Is The Bachelor an effective way to find love?

Peter, The Bachelor, looks to hand out a rose as he searches for love.

CBS Interactive Inc.

Peter, The Bachelor, looks to hand out a rose as he searches for love.

Morgan Smith, Staff Writer

Tears, crying, and heartbreak. Season 24 of The Bachelor has almost landed with Peter Weber, often known as Pilot Pete, searching for his co-pilot. 

This season began with Peter making it very clear he is there to find his soulmate. Last year, Hannah Brown’s love story became a disaster when she affianced Jed Wyatt without the knowledge that he had a girlfriend before entering the show. He was planning to use the show to promote his music career. Because Peter knows this first hand, he is taking precautions, making sure that the final girl is there for the right reasons, so this does not happen to him too.

Being on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette provides opportunities for people to create a social platform for themselves. Most participants end the season racking up hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers, if not millions. Opportunities like being on Bachelor in Paradise, a show run by the same production similar to Love Island often arise. In addition, some contestants get asked to be on The Ellen Show or other talk shows. They often start their own successful Youtube career, or simply do brand deals.

For Peter, he is introduced to thirty strangers on night one, with no clue about their intentions, pasts, or hopes. It is then up to Peter, who cannot see his friends or family, to figure out his top four, meaning the final four girls, before being able to meet their families, and then the final two girls get to meet his. 

This season sparked controversy when former bachelorette, Hannah Brown, called off the engagement, and showed up on the first day of The Bachelor to see if she and Peter still had chemistry. This left Peter confused on his initial days as the bachelor.

However, he made the executive decision that he needed a fresh start. However, Peter knew he was recently in love with her, and  those feelings had not completely gone away. This quick transition from heartbreak to now being on a journey for your soulmate is challenging, and puts the person in a very vulnerable position, often clouding their thoughts and perspective.

Although I enjoy the show, I do not think it is the best example in showing how to find love. For starters, your significant other is dating twenty-nine other people. How are you supposed to open your heart up to the person you want to be your husband or wife when they are kissing, flirting, and sharing intimate moments with several other people.

For example, there are group dates, which can be up to a dozen women. Usually, the contestants compete on these dates against one another in various activities like a runway show or a football game. The woman who wins the competition will get some one-on-one time with Peter, while the rest are left to essentially fight for it. Because of the need to fight for Peter’s time and love, the girls get into petty arguments with each other. They do not know who to trust and who is their friend. Essentially, anything they say can be weaponized against them in their relationship with Peter. 

In addition, this added pressure the girls put on the Bachelor when telling him about another girls problems, confuses him. Out of the two girls who are telling the truth? Peter is left to find this out by himself with no aid. The girls cannot be fully transparent with each other because their relationship with Peter is no one else’s business; however, some feel the need to but in and make assumptions.

For example, Kelsey, a woman from Peter’s season, is trying to manage the pressures of falling in love with him, while watching date other girls. This is not coming from a jealous position, just a sad one, trying to accept how this whole process works.

Tammy, another woman from his season, sees Kelsey in this vulnerable state and tries comforting her. However, not long after, she goes to Peter tattling on Kelsey. She also spreads rumors that Kelsey has a drinking problem after she got drunk once, and claims Kelsey is emotionally unstable. Situations like this occur over and over again with differing people. The girls are so fake towards one another, which overall adds to the awkwardness of the situation. Overall, I would say this is a pretty toxic cycle.

Also, having one’s love life plastered on television for millions of people to watch and judge is not healthy. Cameras follow their every move and catching every thing and then replay it on TV, which is unimaginable. People watching the show have also interrupted the season and dished to the Bachelor or Bachelorette about negative things about specific people.

For example, during this season Peters ex-girlfriend, Merissa Pence, ran into him one day and told Peter that Victoria F., someone Peter fell in love with, had broken up marriages in the past. This left Peter lost and confused, and extremely impacted his relationship with Victoria. With so little time for Peter to figure out who his person is, these red flags seem immense and can very likely end the relationship.

Furthermore, the girls on the show are ridiculed from almost everything. Many of the girls have received death threats on social media and constant hate about race, hair, body, and more. They are being harassed for things that these girls were born with. In addition to this hate, which is inevitable once one has chosen to go on this show, the girls are judged based on expectations they have for their relationship. For example, Madison, someone very special to Peter, who he has fallen deeply in love with, has grown up very religious and has made the decision to save herself for marriage. She told Peter that she could not be with him if he made the decision to be intimate with another girl, given that the week following an engagement is the expectation.

Madison received backlash from this expectation, when really it is very understandable. The other girls said giving Peter “an ultimatum” is not fair to him. This, however, is not what she is doing, she was simply stating boundaries. And yes, the girls knew that fantasy suites, the opportunity to be with Peter overnight, are a part of the process, but having an expectation for one’s relationship are reasonable because relationships are a two-way street.

Overall, The Bachelor has become a show where people do find love. But the chances of that in these circumstances is very low. More often than not, a couple will get engaged and then later call it off because they are excluded from so much in each other’s lives before making such a life changing decision. They are rushed to an engagement because that it was the expectation of The Bachelor or Bachelorette is in the end. Finding love on this show is not effective because of the challenges and surprises that come along the way. As well as all the hurt feelings along the way drive to the question: Is the show really worth it?