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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Jennifer's Gems > Reality Dating Shows

by Jennifer Brown Banks

Dating Reality TV Shows
7 Things We Can Learn

I'm into the Bachelors, Bachelorettes, Hitched or Ditched, More to Love, Cougars...

That's right. On any given night of the week, if I'm not immersed in other stuff, I love to tune into these shows for laughter, tears, and teachable moments.


Perhaps it's because I'm an incurable romantic, or could be because seeing the many dramas of dating and mating on screen illuminates the dos and don't of love in high definition.

Take for example when Melissa was dumped by the hunk on the Bachelor's show.

Remember that?

Well, she danced her way right into the hearts of millions, and eventually found love in the arms of another man by remaining positive, pretty and classy—even amidst her public humiliation!

Lesson here? When love lands you a fierce blow, get up and get in the game again! You'll be stronger and smarter the next time.  Remain open and karma will even the score.

Here are a few other lessons on love and life extracted from TV land worth noting as well

  1. Love involves risk—always! Whether you meet someone on line on the Internet, through a mutual friend, or in line at the local grocers, there are no guarantees. Decide that you're in it to win it!  I've known of people who married after dating just a few weeks, and have been happily married for decades.  Conversely, I've known people who lived together for years before getting married, and couldn't make it work. Matters of the heart are often unpredictable.

  2. Compatibility is crucial for longevity. Attraction brings two people together, while mutual core values and interests solidifies the union. If you're looking to go the distance in love, and perhaps transition to marital bliss, partnering with someone who has a similar perspective on relationships and similar goals increases the chances for long-term success.

  3. There's someone for everyone! Hold out. I was recently watching the new dating show MORE TO LOVE, (which by the way, I think is a very cool and innovative concept in dating shows), when I was saddened to see so many women who felt that their large status relegated them to being lonely spinsters for life. That's unfortunate. Many are discovering how untrue this myth is, courtesy of the cute real estate developer who prefers, as he puts it “big, beautiful women”.  The verdict is in: love is an “equal-opportunity employer”!
  1. Dating success is sometimes a numbers game. Let's face it, sometimes you have to “kiss a few frogs.”  But on the positive side is that through trial and error you cultivate a better understanding of your personal needs, your love style, the dynamics of dating, and what works for your ultimate happiness.
  1. Desperation is always unattractive, no matter who wears it. Many of the contestants on these reality shows don't realize that excessive tears, threats, pulling out the claws, and crazy behavior makes them losers in more ways than one. It's true that sometimes it's not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game that counts. Class is crucial.

  2. You can't make another person love you—and why should you want to? Love is much better when it's mutual, and when it's natural and unforced. Love can't be bought or bargained.

  3. Successful dating and mating requires effective strategy---I remember watching an episode on the Bachelor's many moons ago when one of the women stated to the featured hunk that her “time clock was ticking” and she was looking  to tie the knot as soon as possible. Huh? As with many things in life, proper timing is crucial, not to mention a good dose of common sense and realistic expectations. 

So there you have it folks, seven important lessons on life and love for singles courtesy of the “boob tube”! Contrary to popular opinion, it can actually be enlightening when it comes to matters of the heart!

What's your favorite dating reality show and why? Do tell! Drop me a line at


Jennifer's Gems
is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday.
Click here to read her welcome letter.

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