In my quest to write a dating blog and..well, date…I am frequently asked what I think about various dating shows. The short hand answer here is that I don’t watch dating shows. True, I’ve stated here frequently that I watch many (MANY!) other trashy reality shows with far less plot or direction, but I simply cannot ‘get into’ dating shows. Why?
Dating shows, to me, are all the same premise but executed in a slight variation that hooks a particularly demographic. They range from the sort-of-normal-but-not-really shows like The Bachelor or The Bachelorette to the truly disgusting and unbelievable Rock of Love With Bret Michaels and A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila. The basic formula is one person (guy or girl, celebrity or “normal person”) is thrown into a situation (a house, an island, whatever) with multiple options and then BOOM…sit back and watch the sparks fly.
For me, it’s so generic, and not just in the formula most of these shows use. I find it generic that most of the people on the show aren’t ‘normal’. They’re models, actors, and actresses, who are cast for a part of either the prize or the competition. They may be single (though sometimes they definitely aren’t!) but they certainly aren’t your average Joe or Jane just looking for a partner.
I also find the format of the ‘picking’ generic. Most dates aren’t one on one, and it pits two individuals against one another in a win-lose situation that promotes competition rather than honest conversation and get-to-know-you scenarios. I am not sure how you can make an honest choice between two people who have focused on beating one another to impress you rather than getting to know you and allowing you a glimpse at themselves. It’s not that I think that competition doesn’t bring out the true colors of someone else; precisely the opposite! I think their worst qualities are brought out for all to see in a bad, bad situation.
And while we’re discussing the fact that I think there is communication and openness issues in the set up, I also think there are issues inherent in the fact that cameras capture a large part of contestants interactions. I am not sure that I could truly be myself or get to know someone in front of a camera. I wonder how much of the personalities that are seen on these shows are true and how many are characters that individuals develop in front of the cameras. How on earth do individuals fall in love under these circumstances?
For me, the proof is in the pudding with dating shows. Most of the engagements and relationships on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette haven’t made it to the altar. Of the thirteen season of The Bachelor I can only find two relationships that are MAYBE still in tact. I can’t figure out if they are or aren’t, but to be quite honest…it doesn’t look good for them. Yes, I realize “Trista and Ryan” are still together, but then again a broken clock still tells the right time twice a day, right?
It’s not that I begrudge anyone who watches these shows. It’s just that, for me, it’s not a real exercise in dating and certainly offers very little for me to learn in terms of how to date. That is, unless…maybe one of you would like to send me out to an island home with a giant pool and fly me to several locations for dates with bachelors all competing for my attention? No?
Soon I plan to watch an episode of Dating in the Dark on ABC and let you know what I think. A friend has recommended it to me.
Until next time! xox The Blonde.