Why I Watch The Bachelor

Writing this post strangely feels like writing a confession, but here it goes - I watch the Bachelor.

I was really late to the Bachelor train, since I only started watching with Sean's season.  Derek was traveling at that time, and every Monday night I would snuggle on the couch with a newborn Gwen and tune in.  I did the same in 2014 when I was pregnant with Clyde, and again in 2015 when I was pregnant with Clarice.  And now I nurse Clarice every Monday night while watching Ben make his picks (I'm not holding my breath on him finding a wife, but you never know).  I even rope Derek into watching with me, and my sister and I talk on the phone to discuss the Bachelor happenings.

I think it's time to admit I'm a fan, reluctantly.

I was feeling introspective recently and thought hard about why I watch the show.  It's not for a taste of some fairytale romance - how authentic can the "romance" even be when it is scripted from start to finish?  I cringe much more often than I swoon.  Though there will occasionally be a Bachelor/ette that I am really rooting for, I haven't particularly liked most of the contestants.  Though I have learned some lessons from the Bachelor, it couldn't really be argued as a reason I watch.  And Goodness knows I don't watch for the high moral standards (Kaitlyn's season almost made me quit watching at all), or a track record of good matches, both of which the show lacks.

Then I realized I can't seem to stop watching for the same reason that I watch Survivor, the same reason that I read Jane Austen novels.

It's a study in human nature.

I like to sit on my couch each Monday and analyze everyone's personalities, everyone's reasons for being on the show.  I like to evaluate what makes the contestants feel like they are "falling in love", what makes certain couples click or flop.   I will never be a novelist, but if I were, there would definitely be some interesting character inspiration to be found.  Human nature has always fascinated me, and I think that is what keeps me coming back.  I like to watch it all unfold.

A good reason to continue watching?  I couldn't tell you, but there it is.

I never watched Emily Maynard's season, but I spotted her book, I Said Yes, recently and picked it up to review.  I knew nothing about her story going in, but to give you a quick recap, she lost her fiancĂ© in a plane crash when she was 18, and then found out that she was pregnant.  After a few years of being a single mom, she was nominated to be on the Bachelor, and later become the Bachelorette (spoiler alert: her Bachelor relationships didn't work out - what did I tell you about the track record?).  

What interested me most about this book was the fact that Emily is a Christian, and I wondered how being on the show fit in with her faith in Jesus.  This book is not just a story of how Emily Maynard eventually finds love, but ultimately it's a story of her Christian testimony.  Though I was skeptical going in, it was refreshing to read how she eventually comes to find a relationship with Jesus and live out her faith.

I appreciated that Emily struck such a nice balance between describing her daughter as a wonderful blessing and also not condoning sex outside of marriage.  Her relationship with her daughter is such a sweet part of her story, and it was so interesting to me to see how being a single mother fit into being on the Bachelor.

If you watched Emily's season, some of the story may be redundant.  Originally I thought it might be hard to get interested in the book since I hadn't seen her season, but I think I enjoyed it more not knowing how her stints on the show were going to play out.  But whether you have seen her season or not, reading about the "behind the scenes" of the show makes this book worthwhile.  The show is even more scripted than I originally knew.  I think what was most shocking to me is hearing about how they just pack up and leave after the final rose is handed out and leave this new couple totally on their own.  Come on, Bachelor producers, some follow-up might increase your success stories!  

If you have watched the show at all, I think you would find this book interesting.  I recommend it to fellow Bachelor fans, even if you are a reluctant fan like me.

Alright, don't let me be the only one making confessions here - what is your "guilty pleasure" TV show?  Do you watch the Bachelor?  Who do you think will make it this season? 

(My guess is that he picks Lauren, then changes his mind and picks Jojo!)

Note: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for a review.  This is my honest opinion.

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Kelsey said...

It's my guilty confession too. :/ and I just signed up to review this book. Should be here soon. I'll let you know my thoughts. :) I'm always intrigued when the bachelor/ette is a Christian-- how do they make sense of all that while being on show?

Amanda Godin said...

We watch Survivor, too! I've never watched the Bachelor, but I agree with your idea about these shows being a study in human nature. We strike up some interesting conversations about the interactions that take place!

Raven said...

I also watch it for guilty pleasure! And my friend and I were just talking about this book last night and she encouraged me to read it.. So now I may just have to pick it up. :) As far as who I think Ben is choosing, I'm conflicted.. I've been thinking Lauren B all the way but him calling someone throws me off! Guess we will just have to wait for the 'most dramatic finale ever'.. Haha!

Whitney @ Journey Mercies said...

Thanks for your perspective - I have to admit to giving my friends a hard time about watching it! I can't handle drama or women trying to get a guy to like them, so I will probably never watch the show regularly. But your views helped me understand why my friends like it (maybe!)

Callie Nicole said...

It's definitely not for everyone! And some seasons are less bearable than others. ;-)

Callie Nicole said...

It just keeps getting to me how he says he is "most himself" with JoJo! I think that counts for a lot.

Callie Nicole said...

Derek and I both love Survivor! Did you watch this week's? I couldn't believe that girl, spilling her guts at tribal - she totally shot herself in the foot! I was thinking "WHAT are you DOING?!!" ;-)

Callie Nicole said...

I would love to hear your thoughts when you are done with it! I have a hard time seeing why a Christian would do the show too. Maynard's story is really interesting, and she grew a lot after doing the show from what I gather!

Hannah M said...

Oh, this sounds just like me! I am even newer at watching the show than you are, I think I started watching towards the end of The Bachelor last year. I was pregnant and Landon was gone on Monday nights and then I just kept watching; guilty pleasure for sure. I've never heard of this book before, but I'm intrigued and would love to hear more of her story and get more of an inside scoop on the show :)

Callie Nicole said...

That was the part that was most interesting, seeing how the show works for the contestants! But she has a pretty interesting story before the show too, so that was a bonus!

Alexandria Mooney said...

Oh my gosh, you watch Survivor too?!! I've never missed an episode EVER! It's totally my favorite reality show--and I'm with you, I watch because it's a study in human nature. I love to watch reality shows to see how people live and interact...especially if it's a way that's different than my way of life (I also love "Bringing Up Bates", the Duggar shows, Little People, Big World and a few others). We should chat about our Survivor theories! I live for Wednesday nights!! :)

Callie Nicole said...

I do! What did you think about last week's (we haven't watched this week yet). I felt kind of bad for that girl, but goodness, sometimes you need to know when to lay low!

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