What "The Bachelor" Can Teach Us about Dating

Yes, the "The Bachelor" may be better known for sparkly cocktail dresses, catty on-screen squabbles, and hunky bachelors than for real-life advice. After all, a marriage proposal after only six weeks of gallivanting from lavish parties to extraordinary group dates is hardly a realistic romance. Nonetheless, there are five sound dating lessons to be learned between shocking rose ceremonies and helicopter rides. Follow them and you could find yourself taking flight "on the wings of love."

1. Entertain Multiple Options
Having 25 gorgeous women or men compete for one love interest doesn't just make for good television; it could be great dating advice. So often we put all of our energy and anticipation into one potential love, and consequently miss out on someone who could be better suited for us. At the beginning stages of dating, there is nothing wrong with playing the field. It may even take the pressure off of waiting for his or her phone call (or text) and save you unnecessary disappointment. If there's one thing we can learn from the bachelor it's that we shouldn't put all of our roses into one basket.


2. Don't Wait Around for Mr. Wrong to Turn into Mr. Right

In last week's episode, our bachelor sent four girls home instead of two, saying that even though he liked the women, he couldn't picture any of them as his wife. This move not only made for yet another "most shocking rose ceremony in Bachelor history" but it also underscored a smart-dating essential: The minute you know he or she is not "The One," it's best to cut ties so you can clear your slate and open your options to more likely matches.


3. Seek Dating Adventure

Bungee jumping one week, helicopter rides the next, the bachelor and his love-sick harem are constantly taking romance to adventurous levels. And although it's not likely you can secure a picnic in the sky without the help and finances of primetime TV, you can certainly come up with an activity more exciting than another dinner and a movie date. If and when the ball is in your date-planning court, consider something interactive and whimsical, like mini-golf, a hike to a picturesque location, or even a trip to an arcade. There's nothing like a change of venue to freshen things up.


4. Be Open if You're Seeing Other People

Each week we watch potential couples discuss the experience of competing for love. The lesson here is honesty: The bachelorettes and bachelors can handle knowing their love-interest is dating other people because they are all open about it. While we're not suggesting you divulge every detail of your other conquests with your current date (even if we can't get enough of that on the show), being forthcoming about whether or not you want to be exclusive is a good move to make early on.


5. Keep Jealousy Reserved for Reality TV drama
The Bachelor proves that romantic conflict makes for good TV, but it doesn't fare well in real-life dating. If someone you're dating makes you feel jealous, he or she is probably not be the right one for you. Just make sure you are not sabotaging your romantic potential by independently encouraging your insecurities. Wacky stress relievers will help you cool down as you gain some perspective.

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