Opinion: ‘The Bachelor’ doesn’t feature realistic romance

For years, people have been watching a young man or woman choose from a sea of young singles willing to give love another chance. The idea has been addressed multiple times by VH1, MTV and CW, but ABC struck it big with the show “The Bachelor.” Just like a dating app, “The Bachelor” has never-ending possibilities — and the choice is always his.

I started watching the show when my little sister brought it to my attention. I was skeptical, but tried to keep an open mind. I can’t understand how women would actually want to compete for a man’s heart and be willing to stand by while he flirts with someone else. Hearing contestants talk about marriage seems odd when they are only spending ten weeks with their desired ‘fiancé.’ They all seem to take it very seriously. It’s too much for me.

The dates — often extravagant and over-the-top — participate in activities couples who are just getting to know each other wouldn’t normally do. Dates after “The Bachelor” would be dull in comparison. How could you outdo dancing on stage with the Backstreet Boys, or riding in hot air balloons? I’m not saying going to the movies or just having a dinner at Olive Garden is bad, but it’s easy to get caught up in the moment with a fancy date put together by producers.

The show is centered around the contestants and their lives. Not a lot of the contestants get to share their story. It seems like the relationship is one sided until the very end, when a winner is picked. Relationships shouldn’t be like that. The bachelors or bachelorettes often talk about their hometowns, but what if their match doesn’t like their hometown and doesn’t want to relocate? The women always talk about wanting to move in with the “bachelor-prize,” but on “The Bachelorette,” she rarely ever mentions having the men relocate to her hometown. Most of time, the bachelorettes end up moving to the winner’s hometown. The titular bachelors and bachelorettes have the most control in both shows. They both get to send people home, unless the producers have to interfere. The bachelors’ only worry is usually the women that chase the money or mess around with the house staff. On the other hand, the bachelorettes’ only worry is men seeking fame.

On top of that, all the prior bachelors and bachelorettes have been white, with the exception of Juan Pablo Galavis, who was a Venezuelan-American soccer player. Cayla Quinn — who was half white and Filipino — was supposed to be the bachelorette until they made the last minute decision to switch her out with JoJo Fletcher (who was white). A more diverse cast or a person of color as the bachelor or bachelorette would be a nice change because — if you’re fortunate enough — there are usually people with many different backgrounds.

People of color need love too.

Providing a much more diverse group could give the titular bachelor or bachelorette a better chance to find something they never thought they needed. The cast members usually don’t showcase what majority of people in this country look like. Maybe the idea of dating a person of color from Switzerland never crossed their mind, and after giving it a chance, they might find out they should have kept an open mind.

Out of the 20-something seasons, only four couples are still together, showing that the journey for love often doesn’t go beyond the show. Former “Bachelor” contestant, Emily Maynard ended up marrying her hometown sweetheart after a failed engagement to Brad Womack in 2011. She was engaged once more after her own season of “The Bachelorette” to Jeff Holm, but split months after. Maynard found love without ABC, showing that it comes naturally and not through a 10 week production.

ILLUSTRATION BY ALEXX ELDER

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