ABC’s popular televison show, The Bachelor, might make for enjoyable entertainment, but the love match-ups certainly aren’t working out very well, are they? Think of all those wasted roses!
Bachelors are from Mars, Bachelorettes from Venus!
Many books have been written about the pursuit of love. One of the top authors on the subject is John Gray, PhD., who wrote the Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus books. In his book, Mars and Venus on a Date, he outlines the five stages of relationships in the order they normally unfold: Attraction, Uncertainty, Exclusivity, Intimacy, and then Engagement.
Gray debunks the romanticized notion that, “When you meet the right person, you just know.” He explains that other factors affect how receptive a person is to recognizing someone right for them: past relationships, how they dealt with those break-ups, and whether their heart is really open to love again. He stresses that couples must work their way through these five stages, without skipping any of them.
Using Gray’s logic, it is impossible for each Bachelor to work through these stages in the correct order. He is set up to fail by being forced to move through the TV relationship in this order: Attraction, Intimacy without Exclusivity, Engagement and then Uncertainty.
Additionally, how can a guy choose with his heart when given twenty-five beautiful choices? Isn’t he tempted with selecting arm candy, rather than love?
History of ABC’s The Bachelor
With Jake Pavelka’s recent split with Vienna Girardi, the success rate of The Bachelor is still at 0%. The show is responsible for seven proposals and six dating relationships that failed, and one Bachelor who just passed. Here’s a recap:
Bachelors Who Proposed
Out of fourteen seasons, seven bachelors actually proposed.
–Season 2 (2002) – Aaron Buerge, proposed to Helene Eksterowicz, but they split within the year.
-Season 3 (2003) – Andrew Firestone proposed to Jen Schefft. She moved to California, but they broke up December 2003, remaining friends.
-Season 6 (2004) – Byron Velvick proposed (in Spanish) to Maribel Liliana “Mary” Delgado. They lasted five years after the proposal and two years after Delgado Punched Velvick in the mouth following a Bachelor reunion show.
-Season 10 (2007) – Andrew Baldwin proposed to Tessa Horst May 2007, they broke off the engagement within a month but continued to date, ending it completely in September of the same year.
-Season 12 (2008 ) – Matt Grant proposed to Lorenzo Lamas’ daughter, Shayne Lamas, but they announced the end of their engagement July 2008.
-Season 13 (2009) – Jason Mesnick proposed to Melissa Rycroft but broke the engagement on the show’s “After the Final Rose” episode, where he also asked runner-up Molly Malany for a date. If Jason had initially proposed to Molly, he would have been the one successful Bachelor, since he married Molly in a televised wedding February 2010.
-Season 14 (2010) – Jake Pavelka proposed to Vienna Girardi, but after less than six months, their explosive breakup has been smeared across the tabloids and on national TV , as I wrote about in my article, “Bachelor Jake Pavelka and Vienna Done”. Of all the splits, this one has been the messiest, with Vienna accusing Jake of not wanting to sleep with her and being a “fame whore”, and Jake accusing Vienna of cheating.
Bachelors Who Dodged the Proposal
Seven Bachelors opted for a continued relationship, in lieu of proposing on bended knee.
-Season 1 (2002) – Alex Michel, asked Amanda Marsh to continue a relationship, but they broke up several months later.
-Season 4 (2003) – Bob Guiney gave Estella Gardinier a promise ring , but they broke up after the show aired.
-Season 5 (2004) – Jesse Palmer continued to date his choice, Jessica Bowlin, but they broke up after a few months of dating.
-Season 7 (2005) – Charlie O’Connell asked Sarah Brice to try a relationship which became an on and off again thing, ending officially in 2010.
-Season 8 (2006) – Travis Lane Stork asked Sarah Stone to “take a chance at love” but they broke it off after the show aired.
-Season 9 (2006) – Prince Lorenzo Borghese gave a promise ring to Jennifer Wilson. They broke it off within a month of the final episode, at which time the runner-up from the show, Sadie Murray moved to New York and started dating the Prince. That only lasted a few months.
Bachelors Who Took a Pass
The only Bachelor who passed on pursuing any kind of relationship was Brad Womack from Season 11 (2007) He sent both Deanna Pappas and Jenni Croft on that tearful limo ride.
Should We Give the Guys a Break?
Maybe the fans of ABC’s The Bachelor should tune in each season with different expectations. After all, finding someone compatible isn’t easy and couples fall out of love in real life too, don’t they? Rearranging Gray’s five stages for the purposes of filming the show is probably further reducing each couple’s chances for success.
Could it be that each of the Bachelors were truly looking for love, however, because men are built to be the ones who pick and pursue, the blame lies in the flawed concept of The Bachelor? Gray wrote, “To create a relationship, a woman must be careful not to pursue a man but to be responsive to his pursuit”. Based on Gray’s theory, how can a guy experience being idolized and pursued by multiple gorgeous women, and end up wanting any of them? As much flack as Brad Womack got for his decision not to pick someone, he was probably the only Bachelor thinking clearly and truly in touch with his Y chromosome.
We’ll keep hoping that The Bachelor will deliver us a loving union eventually, but if you’re heading to Vegas, don’t place a bet on it.
Wikipedia – The Bachelor (TV Series)
John Gray, Mars and Venus on a Date, 1997, Published by Harper Collins
The Hollywood Gossip website
The Internet Movie Database (IMDb)