I know I’ve mentioned it a million times but I seriously HATE The Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise. So much.
First of all, I hate how my Twitter TL is all “This is so romantic” or “Poor ____, it won’t last” or “That’s the only type of proposal I want. Neil Lane ring too, because that’s real love.” Please all go die in a fire. Secondly, I hate that it’s considered super romantic to compete with 29 other people for some person who is systematically toying with a whole bunch of emotions. Then you can’t see each other in the really real world after the show, because your “love” must be exploited for ratings. Barf.
None of it is real. None of it. The exotic locations, the phoney dates, all of it is for show. Yes, it has produced two successful marriages, the exception isn’t always the rule (My friend got married on her fifth date, but that doesn’t mean it works for everyone). These people don’t know how to roll with the punches, with the crap that sucks, with the fights and the clogged drains and the communication mishaps, etc. While it all seems romantic, these stupid shows give the idea that love is warm and fuzzy and dare I say, easy.
Even Nicholas Sparks added conflict. While people remember that Noah and Allie from the Notebook conquered every obstacle, including years of separation to find their happy ending, people forget that they fought every day. It wasn’t easy; they fought all of the time! They struggled and worked to endure and they did. But that gets lost along the way amongst the swans and the romance. IMO, the greatest quote from that book and film is this one:
“Well, that’s what we do. We fight. You tell me when I’m being a arrogant son of a bitch; and I tell you when your being a pain in the ass, which you are, 99% of the time. I’m not afraid to hurt your feelings. You’ve got like a two-second rebound rate; then you’re back to doing the next pain in the ass thing. It’s not going to be easy, No. It’s going to be hard. But I’m willing to work at this; because I want you. All of you. Forever. You and Me. Everyday”
Real love, true love is the person who knows you’re a douchebag and still wants you. The person who understands that you probably suck, you’re not as great as you think you are (or as horrible as you think you are) and accepts everything you do, even those things that suck ass. They love you when you’re the least likeable, when you do the things that your friends hate, they hold onto you when you push them away and even when everything sucks and nothing looks hopeful and you can’t even stand that person’s face, you still want to try, one last time to see if it all works out. Yes, that seems a little dramatic, but it’s true. All of the greatest couples that I know have had their shares of miscommunications, problems and struggles. Maybe money was tight. Maybe they didn’t know how to talk to each other. Maybe they broke up and acted like total dicks and in a moment of clarity realized he/she was the right person and started over. We don’t have an instruction manual to help us deal with other humans and we generally mess it all up. But the person who’s right for you is willing to work through all of the stuff that sucks to get to the parts that are amazing and that’s not something you can get from a TV show. You get to do cool stuff and go to pretty places, but how are you going to handle the tough times, when you’re not on the same page and you need to slow down/speed up, or the dishwasher is broken, or you got in that big stupid fight about stupid stuff? That’s the thing that truly defines love.
Truthfully, if someone could love me for me, through my general kookiness, give me a million chances, understand that I’m too nice to get angry and I’ll probably cry 18 times a month, the locations, the ring, the “love story” would mean nothing to me. Give me a garbage tie and tell me you won’t give up even when I’m a douchebag. We need to stop looking @ TV love like it’s any kind of real love and look for the actual epic love; the person who truly gets you, even when you are your worst self, because they make you strive to be your best self.