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Let’s Ban this Menace to Society, Quick!

By John Clarke

As you may remember from my Bachelorette Drinking Game post, we accidentally got addicted to The Bachelorette while on honeymoon and we since watched the rest of the series all the way to the final.

More dangerous than cannabis.

What prompted this post is the fact that Ali, the “bachelorette”, blatantly picked the wrong guy to marry. Basically, she fancied this guy and got rid of the guy who she was better friends with, as being friends is apparently not the best way to start a marriage. Instead, she picked this steaming pile of cliché who continuously struggles to think up the perfect “smooth” response to everything she says. That kind of attitude isn’t exactly maintainable for a lifetime of marriage, so we both felt that this manufactured engagement was bound to end in failure sooner or later.

So I did a bit of research and here’s what I found:

The Bachelor

SeasonOutcomeTime to Failure
1No proposal, then broke upSeveral months
2Proposed, then broke upSeveral months
3Proposed, then broke upSeveral months
4No proposal, then broke upSeveral months
5No proposal, then broke upSeveral months
6Engaged, not sure if they got married, then broke upFive years!
7No proposal, then on again off again relationshipTwo stints of two years
8No proposal, then broke upShortly after
9No proposal, then broke upSeveral months
10Engaged, called off the engagement but continued relationship then broke upOne month to call off engagement, several months to break up
11No proposal, both women rejected
12Proposed, then broke upSeveral months
13Proposed, then changed mind and married the runner upInstantly, but him and runner up still together
14Proposed, then broke upSeveral months

The Bachelorette

SeasonOutcomeTime to Failure
1Proposed, marriedStill together!
2Proposed, then broke upSeveral months
3No proposal, both blokes rejected
4Proposed, then broke upSeveral months
5Proposed, then broke upSeveral months
6Engaged …for nowIn all likelihood, “several months”

For The Bachelor, that’s 11 out of 14 seasons that ended in what I’d consider a complete failure. I’d say season 6 was the most successful, leading to a 5 year marriage. Not amazing by a long shot, but definitely the furthest from an abysmal failure. Season 7 was slightly worse, with the couple managing two stints of two years. Worse still, but perhaps not quite in the same league of failure as the rest was season 13, where the bloke ended up marrying the runner up. Yes, they’re still together, but that season was in 2009 – hardly worth getting excited about, right? If you’re wondering why I classify season 11 (everyone rejected) as a failure, well, I’d consider anything other than a long happy marriage a failure for the reasons I’ll set out shortly.

The previous five seasons of The Bachelorette have only given us one success, and based on what we saw from the latest season, I’m not holding out much hope.

How These Programs Wreck Lives

I can’t claim that something is a menace to society without giving some reasons, so let’s have a quick think over some of the ways people can end up hurt…

First off, the marriages this program churns out are far more likely to end in divorce compared with the real world. And that’s a downside that only affects the winners. One half of the winning couple also has to be constantly aware of the fact that their new husband or wife was not only seeing multiple partners right up to their engagement, but also will likely see their new spouse with all these different people when they inevitably end up rewatching clips from their series, or having to talk about it for magazines, catch-up shows, etc. This also applies to both sets of parents – one of which will be thinking their child is some kind of whore and the other having to watch their child be systematically cheated on until their engagement.

If that’s how shit it must be for the winners, what’s it like for the losers then? Other than the immediate misery/humiliation resulting from rejection, the whole experience then becomes a massive skeleton-in-the-closet for any future relationships. If you got kicked off the program toward the beginning, you might have come across as an arse or something, but the later you stay on, the more serious your relationship becomes – all of which is meticulously documented for any future girl/boyfriend to watch, if they haven’t seen it already. One guy in this latest series we watched even got a tattoo to commemorate the experience/show any prospective girlfriends just how completely mental he was.

The winners who then get divorced are fortunate enough to receive both sets of crippling disadvantages, as well as then having to actually get a divorce! That’s not like an ex that gets less and less significant the longer you’ve been apart – it’s a legal procedure that you’ll constantly have to declare and explain away to future partners.

To top it all off, this program is being pumped out by a country where around half of its population of over 310 million people oppose gay marriage; one of their reasoning being that it threatens the sanctity of marriage. Funnily enough, it’s this same chunk of the population that claims cannabis will send you mental and wreck your family.

When you compare The Bachelor with the odd joint, suddenly it doesn’t seem so bad….

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