Student Voice


April 25, 2024




‘Bachelor’ style dating may have potential

November 1, 2007

When I was a kid, I remember my parents giving me frequent advice about dating. Both my parents come from the conservative side of the ‘60’s era, so of course they were concerned about who I dated and how that dating should take place.

I remember thinking how funny it was how my dad defined “dating.” You see, he made a distinction between the terms “dating” and “going steady.”

I know, it’s been a while since we’ve heard that phrase.

But while we chuckle now, it was serious to him. Dating in his mind was a part of the relationship process which was much more open than going steady, and going steady was what we now call dating. In other words, dating in his terms was not exclusive.

It was perfectly okay to go on one date with one person one night and the next night go on another date with someone else.

For a while I thought that this mentality was pointless. Why date someone if you’re not willing to give all your attention to him or her?

It seemed wrong to me, and I’d bet that many people today would agree.

Maybe. After watching “The Bachelor” I’ve begun to question the notion that society is all about the exclusive relationship. The show is wildly popular, and what do we see? One man dating, at one point, 25 women at the same time. And not only that, but everyone knows it. The women live in the same house, they are all aware that they are all sharing the attentions and affection of this one man.

The best part about it is that none of them seem to mind, except for the odd lady out who, for some reason, begins to feel that she is actually involved in a normal relationship.

Not only are those involved okay with the situation, but America eats it up. “The Bachelor” is currently in its 11th season, and it’s counterpart, “The Bachelorette,” has run three seasons. And most everyone knows what the “Rose Ceremony” is.

So here’s my question: why is this type of non-restricted so popular by the ratings, and yet if your boyfriend or girlfriend told you that you were being passed over in favor of another date, you would be dumping the whole relationship.

What is it about the TV cameras, billion-dollar mansion and million-dollar jewelry that makes diverse dating okay?

Our entertainment defines our society. Though the concept seems foreign and even wrong, I’m beginning to think that allowing ourselves to go on “dates” without being bound exclusively might not be such a horrible idea.

Think about it. The millionaires on ABC get to closely compare and contrast the people and traits that they feel they might be interested. Why shouldn’t the rest of us have that luxury when it comes to our love life?

We can compare products in the store and online, we can compare auto insurance rates, we can compare political parties all at the touch of a button, but we still submit ourselves to a style of dating that binds us to a person we’re not quite sure about.

So instead of instantly recognizing faults and concerns we can’t live with, we deceive ourselves and try to “fix” things because we’re not sure if we’ll be able to find anything better.

Honestly, is there anything wrong with this polygamist-type view of searching for our soul mates?

Katrina Styx is a student at UW-River Falls.