The Unorthodox Nature of Dating on TV

ANDI DORFMAN
The Bachelorette.

She loves him. I can see it in her eyes when he pulls her into his arms and holds her close. It’s like a fairy tale as they talk and laugh, as he plans a future for the two of them, and as she says nothing to dissuade him from those plans. They’re dressed in dinner wear, the handsome couple that turns everyone’s heads when they go out on the town. He even brought her home to meet his entire family, and they too could see the love between them. A week later he is in tears because she said she doesn’t feel the same way about him as he does about her. Now. At this late hour. And the cameras are rolling when he gets the news.

No, this isn’t real life, but it is at the same time. This is a television show, but it’s unscripted, and the “actors” are real human beings who want a legitimate shot at discovering love, at finding their own “happily ever after.” Is it right to throw these desperately longing creatures together in a house with their rivals and hope for the best? Is it okay to think that having one woman determine their fates is the best way to treat their fragile emotions anyway? And why am I so fascinated by the show?

After watching the latest episode last night, I thought back to bachelorette Andi’s hometown trips, where she did a very good job of making it seem like each of the four guys was the only one for her. Four mothers told her how much they could see the attraction and emotional connection between her and their son, but one of those mothers either lied or was seriously mistaken — Marcus’s mother. She wanted the best for her son, having already lost two other children in tragic circumstances, and she had us viewers thinking that Andi was that proverbial best. A week later Andi was breaking her son’s heart on national television.

And we all watched. Well, I watched anyway. Continue reading “The Unorthodox Nature of Dating on TV”

Dating by Numbers

Okay. I will be the first to admit I haven’t dated all that much in my life. By the time I was dating age (i.e. 17) I was finally a senior in high school, but I was going to a large public school where I knew pretty much no one, and I was afraid to approach most girls. The one girl I got up the courage to ask out laughed in my face, so that wasn’t a good batting average for me. Needless to say, I didn’t ask out another girl from school that year.

1004-first-date-flowers_sm
Dating myth: Flowers win the girl over.

However, I also went to church, and my mother was always suggesting I go out with one of the good Christian girls there. But so many of them I had grown up with, and it would have just seemed weird to want to court one of them. Well, except for this one girl, but she treated me like a brother, and I didn’t have the hurt to damage that relationship in order to try and craft another one out of its ashes. There was another girl, though, who was relatively new to our church, and I finally just asked her out.

GIRL #1

She had short, dark brown hair and a smile that never left her lips. She was also world-smart, meaning she didn’t come originally from a church family. So she was not really the sort of girl the preacher’s kid was supposed to be going after. I suppose that made her more appealing in my eyes. I asked, she said yes, but it was the date that never happened. That seemed to happen a lot to me for some reason. Just say no if you don’t want to go out.

GIRL #3

Me and Girl #3, we actually went on a date. Seven of them to be precise. I was 20 at the time, but a lot more world-weary than I should have been at that point. We met first online, and our initial phone conversation was horrendous. But we still met in person, which was a good thing, considering we hit it off from the start. We met, we wooed, we made exchange of vow. And yeah, as you can imagine, things went much too fast. I guess it either went nowhere, it went too slowly, or it accelerated swiftly back then for me. I think I scared her away. But those were a nice seven dates. Continue reading “Dating by Numbers”

realisticlove.com

okcupidWouldn’t it be refreshing to see a dating site where people had to tell it like it is instead of being able to lie about every little thing?

I’m a 65-year-old, balding man with a predilection for scratching myself often, whenever the mood strikes. Been engaged five times but none of them ever turned into marriage. Got eight kids, though, by six different women, none of whom I’m on speaking terms with now. But I’m a good catch, so inbox me for more details. Oh, and the photos of me are all selfies done yesterday in good lighting so you can clearly see my beer gut. And I’m broke, so if we get together you’re paying.

I would kill to see a site like that out there. I mean, maybe there’s someone for this guy who doesn’t mind all the issues and who would give him a chance anyway. I often hear people talk about how they don’t judge others, but maybe that goes for everything except love. If there was a site called realisticlove.com perhaps no one would ever find love there, if everyone was like the guy above anyway.

Of course being completely honest about ourselves online is more difficult than roping a bull in a kitchen. Because having the screen between you and the other person makes it so easy to fib just a little bit. You have a large mid-section… just say you’re “full-figured.” You wear huge pop-bottle glasses… ditch them for the already airbrushed photo. You are already in an unfulfilling relationship… just type “single,” and when you find someone else willing to tolerate you, that’s your exit.

I’m a 24-year-old girl with a thick mustache and chronic halitosis. I’m huge into knitting, and I snore like a tractor running over rocks. I can’t go out into the sunlight because my skin is way too sensitive for that, and I live on a steady diet of snails imported from Israel. They’re wicked expensive, but my mother, who I still live with, pays for them with the money she gets from selling her foodstamps to the couple who live in the box. If you want to get together sometime I am free whenever. Hit me up.

Continue reading “realisticlove.com”