Of all the television programs currently airing, The Bachelor is one of the most unnerving.
The pseudo-reality dating show features a single man and the 20 or more female contestants chosen to be his love interests. The show includes group dates, one-on-one dates, overnight dates and a whole lot of pointless drama. The Bachelor is airing its 18th season. The fact that the show has continued for so long is appalling.
So many things about this show are a cause for concern. There’s the catty women doing whatever it takes to prove they are right for the designated Bachelor. There’s the fact that the Bachelor is courting multiple women at the same time. But the problems with this show go even deeper.
The relationships the contestants develop with the Bachelor are not healthy, as are proven in their (lack of) success rates. Since the show first aired in 2002, 15 of the 16 final couples have ended their relationships.
Can a person really stay genuine when every moment of their life is caught on camera and a large sum of money is at stake?
Former Bachelor Sean Lowe married the season 17 winner this past January, making him the first Bachelor to marry the women to whom he proposed. However, he admitted in a video for the nonprofit organization “I Am Second” that the whole process didn’t feel right.
“It’s unnatural to date 25 women at one time, and it felt wrong. A lot of the time, it felt wrong,” Lowe said.
This show is just one example of the media’s many misrepresentations of what true love is.
True love is not a competition. It doesn’t have a designated timeline. It’s not based on lies and misgivings.
Contrary to what movies, TV shows and cheap paperbacks portray, lusting after someone is not the same as truly loving them.
C.S. Lewis described love as “not an affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.”
This kind of relationship takes time and patience. It can’t be achieved within just a few weeks and it can’t be forced by the influence of outside voices.
It’s not a “guilty pleasure.”
Some people might think 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is suffering from overuse, but the fact is, it is a very accurate description of love:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
These verses are not just talking about romantic love. They speak of love in the truest, purest form.
The model a relationship is based on could determine its outcome. Which model has been proven to work and which has proven to fail?