4 Life Lessons I Learned from 'The Bachelor'
Well ladies (& gents), we're back. The Bachelor is finally back in session, and so is my blog. I took a little time off during the holidays, but I'm back, and yes, you read that title right. Today I'm going to be talking about four life lessons I learned from The Bachelor franchise, for real. Stick with me, it's going to get a little crazy *cue the iconic Bachelor in Paradise theme song*.
In the spirit of transparency, you should know I grew up loathing the Bachelor. Without ever watching an episode, I grew to think of it as completely vain, trashy and idiotic tv. Which of course, it mostly is. But in college there were people around me watching it constantly. Between the peer pressure and the hilarious recaps one of my favorite podcasts produces for Patreon subscribers (The Popcast), I too fell victim, becoming a slave to the never-ending, glorious franchise.
The thing is, even though the show is generally pretty inconsequential, there are definitely some things we all can take from watching a bunch of extremely hot people talk about how they'll never find love *aggressive eye roll*.
1. Be Yourself.
As fake as reality television can be, I think there's something to be said about people who are authentically themselves. People tend to be attracted to realness, and in the wacky world of reality television, authenticity is even more rare. If you think about the people who are most beloved coming out of The Bachelor franchise, they're more often than not the ones who were most authentic.
When I think of authenticity, I think of Bachelor contestants like fan-favorite Demi from Colton's season (+ Queen of Paradise).
Demi was portrayed as the "villain" of her season, but she quickly became a favorite because of her willingness to be herself and speak her truth (also her wonderful one-liners). Now I know, some of her actions are highly criticized and have come across a little less real in more recent memory. But, I think her initial willingness to be herself, regardless of what it would cost her, is inspiring.
I listened to podcast once featuring an interview with a former Bachelor contestant. He advised anyone aspiring to be on The Bachelor to go into it just being themselves and not trying too hard.
Isn't this true for life? Authenticity is becoming more and more of a buzzword and I am HERE for it. Also, I struggle with it. I'm not great at being completely vulnerable and putting my whole self out there for the world to see. I can tell you right now, if there ever was an alternate universe where I found myself on The Bachelor, I'd have a hard time being fully myself. But I'm working on it, one day at a time.
2. Nothing Lives Up to the Hype
If you're a Bachelor fan, such as myself, you know exactly what I mean when I say: Fence. Jump.
Honestly, if you watched Colton's season of the Bachelor, you probably were just triggered by that gif.
For months (literally MONTHS), every single preview of this show featured this fence jump moment. The Bachelor Twitter account trolled fans weekly, wondering if this would be the week the iconic moment would occur. Colton himself even started to make fun of it, before we'd ever even seen the fence jump or figured out why it was happening.
This franchise always does this. They'll pull one super dramatic moment from the entire season, promote it until we're already sick of seeing it before it's aired, and then save it for the very last moments of the final episode probably. I get it, they have to keep us hooked, but nothing ever quite lives up to the hype. In this article, the author writes that our mantra for the show should be, "The more excited this show is about something, the less excited you should be."
This same thing happens to me on my birthday every year. I'm obsessed with my birthday (coming soon btw), and I count down the days to it for months in advance. In school, I would take up a full piece of paper every August and draw out a calendar with the remaining months and days leading up to my birthday, and cross each day out one-by-one until it arrived. Every year I hype up my birthday, and then when it's actually here I pretty much realize it's just another 24 hours with some cake. Don't get me wrong, I love my birthday, but it's impossible for it to live up to the hype I've created for it. Either way, I still hype it up every year, and I still believed the Bachelor when they tell me (every year) that this will be the Most Dramatic Season Ever.
3. Ride it Out (AKA Nothing Lasts Forever)
We live in a world with very short attention spans. This is never more true than in the world of reality television. We love a contestant one day, and hate them the next. And vice versa.
On the most recent season of Bachelor in Paradise, former fan-favorite Blake came under heavy fire for his actions before the show. Many of his fellow contestants advised him to wait it out, the social media firestorm would only last for a few weeks, before the mob moved on to someone else. Stay under the radar, they suggested, it'll pass.
Of course, he didn't take this advice. Instead, he decided to release private texts between him and another contestant he was certain would paint him in a different light. Naturally, this only fed the fire, and was a generally douche-y move.
In real life, too, nothing lasts forever. Bad times and heartache and uncomfortable moments, they don't last long in the grand scheme of things most of the time. Sometimes you just need to hang in there a little while longer, and know that better times are right around the corner.
4. The Real Neil-Lane-Diamond-Engagement-Ring Was the Friends We Made Along the Way
Everyone on The Bachelor knows what happens if you make it to the final rose ceremony: An engagement with a massive, hand-picked Neil Lane diamond engagement ring.
That's definitely *not* the prize of the show. In reality, the prize is the 1 million followers you're gaining, the paid sponsorships, and the ability to never work again another day in your life if you've played your cards right.
But, beyond that, I think the other prize really is the friends you make along the way. It's a well-known fact that most of the relationships forged on the show don't really last. There's a few outliers, sure, but there aren't a lot of happy couples lingering post-production. However, it only takes a few minutes perusing former contestants' Instagram accounts to see that the friendships created on the show outlast the relationships.
I think what I'm trying to say is, basically, bros before hoes? Friends are the family you choose? Insert some other cliches here for me.
Really though, your significant other may not be the one you take to the fantasy suite or final rose ceremony. But your friends will probably be there along the way. Girl power, and all that.
Thanks for reading this silly, fun, lighthearted (but 100% serious) blog post. I'll be back with more next week!
If you like The Bachelor, here's a plug for my two favorite recap podcasts that bring my life so much joy and happiness during Bachelor seasons.
The Popcast (become a Patreon supporter!)
See you next week 😘🌹