending to be pregnant? Riding in on a bicycle? This is not desirable—it’s desperate. And desperation is not attractive. So often in the show are we introduced to women whose entire existence hinges on finding love, and in doing so act like real fools. The takeaway? Spares us of popping the question or witnessing a bicycle accident. A woman who has more aspirations for herself besides merely finding love exudes real confidence—something that is significantly lacking in the series. Furthermore, a confident woman does not feel the need to overcompensate and draw attention to herself in ridiculous ways—she already owns the room through her grace and poise.

Your Past Is Not Appealing.

Your past helps to define who you are, but it is not something that ought to be dwelled upon. Rather than using it as a crutch to explain “why you’re so guarded” or “why you have commitment issues,” instead it should be grounds for how you took those hardships and used them to make you a stronger, more confident woman. The show does anything but that. Each episode is comprised of teary-eyed women bearing their souls to a man in hopes that their former heartaches brought on by broken promises from ex fiancés might aid in winning the bachelor over. I would encourage these women to look to the future instead.

No Such Thing As “Love At First Sight.”

That’s lust. This was a nice idea the first time you ever saw Romeo and Juliet, but let’s get real people—it simply means that you find the other to be physically attractive. Don’t get me wrong—physical attraction is an incredibly important component to love. But it’s ridiculous to think that it is possible to know the other important qualities that comprise a loving relationship based off of the physical. The show does an incredible job making us believe that the moment the limo door is opened and the single lady steps out, the deal is sealed for her. Nope! Love takes time.

Talk of the Future Comes—But at the Right Time.

Ever been watching the show and notice how on even the first date women are discussing marriage, children, and family vacations to the lake house. Weird, right? You would never actually do this on a real date. Because love takes time, do not convince yourself that it is something that can be harvested overnight. It doesn’t happen the first date, the first week, or even the first month. Furthermore, do not cheat yourself of the wonderful experiences associated with courtship. Love will come, but in the meantime enjoy the ride.

I realize that most women watch the show for entertainment purposes and recognize the falsehood of it all. However, in spite of that having been my initial reasoning for getting overly-giddy on Monday evenings, I found that it still had an effect on how I started to feel about my overall expectations of love, my demands of my future beau, and my overall sense of self. So rather than feeding my internally-false, love-struck ego a very un-healthy dose of The Bachelor, I’ve decided to do away with it and actually live my own love story—however unfit for television it may be!

About Today’s Blogger: Annie Babbitt is a freelance writer whose interests include current events women’s studies. Annie loves helping promote change and being an advocate for those in need. She especially loves writing about legal topics, and draws inspiration for her writing from companies such as Braithwaite & Boyle.