The Bachelorette: Real-Life Dating is Looking Pretty Good Right Now

What we really need is a dose of reality
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Monica Gabriel Marshall
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What we really need is a dose of reality

This year, we’ve decided to follow along with all of The Bachelorette action. Say what you will about the show, but there are lessons to be learned from it (even if just what not to do), and we’ll be watching to see just what they are.

The last episode of The Bachelorette left us fearful for the lives of JoJo's suitors back at the frat house. Chad had been dismissed and was on the prowl. We were left wondering: will he take his aggression to a physical level? Will Jordon's hair ever be uncoiffed? And most importantly: what will all the guys do with their spare time when they are not complaining about Chad? 

Here is what went down on the fifth episode of The Bachelorette.

Is it possible that I actually miss Chad?

The whole Chad-turns-psycho-killer storyline was, predictably, overblown. Chad threatened the guys a bit more and then exited their lives forever. 

What do the guys do in response to his departure? They throw his protein powder around like confetti and bake celebratory cupcakes (Does anyone else think these guys would be better served doing some service projects with their spare time?). But if you thought that Alex's victory in the woods saved you from man drama for good, you are sorely mistaken. 

Gone are the days of legitimate complaints about someone who actually appears to be aggressive and dangerous; now the school boys have decided to manufacture some drama in his absence. I mean, what would an episode of The Bachelorette be without petty gossip? One guy even pulled out a gossip magazine to unearth some dirt on JoJo and a supposed romance she had while dating Ben from last season. Really, Derek? Do you actually subscribe to celebrity gossip mags? Oy vey. 

No, you aren't the only one here.  

I don't know what show the guys on The Bachelorette thought they were on for the last four episodes, but it seems that they all simultaneously and suddenly realized this week that JoJo is, in fact, seeing other men.  

That's right, while we have been awkwardly squirming in our seats as we watch JoJo go on one-on-one dates and make out hardcore with with nearly every guy in the house—the men have all been under the impression that they were the only ones. Come on guys, wake up, and smell the roses! 

Honestly, I'm happy to see that they are all experiencing an appropriate amount of jealousy and are treating one another as the adversaries that they are...I just wish they would all hang out in separate rooms.

Sound the alarms; there's a new form of rejection in town.

This week the guys were treated to one-on-one dates with JoJo, and our Bachelorette rewarded them by asking the men to spill their guts. Every one of them gave her some variation of “I'm falling so hard for you,” which just makes me wonder if these guys are lacking in creativity or really so attached to her so quickly.

But my real ire was raised by JoJo. My Bachelorette-watching posse and I sat there cringing for each of the poor guys who, hoping for a rose, poured their hearts out, only to have JoJo respond, “That makes me feel so good to hear you say that.” What?? 

Many of us have been in one of those situation where a guy says something like “I love you,” but you don't return the sentiment. A note here, ladies: the classy response is “Thank you.” “That makes me feel so good” is basically like telling him, “I don't feel the same way,” but in a super selfish way. 

I'm not sure if JoJo isn't into any of the guys at this point, or if she's just staying super guarded while begging the guys to spill their inner most feelings. Either way, her "that makes me feel so good" has me feeling all kinds of meh. 

Red flags, red roses.

If you think I sound a little jaded come episode 5, you would be right. As the final rose ceremony saw all the stragglers take their leave (Canada, Erectile Dysfunction Guy, The Barber, and The Jaw/model/firefighter), we were left with a group of well-groomed men who seem to get more catty and, honestly, unattractive by the minute. It's the gossip, the lack of substantive extracurriculars, the hair mousse—all of it. Are we really supposed to fall for one of these guys?

I know, I know, I'm a newbie to The Bachelorette, and this is about who JoJo falls for, but shouldn't the producers be pulling together the kind of men who American women dream of one day meeting? Men who are heroic, funny (hello, none of these guys seem to have a real sense of humor), other-centered? Men who pray, brush their teeth without bleach, and use sunscreen? All these Hollywood heartthrobs actually serve me well in that they make me very relieved to be married to a guy who's real and to see that the guys my friends are dating are also so much better than these shallow, made-for-tv bachelors.

But the guys aren't the only part of this reality show that has me pining for some actual reality. JoJo's antics are proving disappointing too. I get it; The Bachelorette is about JoJo finding love. But our bachelorette is acting like her heart is the only one at stake here. Vulnerability is well and good, but only if it's in safe hands. JoJo is deliberately drawing each man out, asking him to open up to her, but the reward is a rose, not her heart. 

Sitting through episode 5 I couldn't help but think how selfish JoJo was being by letting these men form attachments to her just because it makes her "feel so good." So far JoJo has risked nothing and continues to draw each man out to satisfy only her own need to feel pursued and desirable. 

For any woman watching and wishing she had this many men eating out of the palm of her hand, (a.) that's not a healthy desire, and (b.) it's better to be a good steward of a man's vulnerability by being clear and honest with him. None of this, "That makes me feel so good" nonsense. 

Oh and if any of you were wondering if Jordon's hair ever gets messed up, the answer is: only briefly. His coif experiences a misstep during a moment of panic when JoJo confronts him about being flaky/emotionally cheating on his ex-girlfriend. Everybody makes mistakes I guess. 

Photo Credit: ABC