It was 10:00 p.m. when I dragged myself home and up the stairs of our SoCal suburban tract home. The kids were in bed, and I was ready to relax. From our bedroom, I heard my husband Jeff’s voice on the phone raised in alarm. “Can you believe it? That is terrible!” Adrenaline rushed through my body as my mind raced through the possible calamities that could have befallen him. As I walked into the bedroom, Jeff hung up the phone to greet me.
“What’s the matter, Jeff?” I cried.
“Oh, nothing,” he replied. “My dad and I were just talking about the Bachelor episode tonight.”
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My husband, Jeff, is a Bachelor fan. Fanatic. We watch every episode, every season. At first, I protested, but now, I have been sucked into the reality show vortex from whence there is no return and am the one popping the popcorn. This season’s bachelor, Sean Lowe, is one of my favorites. He seems like an honest guy trying everything he can to find his soul mate–and how can you fault that? Unfortunately, the bachelors don’t have a very good track record when it comes to choosing that special someone. So, now that we’re down to the top three contestants, here’s what I would tell Sean if I were sitting in Chris Harrison’s seat.
#1. Choose the one that flies under the radar. While the drama queens (ahem, Tierra) might be more fun or interesting, they’re going to get on your nerves over time. So, Sean, if you’re looking for a lifelong partner, choose the girl who is comfortable in her own skin and doesn’t need to go out of her way to get attention.
#2. Choose the one who makes you laugh. Dating is full of desire and passion. But it’s inevitable that, over time, physical attraction wanes. In a recent study commissioned by Medicis Aesthetics, it was found that physical attraction mattered more in the first seven years of a relationship than in later years. After that, predictors of long-term relationship satisfaction shifted more toward personality traits. So if you really do want a lasting relationship, choose the one you enjoy being with the most.
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#3. Choose the one who can put up with your pranks. Sean, we all know you as the bachelor who pulls pranks. You pranked Emily when you were a contestant on The Bachelorette, who didn’t see the humor in it and kicked you off the show the same week. You also pranked the contestants this season, placing them in uncomfortable situations to test their ability to roll with the punches. Because this is apparently an enduring personality trait, you need to choose someone who can prank you back with equal zest–or at least appreciate your sense of humor. Whether it’s pranking, singing in the shower or biting fingernails, we all have idiosyncrasies that may be annoying to some. We just need to find partners who can love us for our uniqueness, not in spite of it.
Jeff and I will be watching what is sure to be “the most dramatic rose ceremony in Bachelor history” with popcorn in hand. And I’ll be interested to see whether Sean chooses the secure, confident, enjoyable woman that he needs to build a lasting relationship. If only I had Chris Harrison’s job…
Amy Osmond Cook, Ph.D. is a faculty associate at Arizona State University, where she teaches Communication and English classes. She is the publisher of Sourced Media Books and co-author of Hope After Divorce and Full Bloom: Cultivating Success. Amy and her husband, Jeff, have six children. For more information about Amy, please visit amyosmondcook.com.