Each time I watch another sensational episode of The Bachelorette, I’m overcome with the urge to lecture my daughter in hopes that she never ends up on national television with 20 of the world’s most eligible douchebags vying for her hand in marriage.
Let’s gloss over the fact that in order to become the Bachelorette, she would’ve had to claw her way to the top four amongst a house full of crazy women, fighting to marry the bachelor who was rejected by a past bachelorette in a vicious cycle of rejection and desperation that dates back to when the show began.
And let’s just start at the point wherein she’s ugly-crying in the backseat of a limo, looking like a jilted prom date, sobbing, “I just don’t understand.”
Or, rather, let’s fast forward to the point where she knows this horrendously unflattering moment is going to be played back on a giant screen on the “Women Tell All” episode, while Chris Harrison puts on his best soap opera face then asks in front of millions, “How did that feel?”
Let’s think hard about that moment before we tell producers, “Oh, hells yes. Me being the Bachelorette is going to be AH-MAZING.
And I’ll be totally different from all the flailing hot messes that came before me, whose relationships didn’t work out. I’m totally going to find love. Yes.”
No, my darling. Just … no.
Now, let’s go into the eye of the storm. At that first cocktail party, you’re putting yourself into a room full of semi-drunk beefcakes who take off their shirts for no good reason, call each other “bro,” and occasionally write really bad, corny love poems that try way too hard to rhyme.
If the junior high girl in you swoons at this moment, you’re in no position to be dating with the intention of marriage.
Not to mention you’ll be faced with a number of creepy guys you aren’t attracted to going in for a kiss without your consent.
Heck, you may even be faced with the rapey guy who needs to be removed from the house on the first night. Honestly, if that first cocktail party doesn’t make you seek out Chris Harrison, drop the mic and say, “I’m out.”
May I reiterate: you’re in no position to be dating with the intention of marriage.
While I understand the desire to travel the world while falling in love, can we be real for a moment and consider the implications of an engagement that comes on the tail-end of a lavish globetrotting session you couldn’t afford in real life?
Going on dream dates where the itinerary is planned for you, sharing first kisses on the Eiffel Tower, getting to know someone in a bubble of perfection (you know, when house drama isn’t making you ugly cry again, which it will) — these scenarios aren’t exactly building a solid base for a relationship that will have to live on in your mediocre apartment post-show.
Also, let’s not forget that this ill-advised engagement comes after a brief ten weeks of filming.
Ten weeks out of which you’ve probably only spent a couple of days with your future husband (if you make it to the altar, which, let’s face it, you probably won’t).
If you want to marry a stranger, you might as well let me arrange a marriage for you. I’ll save you the trouble of getting kind of slutty in front of millions of home viewers and reality crushing your “fairytale romance” when filming ends. Plus, I get to pick my son-in-law. Win-win, right?
I’m just saying, it’s my duty as a mother to guide you towards making wise decisions.
It’s my duty to raise you in a way that will curb the insecurities and desperation that could lead you to find love in a group of disillusioned muscle men hungry for fame.
And subsequently, it’s my duty to crush your dreams of becoming the next Bachelorette. I’m sorry, but you’re welcome.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally posted in July 2015.
Gemma Hartley is a freelance writer whose writing has appeared on Early Mama, Child Mode, MindBodyGreen, Role/Reboot and Mom.me. Visit her website for more.