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Soooo I used to be apart of “Bachelor nation” like 6 years ago. It was entertaining to watch and then I got annoyed at how unrealistic it all was to actual healthy relationships so I stopped watching it…. Until this season. It was all my classmates would talk about before class and then I read this awesome article on it and decided to give it a try again. Who doesn’t like judging other people’s relationships? right? hahaha JK. but seriously that’s how it is. It’s kinda sad that we get to make all sorts of comments about people we don’t even know, all from our couch. It’s also sad because it seems to promote this idea that it’s OK to make out with a bunch of guys at once, lead them on, and even have sex with them at one point. Aside from these morals it teaches, it has made me appreciate my own relationship so much more.

Here are three things The Bachelorette has made me appreciate about my marriage:

1. The level of trust we founded our relationship on. 

When Trevor and I dated we weren’t dating anyone else. There was no stress of jealousy because we didn’t create the opportunity for it. We had the same standards and both took our relationship seriously. I guess it’s just me and my Utah bubble talking here, but the thought of one of us sleeping with someone while dating each other still is not even something we worried about.

I knew that the contestants on this show would hook up with each other but it was painful to watch that situation unfold between her and telling these guys. I tried putting myself in one of their shoes and I just would not be able to look past that. ESPECIALLY because for weeks she kept it from these other guys she was developing serious relationships with. I would have a huge trust issue if I were in a relationship like that. I mean this opens up a can of worms — infidelity, honesty, and my own self-worth would be questioned. People can say it’s the situation on the show and that you wouldn’t really date this many guys at once, but could the same act be excusable later on? What a perfect foundation for an engaged couple! No wonder most of the Bachelor/Bachelorette relationships end!

2. Our dating life.

Our dates weren’t stupid like having to fight someone in a boxing match… Seriously? Her group date choices continually had nothing to do with getting to know these guys! It was like all she wanted to do was keep putting them in weird, and uncomfortable situations where they inevitably make fools of themselves and lose confidence while they are at it, haha. In actual dating, that might happen once but typically you choose dates that are comfortable enough for both people, right? Or is that just a crazy idea to think that someone might want to be themselves and enjoy the date…

The rest of us normal people who don’t or didn’t date on national TV got to experience dates that helped us know more about each other, as well as connect further. The first date Trevor and I went on was to the State fair, where we got to have great conversation while walking around looking at art work, having treats, and listening to music on the ride home. We got to know so much about each other because one painting led to this conversation, which led to that conversation, and so on. Our dates weren’t fancy-shmancy where we dressed up and had dinner at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, followed by a helicopter ride around New York City, hahaha. But they didn’t need to be, either! Magical moments sparked between us without forcing them to, and I’m grateful for that. Our relationship now continues to thrive on every day magical moments — moments that I hope these reality TV relationships get to experience.

3. The clearer idea of reality together.

With how we dated, we started learning what to expect if we were to be boyfriend and girlfriend, and then married. For example, Trevor and I made meals for each other a few times while dating and it was a great experience to serve each other, as well as learn our eating habits. When you think about it, food is a big part of your relationship – it’s what you’ll typically spend at least once a day doing together if not more! Cooking for each other progressed when we were engaged because we shared more meals together. Through this experience we gained a clearer idea of how we each buy groceries, and how meals will be made.

Going through the ups and downs of each others’ lives was also important for the growth of our relationship. We got to see each other in moments of disappointment, sadness, frustration, as well as how we come out of those emotions. Trevor saw how I get frustrated when the computer doesn’t do what I want it to and so he knew to expect that I get frustrated over that stuff :) We also got to see other things like how we each manage our time (Was I the type of girl to take 3 hours to get ready every day? Was he the type of guy that would be late to everything?). There are a bunch of other things, obviously, but I guess what I’m trying to say is that our expectations of our future together were fairly realistic because of the everyday and sometimes difficult or even mundane things we experienced with each other.

My Final Rose

Of all the couples who have emerged from The Bachelor/Bachelorette, I’m so happy for the ones who managed to make their relationship work off camera, and are genuinely happy together! These couples and other reality television couples tell us that lasting love truly can come out of a TV show. I’ll probably watch this next season because I love love love seeing great relationships thrive even if it’s feeling like a slim chance. And of course I’ll probably keep watching it because it will continue to make me appreciate my relationship with Trevor!

But what I’m trying to sum up here is that a lasting relationship is built on reality; being a part of someone’s every day schedule, their good days and bad days, their trials and triumphs, and seeing them for who they truly are when they don’t have an audience to impress. The dating life Trevor and I had was not perfectly done, but it was real and full of sincerity and trust. I’m so glad my “final rose” went to him!

Keepin' marriage fresh,

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