After last week's melodramatic rose ceremony I practically swore off pilot Jake (whose drama is even vanilla) and this season of The Bachelor. Then Chris Harrison swooped in to tell me that tonight's episode will be going down in my hometown of San Francisco, so you know I'll be watching.
If you tune in too, you'll probably think that the dating show is anything but reality. But you're wrong. The Bachelor is similar to another pairing ritual: online dating. Here's what the two things have in common — and one way they significantly differ.
- You know the other person is playing the field. Once you sign up for online dating, or get chosen as the next Bachelor/ette, you suddenly have many dating options.
- The motivation is transparent. When you meet someone through online dating or on a reality dating show, you know they're trying to find out if you're boyfriend or girlfriend material (or trying to get Z-list fame or a free dinner).
- You know your date's "stats" up front. You don't have to wait until even the first date to find out what your dates do for work, if they have kids, if they've been married, etc. ABC or your dating site of choice does that for you.
- A second date is like a rose. If you get a follow up wink, poke, or plain old-fashioned phone call for a second date, you know you've made it to the next round. A "block," on the other hand, is equivalent to getting sent straight to the limo.
- Photos are important. Bachelor Jake consults his mantel of prospect pictures before making a big decision. Similarly, online daters glance back at profiles over and over again just in case they forget how hot a potential mate may be. But beware the "who's viewed me" feature!
And how do they differ? Unlike The Bachelor, online dating doesn't give one person all the power. Until you're exclusive, everyone gets to go on multiple dates and make out with all the willing prospects they want. In other words, getting it on with a producer while the other person hooks up with 25 other women won't get you kicked off.
Photo copyright 2010 ABC, Inc.