Here For The Right Reasons: Why We Love The Bachelor

Why we simply can't help it that we love The Bachelor. It's science.

I’ve made several nods to The Bachelor television franchise since the start of this blog many moons ago. (Well, March 2017, so like 3 moons?) And it seems like a good time to elaborate on my love as we are a couple weeks into the most dramatic season in The Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor in Paradise history and because we have to wait a whole week until the next episode because of “sports.”

Why we simply can't help it that we love The Bachelor. It's science.

There are so many things wrong with The Bachelor that when you add them all up it just feels right. It’s this bizarre fantasy world that somehow becomes real life and some people come out of it married with babies. It is equal parts “rooting for the guy who’s being a total tool to have a girlfriend back home who is going to blow the lid off this thing” and “rooting for happily ever after and a televised wedding in January 2018.” It is thinking that these people are certifiable and then following them on Instagram as if you were besties. My brain hurts trying to explain why I love this show oh so very much.

But it’s not just me! That’s part of what makes it so stupid addicting. My mom loves The Bachelor. Your dentist loves The Bachelor. My entire office loves The Bachelor. My husband loves pretends to hate The Bachelor. It defies all marketing rules for determining your target audience because the target is “everyone with feelings.” Feelings that range from hopeful to judgey to morbidly curious because sometimes it’s a train wreck you just can’t look away from.

“Oh no, are they really putting those two together on a Two on One date? After the break, 20 minutes of awkward hateful silence…”

“Please don’t ask that dad for his blessing to marry his daughter when you’re still dating three other women, I beg of you… Wait, did that dad just say yes??”


Somehow it all boils down to a couple hours of Monday evening happiness though. ABC must have at least three psychologists on staff constantly tweaking the algorithm for producing feelings so that we stay tuned in, and I can’t fault them for following a sound strategy. That’s also the model I’m going with for this blog, make everyone happy and confused as to why they are happy. How are we doing?

Why we simply can't help it that we love The Bachelor. It's science.

This season’s Bachelorette, Rachel, is perfection personified. I shared this opinion so openly during Nick’s season that one day a co-worker asked kind of seriously if I was in love with Rachel. Answer: A little bit. I haven’t been this invested in a Bachelor or Bachelorette finding true love since Jillian. Actually Sean too. And I really loved Des. And Ali. So many fictional friendships, so little time…

In our Bachelorette pool at work I picked Blake K (first night gone), DeMario (REAL gone), and Jack (hanging on by a seemingly inconsequential thread). So that’s working out pretty well for me. (Did I blow by the Bachelorette pool thing too fast? Your office doesn’t have a Bachelorette pool? Why?) We pick our top 3 based on pictures and bios before the first episode and usually I’m much better at picking. I just wasted 10 minutes looking through my old emails reviewed my previous picks and found that recently I have picked Rachel (top 3), Chase (top 3), and Caila (top 3). I bet there are a lot of useful things I could be using these skills for. Maybe jury selection. Editor’s Note: I got demolished in Arie’s season. Nysha, Annaliese, and Lauren S… Terrible.

If re-picks were allowed in the pool, I would be firmly #TeamKenny. I invite your picks in the comments. But not if you pick Jonathan. Don’t be ridiculous.

In closing, it’s not our fault that we love The Bachelorette/The Bachelor/Bachelor in Paradise. ABC just won this round of emotional manipulation fair and square. They also managed to tap into both our sense of community and inherent competitive nature. It’s masterfully done, and I for one am not even mad.

Why we simply can't help it that we love The Bachelor. It's science.

With a theory that the contestants who say they “aren’t here to make friends” are saying that as a defense mechanism,

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