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Jul 10, 2015

Love, The Bachelorette, and Other Musings


Let me start off this post by saying that I don't think I've ever written a post about The Bachelor or The Bachelorette before, and frankly, I doubt I ever will again.  It's one of those shows that I catch from time to time (like, every other season), and I love watching it with my mom and giggling about how dramatic they make it all look.  I don't "trust the process" that this show proclaims is the way the star will find the love of their life.  Mostly, I find it to be just fun, entertaining, albeit occasionally trashy, TV.

But there's something about this season that just isn't sitting well with me and frankly, it makes my heart hurt a little bit.

If you've been watching this season of The Bachelorette, you probably know that it's been one of the most controversial and rule-breaking seasons to date (and yes, I know they say that about every season).  Besides breaking away from the typical recap-dates-rose ceremony-preview formula and putting most of the rose ceremonies smack dab in the middle of the episode so that you don't know which way is up (guys, I'm seriously annoyed by this!), this season of The Bachelorette has featured a bachelorette who's fun-loving, carefree, and very sexual attitude has had her going to bed with suitors early on in the season and being pretty forthcoming on all of the juicy details.

But that's not what has me sad about this season.  Frankly, I'm not naive.  I know that waiting until marriage to have sex is not the cultural norm and I'm not going to pretend like I don't realize that sex happens behind the scenes on this series.  While it's not the lifestyle choice that I've made, I also don't think that it's my place to judge someone else who has different beliefs than me.

What does have me reeling a little bit is how many times Kaitlyn has sat in the interview room and cried over "jeopardizing her relationship" with other guys because of how she's acted in the moment. She's cried over the damage she may have done by sleeping with one of the guys; she's sobbed about letting things go too far when she told a guy that he was "the one."  And then, the real thing that is killing me is how many times she's said that she feels good when she's with a particular guy.

And there it is, friends....she "feels."  She feels good or feels like a woman or feels desired.  And if I was her, I'd probably feel the same way.  Drop any girl into a fantasy world of extravagant dates and attractive guys who are all focused on her, and who wouldn't feel all of those things?

But the problem is this:  love is about so much more than how you feel.

I'm no expert in love, and I'm certainly not going to pretend to know much about marriage, but I do know this:  love, real love, withstands the waves of how you feel.  Love is a choice.  When you're committed to someone to the point of wanting to spend the rest of your life with them, you wake up each morning and make the decision to love that person whether you feel like it or not.

Because the truth is that there will be days when you don't feel like it.  There will be days when you don't feel desired or good.  There will be days when love hurts.  And there may even be days when the world presents something to you that holds the promise of making you feel better than the way love is making you feel.

And if all you have is how you feel, if your love is built on feeling, then that's not going to sustain you.  Obviously, the process of The Bachelor franchise isn't the most healthy way to date and meet a future spouse.  So while The Bachelorette is all fun and games for those of us viewing from the comfort of our homes, the reality is that it's real people involved, which means real hearts and real hurt.  Sure, it pretends to take love seriously, but never before have I seen a star talk all of the "finding the one" talk while simultaneously seeming to have little grasp on what it truly means to love someone.

The glitz and the glamour of The Bachelorette is attractive and romantic and it's easy to see how a girl could get wrapped up in all of it.  And I can't deny that watching those extravagant helicopter rides to Irish cliffs and candlelit dinners in centuries-old monasteries often make my heart swoon!  But no matter how movie-esque your life is, at the end of the day, love is still about so much more than how you feel.

I wish there was more honestly in the media today...more couples who fight for their love; whose love is forged through a foundation of friendship and built on mutual faith in Jesus.  More couples who stand together and decide to stay and fight when things get hard instead of taking out that pre-nup and filing the divorce papers.  I wish that young girls who were sitting at home on Monday nights watching "real life" fairy-tales a la The Bachelor would see a couple fight through the hard moments and see how real love doesn't just send someone home when they feel like they're "not connecting this week" or that the "relationship isn't progressing fast enough."

I wish we saw more examples of how love is patient; how love is kind.  How it does not envy or boast or dishonor others.  How it's not proud or self-seeking.  How it's not easily angered or keep record of wrongs and how love seeks the truth and delights in it.

I wish we saw more examples of how love always protects, trust, hopes, and perseveres.

Wouldn't the world be a different place if we really took 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 to heart?

18 comments:

  1. My husband and I have been watching it, but I can tell that most of the "relationships" that come from the show never work out. There are the select few that do, but they are so few and far between that I can't see how this show has lasted as long as it has. And they sure do bring the drama. Oh man.


    But I do agree with you too, that love is much more than how you feel. It's similar to the love vs. lust comparison. Your post was very well said!

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  2. Love this, so true! As one who has been married for 9 years I can attest to everything you said being absolutely right! Love IS a choice that you make every day, regardless of how you feel. Yes you will have the days where everything is wonderful and you feel loved and desired, but you will also have days where the feelings aren't there and that's OK and normal! It's what you do with those days that makes the difference!

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  3. I love this so much. As an avid Bachelor/ette fan, I totally know where you are coming from and agree that forming relationships is really about so much more than just instant gratification. And I honestly really don't care who's sleeping with who--that's all beside the point. But there is a matter of lust and sometimes it's hard to distinguish those feelings for what they really are. Love is all of those things you describe above... but as someone who's had to really WORK at a relationship, I'm not sure that it would make for great TV (though it IS always THE MOST IMPORTANT THING to work through the problems, rather than pretend they don't exist in the first place).

    Anyway, this was a long-winded way of saying that as much as I love the Bachelor franchise, I recognize that it's about as far from reality as you could ever get (though who doesn't love those beautiful backdrops/scenery, AMIRIGHT?!) XOXO

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  4. Sarah @ Laze L FarmJuly 10, 2015 at 3:37 PM

    Amen amen amen! I'm glad someone has finally said something. This season has not been very good. When everything started Katelyn seemed so genuine and funny. Now that the show has moved on in the season I feel like she has changed into someone else. She is changing herself so the guys will like her. It's a bad example to girls these days what to expect.

    I always say marriage is not for the faint of heart. It's not easy and it's not a fairytale every day. But with effort it's worth it knowing you have someone that will love you no matter what!

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  5. Definitely not a fan of the show but I wholeheartedly agree with your thoughts otherwise. My grandfather (the cutest man who lived in my opinion), spent 65 years with a wonderful but extremely difficult woman. When asked how he stayed with her and loved her all that time, his response was so beautiful that I'll never forget it. He simply said, "I wake up and choose to love her every day." Every day is a choice to love, a choice to fight for love, and for happiness. His words have been fundamental to my own marriage over the last 2 years. It's definitely a wonderful reminder that we need more women encouraging each other to think this way!

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  6. I love this post! I watch The Bachelor/ette every week, and while it's entertaining, it's not an example of true love.

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  7. This is so perfect and SO true!!! It's hard to see people's hurt on this show...

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  8. AH BETSY. I am reading this post going "yes." "YES." "YESSSSS!!!!!!" Love is SO much more than fleeting feels...it's this constant, ongoing commitment, reoccurring everyday when you wake up. That's one thing the show just lacks, which will always keep it in the trashy, unrealistic realm of reality TV. Such a good post on your part. Such truth. <3

    Coming Up Roses

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  9. Girl, confession - I've never been able to watch the show because it breaks my heart (like sometimes I cry about it because my heart is so broken for them) - it is hard to see people who are looking for love, acceptance, value, and worth looking in the wrong place - no man (not even a good man) can do that for us. The Lord is the only one who can meet that need and my heart aches to see so many people throw their hearts around - searching, asking, looking, and trying to find their value.


    I totally agree. And that is what we need to be for the world Betsy. We need to be single, dating, and married women who have a strong sense of identity. Not in the man we may or may not be with but in the Lord. And that should spill over into or relationships and our marriages. Because our marriages shouldn't look like the rest of the worlds. Our relationships are base on Love that comes from the Father - trust- forgiveness- and grace! It is selfless not self seeking and that will stand out like a sore thumb in this would. We have o be the voice. We have to be the examples. We have to meet with those who have gone before us and encourage the younger generations!

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  10. I'm so with you, Beth! I love having some amazing women in my life who represent strong, Godly marriages, and it's such a blessing to be able to look to them for a great example! I want my marriage to be modeled off of the Love of our Father, and I want it to be able to inspire and encourage others to do the same! The show really does break my heart...it's an institution of love & marriage in the entertainment world (I mean, look at how many years it's been running and it runs 2-3 seasons each calendar year!). I'm so sad for the men & women who go on the show and those who sit at home watching and think that it's an example of love and commitment, when clearly, its the opposite.

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  11. Thanks so much Erica...I couldn't agree more! As fun as it can be to "play pretend" in the fantasy world of TV, it's not real life and it's sad that people watching it may think it is!

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  12. Awe, thank you SO much! I totally agree...more people need to fully understand what it means to fight for your relationship!

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  13. It is so hard, Amberly! Especially when we know what real love and commitment looks like! I'm always like "it could be SO MUCH BETTER!" when I'm sitting at home watching.

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  14. True, Bailey! I think it's one thing to watch and know the difference between the fantasy TV world and real life, but unfortunately, it makes me sad to think that so many out there (including some of the people on the show) can't make that separation!

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  15. Ha...it's funny, because I sort of wrote this while watching and episode and I was like "should I even bother?" But it just makes me sad, you know? I agree...I totally rooted for her in the beginning and now I'm not impressed, but even moreso, I feel sad for her! I think she has a lot going for her, but she isn't making terribly smart decisions.

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  16. That is the sad thing....real love isn't glamorous and dramatic, so it won't ever be found on primetime. Obviously lavish dates where you fly off to the edge of an Irish cliff in a helicopter make for better TV than filming a couple sitting down on the first Sunday of the month to talk about their monthly budget. haha But yes, I'm with you...I do love those beautiful backdrops!

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