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ABC's The Bachelor...

The ABC show the "Bachelor" is based on the premise that quality men are scarce and women need to fight over them. In this fight, men hold all of the cards, determine the rules, and their feelings are the only ones that matter. While men make up their minds, women are expected to become vulnerable and trust that they will protect our hearts.

Tonight, the Bachelor's host stated that the show is about romance, broken hearts and intense competition. That is a fairly accurate description. Every week the women are auditioning for the role of leading lady in the Bachelor's life. Each week, every contestant tries to be prettier, sexier, and to appear sweeter than the other contestants. Their sole goal is to earn a rose.

I have critcized the show for some time, there are many objecionable aspects of the show. It brings out the worst in women. It illustrates a bad example for young girls. In a word, it is a huge step back for feminism.

Those things may all be true, but this year, I have seen things a different way. I think that the Bachelor illustrates a very basic point about love. Risking your heart is the only way to win at love.

Every woman who has allowed herself to love has had her heart broken. Most of us curse the men who broke up with us after misleading us by taking us out to dinner, calling us and opening our doors. Many of us forget that once we start to fall for a guy we often make a crucial mistake.

Instead of acting authentically, we begin to strategize. We begin the transformation process. We think that if we transform ourselves into the woman that he wants us to be we will win his heart. We fail to realize that his decision to go out with us is proof that he likes us.

As the Bachelor illustrates, the spoils do not always go to the woman who tries the hardest. Every bachelor on the show has said that he is searching for a woman with whom they have a real connection. They want someone with whom they share friendship and passion.

Because of the competition, many girls begin focussing on what they are doing instead of what they are feeling, or what the bachelor is feeling. It is true that some girls who appear to invest their hearts leave broken hearted. However, the girls who are chosen in the end, all seem to have heeded the call of the bachelor and demonstrated authentic emotion.

I know that the Bachelor is a reality TV show that is out for ratings. It's not about love. Having competed for a reality TV show before, I understand the gamesmanship of it. I also still object to the premise of the show. Still, at my core, I know that the bachelors are right. The only way to have a successful relationship is to find someone with whom you share an authentic connection. Anything else is about as real as a reality TV show.
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