Love lessons from ‘The Bachelor’

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve been spending part of my Monday evenings for the past few months watching “The Bachelor.” Along with 8 million other viewers, I’ve been intrigued by how a 28 year-old businessman from Dallas named Sean Lowe simultaneously interacts with 26 women to discover his “soul mate” and “best friend.”

I don’t know why I watch this show, as I get irritated by the phoniness that is inevitable when one guy simultaneously misleads numerous women into thinking that they are special. This reality show is anything but a realistic portrayal of love and relationships. Here’s what I’ve learned about dating over the past several weeks.

1. The perfect date. Ask your romantic partner to do something she hates doing, and consider it some type of test as to her level of trust or sense of adventure. If your date is afraid of heights, pressure her to repel down a tall building. Tell her it’s a reflection of her ability to trust in you. Here’s another great way to evaluate your potential wife. Ask her to eat insects as a measure of her willingness to try new things.

2. The perfect woman. Date only physically attractive women, and comment constantly on how beautiful they are. Look for women who comment extensively on your appearance as well. Avoid any serious conversation about ideas, values or lifestyle.

3. Conceal your true feelings. Expect each woman to be vulnerable and express their love to you, while you carefully mislead each person into thinking they are special. Keep using trite phrases like “best friend” or “I could see myself spending my life with you.” This gets a bit tricky with the last three women, as each agrees to spend a night with you without cameras in the “fantasy suite.”

4. Be physically affectionate. Help each of the women feel special by lots of physical contact. Don’t ever discuss the fact that you’ve been doing the exact same things with other women. Just continue to manipulate the situation so that every person feels like she is the lucky one to be selected as your next wife.

In the real world, if you really want to find a lifelong partner, date people who are respectful of each other’s feelings, and don’t pressure you to eat bugs or repel down a building. Don’t use words to conceal what you really think and feel. While physical appearance matters, recognize that we all get old and things change after a while.

This dating stuff is all about finding someone you can really trust who is nice and has similar interests and values. It’s really all that simple, although I know that would make for a boring TV program.

Next week: Questions from readers.

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