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The Bachelor is about Marriage? Or is it?

On Monday I started this book:

Before going to bed on Tuesday evening, I finished it.

Why did I read it?  I think that Grace over at the Camp might have made a mention of it or someone she links to with The Bachelor scoops did.  I don't even watch the show - gave up years ago when the same guy was The Bachelor twice.  I stopped watching it on a matter of principle since I determined that it was less about love and more about money.  I know that most people knew that already, but I had blocked it out of my mind.

So I put the book on my holds requests list for the library and picked it up about two weeks ago.  When I picked it up, I already had a book I hadn't read so when I returned the other in just the nick of time before the fines kicked in, I almost returned this one too.

However, I'm glad I didn't.

The book is ridiculous.  That is my honest assessment of the situation.  However, it did remind me of some very interesting problems we have with modesty in our culture.

Courtney grew up in a pretty conservative family, not religious, but her mother was distrustful of men and passed that along through rules to her daughters.  Even though this quality wasn't Courtney's favorite as a child, her parent's first impression on the Hometown Date were spot on and if she had been able to have a conversation with them before being sent away, she would have had a discussion with them.  They would have shared their reservations and some heartache may have been avoided.

However, this conservative upbringing did the exact opposite of raising a modest young woman.  At the first opportunity she acquired some experience with whoever would help her out.  She doesn't consider herself promiscuous though, she can count the men she's slept with on less than three hands.  What's the number that classifies someone as promiscuous?  I truly do not want to know the answer to the question.

Courtney also discusses how things work on the show.  This is what really got me.  The show is so stressful and competitive that the girls don't become friends with each other and don't have quality time with their date so they can really get to know someone.  Making out with someone is not great preparation for a solid marriage.  Knowing if you want this man to be the father of your children.

Like my new friend Stephanie wrote last week:
Single Girlfriends – marry a good man. Seriously – hold out for a really great guy. Because when you have sons, they will want to be JUST. LIKE. HIM. (source)

To know this you have to talk, get to know each the guy's family (C said she spent less than an hour with his family and he spent about the same amount of time with hers), meet their friends (the only friends they have on the show are the other contestants that they met a few weeks earlier), and have time together to talk alone, without cameras (the only time this happens is in the Fantasy Suit when there are three left).  Additionally, I don't think that when someone is so serious they might be engaged in a week, they shouldn't be sleeping with three different people.  That doesn't seem like the best way to discern marriage, well, not a marriage that you want to last forever.

I don't think that she is a terrible person or that her future relationships aren't redeemable.  I do think that if we want to have successful, healthy, loving marriages we can't approach them like the producers approach The Bachelor.

I did enjoy the 'behind the scenes' look at the show although I won't be tuning in any time soon.


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