Monday, February 21, 2011

Committing to the Bachelor

Throughout the series, there is an ongoing conversation between the bachelor and the contestants about commitment. It seems to me that there is an off -balance understanding of commitment. Let's take a look at this checklist developed by relationship expert, David Steele, defining what it means to NOT be in a committed relationship... 
1. Your partner is not aware your relationship is committed 4
2. You are wondering if this relationship is committed  4
3. You and your partner have differences of opinion about the status of your relationship 4
4. Your family and friends have different perceptions about the status of your relationship 4
5. You and your partner have not acted to explicitly formalize your commitment in some way 4
6. You are relying on verbal promises without a significant track record of them being kept 4

In The Bachelor, there is this sense of ambiguity, as bachelor, Brad Womack cannot actually tell the women how he feels about them. Yes, he can tell them he likes them, but how much is that actually worth when they are confessing their love for him, and at the same time he is sharing the same experiences with other women. In the real world, this would definitely NOT be considered a committed and healthy relationship, but this is national television, after all. Take a look at last week's episode as Chantal O. has a breakdown over this issue around the 7:50 mark. 

-Real(ity) Love Critic


  1. So I must admit I finally watched my first episode ever of The Bachelor last week. I did so mostly to understand what is so gripping about this show (something I still haven't figured out, unfortunately). But one of the things I was wondering was the exact topic of your post. When Chantal was getting upset about not receiving the rose, I sort of wondered how you can be directly confronted by such an obvious lack of commitment. Can she really recover and still have a meaningful relationship with Brad after that if she does get picked? (Ugh, maybe I am gripped too).

  2. Greg, I'm so glad you watched an episode. I'm still wondering what is so gripping as well. I guess it's what they call a guilty pleasure.

  3. Guys don't like girls that cry. She really made it worse for herself by saying that might as well go home at this stage of the game. She is upset at him for not making a commitment to her but feels its ok to just leave when she doesn't get her own way. I didn't watch the episode, did she end up getting voted out?

  4. I really want to get into this show. For years, I have heard about how "gripping" it is and that you get addicted very easily. Although I read your blog Steph and enjoy the analysis, I just for some reason cannot get into it. I saw a preview of a girl balling her eyes out and making a fool of herself and knew that the show wasn't for me.

  5. This is the first season I've ever watched of the bachelor, and although I was really into it at the beginning of the season, I've become disinterested. I think I became annoyed with the girls and Brad, and just couldn't handle any more conversations about the commitment you spoke of.

  6. I too am someone who just cannot get into this show, however badly I would like to. Last summer I tried to go back and watch a past season but for the life of me could not get through the second episode of the season I was watching (It was the one with the pilot). Unfortunately it had nothing to do with the content per se, as when it was 'gripping' I kept wanting to watch it. I just found it slow and drawn out, like when your watching a music awards show and they say Lady Gaga is up next and your only watching to see her performance but you have to keep watching for an hour for it to come on. However, I really like how you are taking the show in and using it for your blog as relationship advice.

  7. I love how Greg has now coined the term "gripping." I'm not defending the show by any means, I honestly have to say that I didn't really watch entire seasons of the Bachelor (other than the very first one) until now, but there is something entertaining about women/men feeling that they have to resort to TV to find a relationship. If anything, there's an element of humour that I think if you can get past the shallowness of it all, that you can appreciate. It's pathetic that TV has now resorted to watching others suffer in a way, but it's reality, and although I'm sure a lot of viewers would not admit it, they do like to live vicariously through the "protagonists" on the show. There has to be something "gripping" that has somehow made this show last for 15 seasons (although none of us can see it).

  8. "It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”

    -Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author of “The Little Prince”

    Maybe this is what makes the show so gripping...