I’d like to put it out there that in general I have decent taste in TV shows. I like a lot of the popular good quality programming like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad. I am a big fan of those short-lived series that have gained cult status, like Wonderfalls, Freaks & Geeks and Firefly. I enjoy funny shows featuring quirky women like New Girl, Cougar Town and Miranda. I watch decent crime shows, gritty British dramas and clever Danish thrillers. But then there are those guilty pleasures; those shows that you make an awkward joke about when someone catches you watching them. I love Judge Judy. And I love The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.
I don’t know what it is that gets me hooked on these shows. The concept is fairly solid – get together a group of attractive, successful people of similar ages, all making an effort to find someone for a serious committed relationship, give them exciting things to do in stunning locations while famous people play them romantic music, and really there’s no reason why they shouldn’t find love. But then there’s the competitiveness that comes from having just one girl or guy to fight over, the ‘ I’m not here to make friends’ one, the one that’s not there for ‘the right reasons’, the one that shows up in a wedding dress or gets a tattoo after one date… and that’s where the entertainment lies. But, anyway, I have found that watching The Bachelor/Bachelorette as a single person is a bit depressing. Because there are no limos full of eligible bachelors showing up at my front door.
Except that recently I had a weird revelation. In my efforts to get back in the saddle, I joined an Internet dating site last weekend and have been having so much fun with it. I’ve had a lot of weirdos message me, with the super imaginative saying only “hi”. There was the 60 year old guy, the guy who proposed we go straight to the wedding chapel when we first meet (we won’t meet), and a fair few guys who seem to speak without any punctuation whatsoever. I’m a stickler for good grammar when it comes to online dating prospects. But there have also been a surprising number of normal guys getting in touch. Attractive, suitably aged, funny, interesting guys. I find myself drawn to guys who identify themselves as ‘geeks’ so online dating seems to be a bit of a man gold mine.
Tomorrow I’ll be going on my first real life date for quite some time. I am extremely nervous, but have warned the guy that I tend to tell awkward jokes, and my 96 year-old Granddad told me some good ones lately, mostly featuring old men on buses The additionally awkward thing is that I am currently messaging and flirting with a few different guys. Which makes me feel like I am in fact The Bachelorette, or else I’m just a heartless harlot. Although it seems complicit with this online dating thing that everyone is just constantly checking out everyone else. So the guy I’m meeting tomorrow is probably messaging other women too. And those women are probably messaging other guys, and so on and so forth until we all become a giant M. C. Escher drawing.
So, in an online world where everyone is semi-dating everyone else, we are all The Bachelorette. That is what I have decided. It’s just about finding everyone’s best fit, out of all the possibilities. And it applies in real life, when we randomly meet someone and start something datey; we are actively choosing them over all the other possibles out there.
This is not a world-changing revelation. It’s so obvious that this is probably not news to everyone else. But it’s changed how I feel about dating. Instead of trying to show my best sides and win over guys I like, it’s become about me picking out the guys I like most. I have adopted a Bachelorette mentality to dating, and hopefully this means that eventually I will end up with my… (searching for a successful couple that’s still together after their season of The Bachelorette aired)… JP? They’re still going, right?!