Chad and I have watched every season of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette since we’ve been married.
This statement is only half embarrassing, mainly because the show, in some ways, makes a mockery out of marriage and is ridiculous in the drama/tv reality department. But the other half is kind of sweet. Sweet might be a stretch. But I’m going to run with it.
I used to HATE on this show. I was convinced it was out to destroy the sanctity of marriage and squish all things beautiful about this LIFE LONG commitment these people are taking when they propose. I only had watched one episode in college, and definitely made my opinions known to my roommates. And then I got married. And I think the mix between being a wedding photographer, and being a wife made me a little more interested in how people meet, date, interact, and deal with this sort of situation. What I found was that this show creates some of the best marriage discussions!
Here are some things I’ve thought about and/or discussed with Chad that has really been good!
- What is healthy dating? The bible doesn’t really address dating. And a dating relationship ISN’T a marriage. To date 18 different guys or girls at the same time isn’t REALLY all that bad in my opinion. It might be unwise in the sense of YOUR mental health, but going against scripture? Not sure it does. To say that you’re in 18 different committed relationships is ABSURD, but going out on dates and getting to know people can be beneficial as long as you set healthy emotional and physical boundaries. Once you commit to someone [boyfriend/girlfriend status or WHATEVER you want to label it], those other 17 people have to be put aside in my opinion, letting them know you’re in pursuit of ONCE person. The bachelor/ette gets tricky when the 18 guys are in pursuit of one girl who is at that point, still casually dating! Can I get a DTR, anyone??? [Define The Relationship]
- Pedestals. On every episode of The Bachelor/ette, it is SO not ok to critique their behavior. Just last week, one of the 18 guys asked the bachelorette not to interrupt him when he’s in the middle of talking. A fair request, especially if she’s really trying to listen and get to know these guys. But this poor guy was ridiculed for it. She said that he was judging her. WHAT? Bringing up the conversation of putting YOURSELF on pedestals. To be in healthy relationship, you have to be able to admit you have faults. Not only that, but you have to be willing to get called out. It’s all part of the growth process, not only of you, but of your relationship. Pedestals can go the other way too. If your partner sees you as “perfect,” you’re in for a period of self analysis to explore your weaknesses and be vulnerable with those!
- Good for me, good for you. Chad and I talked about this yesterday. Our main question when deciding if we wanted to marry each other was, “Is he/she a good match for me?” Now, we never asked this, or verbalized it in such a way, but everytime something happened that was good or bad, there is a decision: could I live with this, is this right for me, is this a deal breaker for me? Me, me, me. Rarely if ever did I ask, “Am I the right person FOR CHAD?” Not in the, “You need me,” sense, but in the, “am I in this relationship for selfish reasons?” Marriage makes that question turn around really quickly. Suddenly you’re in it for the other person, working to “out love” each other. Chad and I realized this yesterday and when I watch the Bachelor/ette, I realize ONE person is making the decisions. “You’re not what I want.” Yes, some people choose to leave, but when you’re not given a rose, you’re DONE.
- Compromise. Being single. Dating. Flirting. Living how I want to live. Making decisions for me only. All of those things are things that Chad and I gave up in order to pursue marriage. Marriage is FULL of compromise. But, just because you give something up, doesn’t mean you’re gaining something TERRIBLE. Why, then, would anyone get married in the first place? In this season, the idea of compromise has arisen quite a bit, mainly surrounding the fact that the Bachelorette has a child. So, not only is this guy going to get married, he’s going to become a dad at the same time. No matter what, there is compromise involved there. Even though the bachelorette is convinced it’s not compromise, her future husband IS giving up something in order to be a dad. BUT the gain is so much better, right? I have yielded to things I wanted in order to marry/keep up a healthy marriage with Chad. And I’d do it again without blinking.