Cupid's Pulse Article: Can You Really Find Love on ‘The Bachelor’?Cupid's Pulse Article: Can You Really Find Love on ‘The Bachelor’?

By Marni Battista

The reason for our culture’s collective obsession with The Bachelor franchise is obvious. What single, soul mate-seeking dater wouldn’t dream of being presented with 25 gorgeous single men or women and a period of 6 weeks to strategically whittle down that group to a proposal at the end? The all-expenses-paid fairytale dates, exotic destinations, and expensive sports cars probably don’t hurt either.

The conducive environment of ‘The Bachelor’ makes finding relationships and love seem like a breeze. But the real question is, are the happy celebrity couples really as in love as they look? 

But underneath the fluffy fanfare that leaves us hopeless romantics watching at home with hearts a-fluttering, at the show’s core is a promise of two people finding everlasting relationships and love. After all, the show has resulted in a few happy marriages, with last month’s nuptials of happy celebrity couple Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette Season 1 couple Trista and Ryan Sutter’s ten-year vow renewal.

Related Link: ‘The Bachelor’ Stars Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici Are Married

However, in an environment so unrealistic and clouded with so many distracting factors, I can’t be convinced The Bachelor process is conducive to building the foundation for lasting relationships and love. Do I think it’s possible to fall in love on the show? Taking into account the myriad of other ways couples meet these days, sure. Still, I think the success stories are the exception rather than the rule, and here’s why:

1. The Isolation: Before they even meet the star of the season, the 25 contestants who make it through the arduous casting process are then sequestered in a Los Angeles mansion for the remainder of the process. At the beginning of any relationship, I advise daters to make space in their schedule to reflect and allow true feelings to come to the surface. With no escape from this microcosm and no contact with anyone other than the bachelor, crew, and other contestants to distract you, it’s easy for the show to become your world, distorting your judgment and emotions.

2. The Game: As much as the creators would like you to think that the show allows one lucky man or woman to naturally select a lifelong partner, it’s simply impossible for one person to get an accurate impression of 25 different people’s personalities in one night. From the get-go, the show becomes a strategic game where the more extroverted contestants come out on top and those who take a little bit longer to open up often get shafted without a fair shot. Even the contestants who make it past the first couple of rounds of elimination still have to be pretty brazen to stay on the guy’s (and camera’s) radar, and as a result, many of them get caught up in the competition while losing sight of their true purpose.

Related Link: How to Listen to Your Heart and Take Back Control of Your Love Life

3. The Entertainment: Ultimately, the show’s creators prioritize entertainment value over all else. That means there’s a whole other slew of factors that make this dating game less natural and more complicated. The over-the-top dates to exotic locales with private performances by the latest up-and-coming country artist may be fun for the viewer to watch, but it distracts the two people from truly getting to know one another. I mean, who wouldn’t fall in love with someone in a rose petal-dotted hot tub overlooking the mountains of Thailand while Josh Groban serenades them softly in the background?

The show’s creator, Mike Fleiss, has also openly admitted that they make sure to stock at least half the cast with potential villains or loose screws because they know their audience wants to see drama more than they want to see a proposal. So before the show even begins, cattier girls are selected over more compatible mates, and those stroking the drama are kept around longer than they should be.

To put it simply, any situation that brings people together that normally wouldn’t meet carries with it the possibility of true love. But considering the numerous reality-distorting factors involved in The Bachelor, I’d steer you toward taking your chances in the real world.

Marni Battista, founder of Dating with Dignity, is an expert dating and life coach with a 10-step system to manifesting love for your self and others.