It's difficult to comprehend the popularity of The Bachelor, but especially hard to understand why some of these women choose to enter this difficult and highly emotional reality show gauntlet. The Blake Shelton and the SNL parody summed up The Bachelor so well, with the show going against the grain of what it takes to set up a good relationship so it has a chance of lasting.
Men hate guessing games just a little bit less than emotional confrontation. Showing that you will be loyal --
What about what a woman wants from a man?
One fact of most successful relationships is that the woman sets up the relationship parameters and the man takes his cue from her. The man guides many other facets of the partnership, but structure is established by the woman. It begins with the woman showing her strengths, clearly stating what she wants and expects from the man.
Chris Soules said something interesting last Monday night when one of the women wouldn't kiss him, even when the mood was perfect. He said that he had to "earn" it.
This is what's missing in so many of the women's calculations.
The Bachelor is an impossible situation for women who don't know themselves and who aren't confident. Sharing deeply traumatic events too early when meeting someone may heal you, but it won't solidify the ground on which a lasting partnership can be built. Being broken happens to all of us, but these aspects of yourself aren't the stuff of first or second dates.
There is a lot of scuttlebutt and rumors out there that Chris Soules is in love, he said so himself in a promo, and that Whitney Bischoff is "the one." Everyone has a guess and this is just another one, but let's use this possibility to dissect Bischoff's strength.
How did Ms. Bischoff do it in a setting that is impossible for women to navigate? Whitney Bischoff took a make it or break it chance to reveal who she is and what kind of partner she'd be.
During their date, Soules said he wanted a woman who could handle herself in any situation, walk into a room and talk to strangers and make them her best friend. He said other things, but it was obvious he was saying he wanted a confident, strong, independent woman who could take charge of a situation.
Whitney Bischoff brought up crashing a wedding, which Soules recounted in a blog post, including what wasn't caught on camera.
What you didn't see was us talking to the show's producers. Nothing like this had ever been done before, and everybody was really hesitant to actually do it. They had to scramble to figure out logistics, how they were going to capture everything on camera and make it work. Thankfully, they figured out a way to make it happen, and off we went to the mansion to change into our crashing clothes.
[...] I actually could not keep the story straight, and if it wasn't for Whitney, we would have been found out and tossed out. She did a great job mingling and keeping our story in line. She's so friendly, and everyone got along with her, and we totally tore it up on the dance floor and somehow never got made! That was a night I'll never forget.
Whether this event was crashed or planned, Bischoff led the twosome through an awesome evening at a wedding reception where they toasted, drank, danced and completely immersed themselves in being a couple. No forced sexual contact; desperate physicality was replaced by intimacy and connection while the two of them had fun.
Through the entire event Bischoff took the lead, which was predicated on the story that she and Chris Soules were engaged. She put Soules in the position of imagining her as his future wife and by the end of their escapade, he admitted he could imagine being married to her.
If Whitney Bischoff does win Chris Soules' heart, it's because she knows who she is and wasn't afraid to reveal herself, while taking him along for the ride to see if he's up to the challenge of being with her. It's a chance worth taking for any woman, because if the man you're eyeing can't accept you for who you are he's not the man for you.
If Whitney Bischoff isn't "the one," it may be because men can like spontaneity and adventure, while wishing they were like that, but accepting that they're not.
"Winning" The Bachelor isn't the most important thing in your life, especially if you end up marrying a man who's wrong for you.
It's not like The Bachelor is a perfect formula for dating success. It's a weird reality show where women put themselves on the line in front of a camera even when they have no business doing so. A media spectacle few women survive if they aren't secure and know themselves, and aren't prepared to edit themselves before the cameras role.
This week one of the girls gets to play Cinderella, while another girl simmers with jealousy.
Gladiatorial dating on The Bachelor, it's a spectator sport.
Taylor Marsh is an author and speaker living outside Washington, D.C. She is the author of The Hillary Effect. An audio podcast of the Introduction of her latest book, The Sexual Education of a Beauty Queen -- Relationship Secrets from the Trenches, is available on iTunes.