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Everlasting Love

By Diane DeVaughn Stokes

We all know the hardest part about a relationship is making it last.

Soapbox! Yes, if you don’t want to hear it, turn away now. But don’t worry it’s not about politics. I’ve steered away from that topic like a hot potato, as folks are getting ugly with each other. It’s tearing our country, family and friends apart.

However, I am equally ticked off about something else!

Just as we are coming into a big season of something borrowed, something blue, lovers tying the knot, and others renewing their vows after decades of committed togetherness, how can anyone in their right mind think that The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are good healthy TV viewing? Oh yeah, I have watched it to see what all the hype is about, and not just one episode. I’ve watched an entire season, and I’ll admit, both shows suck you in like an opioid drug and may be just as dangerous. No one, at any age, especially the teenagers who watch it most, can possibly believe that true love can magically happen in just a few short weeks, with cameras constantly in your face, time restraints to get to know each other, producers telling you what to do, and dozens of singles competing for the attention of “one singular sensation!”

They say it isn’t scripted, but let me tell you, I know television. Those producers meet constantly with the cast and direct them on the right path to draw in viewers. Maybe a good cry is suggested. Maybe it’s a fight with another contestant. Or, how about the jilted lover back home? We have seen it all.

Some of my favorite episodes featured the parents back home having ruffled feathers about meeting the top contenders and actually saying they don’t approve of any of this. Amen and thank goodness there are still some sane family members left in the world who know this is so very wrong. You may see lots of 30 year olds in the audience on “after the final rose” night, but guess who really watches? It’s the younger kids that are growing up to think this is the way love should be. I am appalled listening to my own nieces talk to their friends about it. They see jealousy and backstabbing as okay to win over the one you love. Both shows seem to condone jumping into bed with someone tonight and a different one tomorrow night.

Say what you want. Call me a prude. But this is morally wrong, and how do you explain that to a ten, twelve, or even sixteen year old kid? I’ve tried. They don’t understand that this is a made-for-TV show that has advertisers coming out of the woodwork to be a part of it. Therefore, the producers must command attention by making every single promo and episode sexually solicitous. And if you thought The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are bad, The Bachelor in Paradise is worse. I hate the messages these programs portray to our youth. I’d rather kids watch Naked and Afraid where two naked folks are stranded in a dangerous location without food and water and use their survival skills and instincts to complete an adventure in the wild. Yes, I know it’s another nauseating reality show, but at least it’s not delivering the wrong message about life’s greatest treasure…everlasting love.

We all know the hardest part about a relationship is making it last. Everyone is giddy, gushy and googly-eyed in the beginning, but if both parties don’t grow in the same direction with the same mutual respect, honoring the vows they both made to each other, they are headed for divorce. A marriage, much like a building, must be built on solid ground.

I’m glad I grew up in a time when TV featured great role models who had loving and supportive marriages: Ozzie and Harriet, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Father Knows Best, Leave It To Beaver, Make Room for Daddy, and The Donna Reed Show to name a few. There may not have been any rose ceremonies, but even as a kid I knew that the spouses on these programs had the magic spark that I wanted to have in my marriage someday. Luckily, I have it. And I hope those Bachelor and Bachelorette fans will get wise and find it someday too.

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One response to “Everlasting Love

  1. I absolutely agree. Much like the soap operas my daughter and her teen friends grew up watching and based their relationships on… it’s all fiction, misleading, and to get the ratings.

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