Oh, Jillian…

I am going to fall into the typical blogger category and tell you what I think about The Bachelorette.

Let me first establish that I don’t intend to gossip about Jillian on this blog. I think she’s a great person and I would probably be friends with her had we met in any ordinary situation. I can’t say I agree with everything she does on the show, but that doesn’t mean I think she’s a horrible human being.  I am only trying to share my thoughts about the show in general based on what I’ve seen this season.

That being said, my thoughts about the show include the following:***

  1. The dates. Oh, the dates. Who wouldn’t want to go to some of the most romantic places on earth, be waited on hand and foot, and have all the attention of all these gorgeous guys? Even a married woman could be sent to some of these places with total strangers and “feel” like she was falling in love and be all confused. Of course, everyone knows real life doesn’t really work that way…for most of us average folk, anyways. I am interested to see how the relationship changes once real life hits and they have to discuss where they are going to live, jobs, finances, etc. Not that it will be so awful and difficult, but it’s so much easier to ‘do’ a relationship it seems when you’re out of the reality bubble…and you aren’t being flung to the corners of the earth for dream dates…and aren’t having everything paid for…and aren’t drinking a glass of wine every single time you do something…and don’t have personal stylists…or have wardrobe picker-outers….or not EATING ALL THE TIME (do these people know what a grocery bill can turn out to be each week if they eat like that??)
  2. I just feel that the way this show goes about finding this person’s soulmate is unhealthy. Jillian is so invested, in SO many ways, in each of these three guys (now two) and I can’t imagine how hard that must be. Will she think about the guys she didn’t pick forever, even after she marries the last one standing? It’s hard to tell. She has such great memories and apparently such great connections with them all, that I don’t see how she could just toss those aside once someone gets down on one knee at the end of the show.
  3. I am not sure this is a realistic way to go about ‘picking’ a husband. A lot of the language is…”I need to know he’s here for ME and nothing else,” “I need to know he’ll do whatever it takes to make me happy,” “I need to know he’s ready to propose after this…”  even though I’m going to break the hearts of 99% of them by the end of this month…or even from the guys…”She is the perfect woman,” “She’s everything I want in a wife,” …It seems there’s such an expectation of perfection. I just feel like there’s not much compromise and so much pressure. Marriage is a two-way street that takes a lot of work. Falling in dreamy love isn’t always how it works, though that’s part of it. They haven’t really experienced any conflict yet, and working through that type of stuff is what marriage is made of.
  4. I am also big on privacy and alone time with the person you love. Alone time, especially in a marriage, is so important. These reality shows publicize SO MUCH that I can’t imagine how they even operate in that context.  The entire world has seen Jillian have some of the most private moments with these guys, and whether or not they consider what people say, I think it still creates this pressure that isn’t healthy. Millions of people will judge and criticize this season and whatever relationship that comes from it for some time. I think this kind of stress has definitely broken up (or aided in breaking up) many famous marriages…one of the most recent being Jon and Kate.

Overall, I think the show kind of lives into what marriage has become for a lot of people: the chance to marry someone who will make me happy, bend over backwards to make our life work, and who has the perfect set of skills and traits to be the perfect partner in all of life’s situations and challenges. These people on the show have known each other for like a month, and they are expecting so much out of each other…for example, Jillian wanting Reid to be ready for a proposal right now and even her date with Ed…On TV, these things are sensationalized  and criticized when in reality, it has happened in most normal, healthy marriages.

I don’t think that’s what God intended for marriage. Of COURSE it brings joy and happiness and so many good things, but pushing through the fights and disagreements and imperfections  is what molds us as people and gives us character. You will blame each other for things. You will feel less important sometimes. You might even wonder if it’s all worth it. But communicating that and committing to love…not the fluffy kind but the tangible, tough kind…brings a kind of light to your soul you didn’t know could exist. Choosing to love each other through hurt feelings and anger and forgiveness is what’s required. It might be the hardest thing you ever did, but it’s also one of the most rewarding.

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:24

***All this to say, I will still be parked in front of ABC two Mondays from now because I HAVE to know what happens…

One thought on “Oh, Jillian…

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