So, I was watching “The Bachelorette” on Monday night (I know I said I was boycotting it because it’s obviously a shamfest, but I’m already sucked in this season), and the true genius of the show dawned on me. Some brilliant exec at ABC came up with the perfect formula to make guys fall in love, or at least think that they are. Did you ever notice how the guys always fall truly, madly, deeply, and quickly for any “Bachelorette” bait that is placed before them? It seems like it would hardly make a difference who it was. Take Ali for example. She’s cute, I guess, but so annoying and totally boring with nappy Barbie extensions. Yet every single dude there claims he’s never met anyone like her before; they are all falling in love with her. How is that possible? After the jump, I think I’ve decoded the secret love potion. If only we could find a way to translate this to real-life dating, we’d have men dropping to their knees to propose. Or at least dying for a second date.
- Timing. A man who proclaims to be “looking for a relationship” is ripe for the picking. He’s AVAILABLE. In my experience, available men are like shooting stars, blink and you’ll miss ‘em. The show picks shooting stars to be contestants (well, for the most part — they throw in a couple of black holes just for drama). If you catch a shooting star, he will usually fall for the next cool, compatible, attractive girl who crosses his path. Yep. Timing is everything. Only it’s much harder to decipher if a guy is a shooting star on a real first date without all the background checks and prerequisite psych evaluations.
- Isolation. Take a man out of his normal environment with the everyday distractions and you’ve got a man with a lot of time and energy on his hands. No work, no friends, no family, no other girls, no TV, no computer, what else are they going to do with themselves but fall in love? Remove a man from reality and remove the reality of a man. Sigh, this is impossible to replicate without a production crew or a jail cell.
- Competition. Let a guy know that he has to compete to get a woman and dating becomes a fun game instead of a necessary evil. A fun game he wants to play to win. It ups the urgency to step it up, to try to impress a girl. In real-life dating, most decent women don’t mention how many other guys they happen to be dating. Maybe real-life group dates are the way to go?
- No Sex. Because cameras are following every date, there’s a moratorium on sex. There’s no way a Bachelorette can accidentally jump into bed with a guy too soon and screw everything up. Making men wait for sex forces them to form a friendship with a girl before they can fulfill their physical desires. They know they’re going to have to wait, at least until the fantasy suite, to get intimate, so they become more emotionally invested rather than sexually motivated. Yeah, we already know we should probably wait to have sex. We just have no camera crew on the ready to hold us accountable.
- Limited Time. When a guy has limited time with a girl, he is always left wanting more. The logistical limitations placed on the amount of time spent together builds up the excitement and anticipation of actually getting a date with the coveted prize. There’s more incentive to be totally present, honest, and open. OK, check. Don’t spend too much time together too fast. Maybe we can hold weekly cocktail parties where we get to say a quick hello to the guys we went on a group date with earlier in the week?
- Life Experiences. Who doesn’t feel strong feelings when they share something really special with someone? It’s easy to get an amazing life experience confused with the person who happened to be there with you. Especially if you are bungee jumping, sitting on top of a glacier, in a helicopter overlooking a Tahitian sunset, or dancing in an abandoned temple in Istanbul. When was the last time you had a date like that? Right. Never. Because we live in the real world where our dates take us to dinner.