In spirit of it being Bachelor season, featuring Colton Underwood (former NFL player and founder of Colton Underwood Legacy Foundation) as the leading man, the infamous question resurfaces: do the contestants on the “most dramatic” show on television actually fall in love within such a brief window of time?
Filming of The Bachelor(ette) only takes roughly three months to shoot. The first night starts with usually around 30 contestants, and you have to eliminate quite a few of them almost immediately. How many “life changing” conversations or “love at first sight” encounters can you have in one evening when you have at least two dozen other people you’re supposed to talk to?
Multiple articles have suggested that the contestants aren’t lying about how they feel in that moment when they say they’re falling in love/are in love/wanting to spend a lifetime with that person. However, once they’re out of the rushed and hostile environment that emotion may change. The component of competition added to the Bachelor and Bachelorette is ultimately what drives contestants to saying that they love the star even if they may not. Because the show has been around for so long, contestants know the drill and know the goal is love, proposal, marriage, wedding, babies, etc., but all of these goals are tied to the concept of “winning”. And like you’d expect, it’s much easier to “fall in love” with someone when you’re traveling the world, sharing a few personal stories, only focusing on the future and how yours align, and essentially remaining in puppy love with the person for the duration of the show. I’ve come to notice that in seasons where there’s a larger struggle or hurdle within a relationship (see Kaitlyn or Jojo) the engagements last longer. However, most of the time this isn’t the case as the star of the show chooses the person they feel most compatible with and the pair haven’t had a fight or problem arise within their relationship.
With such a short amount of time though, it’s unlikely you will face a challenge and be able to even know how you would handle a fight which is bound to happen post-filming. Here are just a few possible conflicts that could arise for a Bachelor/Bachelorette couple: deciding where to live (since contestants are pulled from all around the nation, rather than just from the star’s home state or city), the “winning” contestant watching the show and seeing how their now fiancee interacted with multiple other men/women, conflicts arising with friends or relatives they didn’t get to meet, and dozens of other possibilities that a newly engaged couple who doesn’t know each other all that well would end up facing. Aside from one night in a “fantasy-suite” these couples don’t even spend a night together, and there’s no way for them to even have a remote idea on what living together would be like. So why pack up your life, job, and everything you’ve built with yourself to ~attempt~ to make this relationship work? You wouldn’t do it after spending roughly 72 hours with someone who lived across the country that you meant in real life, so why do it for someone who you meant in this fantasy land?
Don’t get me wrong, some of these relationships have lasted and ended in marriages and children and pretty normal lives. But I’d say the odds are against it. You have to stand out against 29 other men and women, and yet that doesn’t even seem like the hardest challenge. The hardest challenge appears to be whether or not a relationship built in such a fantastical setting of mansions, hotels, honeymoon suites, and extravagant traveling destinations could live in the real world of work, sharing a home, and building a real life together after such an unreal experience.