Pros and Cons of Dating Reality Shows


I'm sure we've all seen the ads for 'reality' shows that try to help people find love. First, there was The Bachelor, where several women competed for the heart of a businessman. Since then, there have been several other shows with different settings, but all have the same goal-to help whoever is hosting (or starring) find love. We're right to be skeptical about whether or not this is possible but, even if it isn't,
we just can't stop watching! Like most other things, they have their advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the ups and downs of dating reality shows as I see them.

First, there's the romance factor. They look romantic, which is probably the main reason so many women watch them; well, that, and the fact that a lot of the men are hot! However, it's 'fake' romance, set up for an audience. While most of us are realistic enough not to expect limos, strawberries and champagne all the time, it can set expectations too high. We know that the fairy-tale romances we daydreamed about as kids aren't real, but sometimes the shows can remind you just how 'not real' they are. The truth is that almost all men are going to fall short when compared to these unrealistically rich and poetic 'bachelors'. I know this well because I saw a lot of flaws in my then-boyfriend because he wasn't as romantic or attentive as the men on the show. It's not that I was 'comparing' him to those men so much as that it made me think about the things I wasn't happy about in our relationship.

In a way, though, this is a good thing. Those feelings of dissatisfaction can foster discussion about the things in your relationship that triggered them, opening the lines of communication for both of you. Whether the relationship works out or not, you've had to sit down and realistically think about where it is going and whether or not it can be what you want and need in the long run. This relationship did not work out, and that was for the best because I now have a wonderful husband. He doesn't give me flowers or take me out on his (non-existent) yacht, but he does take the time and care to talk about things and really listen to what I have to say.

There was one takeoff of 'The Bachelor' called 'More To Love', where everyone on the show was of a normal- to plus-sized weight. I say 'normal' because, while the average woman in the US is a size 12, the average female reality show contestant is a 2 or a 4! If you've ever seen any of the other shows, you know exactly what I mean. The very fact that networks were even willing to have a show like this indicates that perhaps the tide is turning in terms of standards of beauty.

There was one short-lived show called 'Beauty and the Geek' that helped reinforce the idea that it's not just about looks, it's about what's on the inside too. In today's celebrity-obsessed world, there's always a need for that. For all of us former- and current- nerds out there, it's nice to see one of us come out on top for a change!

And finally, there's the 'circus freak' factor. Some shows like Rock of Love or Flavor Of Love that feature aging musicians trying to find girlfriends make the rest of us feel normal.

Like I said, dating reality shows have their ups and downs. While I wouldn't suggest them as 'teaching tool' for young girls (some of them aren't suitable for kids anyway), they can make us think about things in our own lives. Since they aren't going anywhere anytime soon, we might as well find something positive to say. If nothing else, you can usually find some good eye candy!

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