Last night, I lost 3 hours of my life I’ll never get back. I got together with some friends and watched the epic conclusion of the Bachelor: On the Wings of Love (the most dramatic season ever!), and after investing my Monday nights over the past few weeks watching this “journey” unfold, I feel kind of let down by the outcome. The Bachelor, Jake, ended up choosing the much-loathed Vienna over the sweetheart, crowd-favorite Tenley. Initially, I was very disappointed in Jake’s choice. In the beginning of the season, he talked a lot about being really serious about finding a wife and desiring someone who would be a partner for him to go through life with. All of the qualities that he talked about wanting are the qualities that Tenley seemed to possess, and they just looked adorably athletic and all-American together as a couple, they just seemed to “fit.” Vienna on the other hand, while she may have been outgoing and able to joke around with him, she also seemed immature and trashy (my opinion has been a little skewed by all the tabloid pictures that have surfaced of her in recent weeks). However, as much as I (and the rest of the country) wanted Jake to pick Tenley, I understand that sometimes even though a person may be totally perfect for you on paper, for whatever reason, you just don’t have that feeling in your gut. So if in his heart he really didn’t feel like she was the one, then I think it’s a good thing that he didn’t choose her just because she was the safe option. I do think that Tenley seems like a very sweet, beautiful, pulled-together, Christian woman (I’m kind of obsessed with her haha), and I’m sure that after the show, she’ll meet someone who is right for her. As for the thing that Jake didn’t feel with Tenley that he did feel with Vienna, it would seem from outside observation that it’s just the classic case of the pecker, not the brain, doing the picking (as Patti Stanger from Millionaire Matchmaker would say!). Obviously Jake was very physically attracted to Vienna (even though I’m not sure how he could see past those atrocious dark roots); I truly hope for both of their sakes that their feelings really go deeper then that. In all the interviews they’ve done in the past week since the finale, they seem happy, but only time will tell. Granted, I’m not putting any stock in a “relationship” created by a reality show over a 6-week period, so if they defy the odds and actually do make it, good for them. I’ll admit, I do love the Bachelor (and Millionaire Matchmaker, and basically most reality shows having to do with finding love). However, in the back of my mind I know that the majority of these shows are really terrible, as they reinforce unrealistic expectations about love and marriage. Now not to get all “Comm major” in this post, but it’s no wonder the divorce rate in the US is so high when young women in this country are being constantly bombarded by ideas that the road to marriage consists of being able to stand out from other women in a cocktail dress and going on fantasy dates in St. Lucia. One thing that I kept hearing on the Bachelor this season (especially from Vienna, which is what worries me) is the word “fairytale.” Hear me out, I’m not saying it’s wrong to want roses and romantic dates. I think that it’s a desire that most women, myself included, have, and I know that I have been really fortunate to have a boyfriend, fiance, and now husband that loves to do sweet things for me. However, I just think that it’s really important to keep in mind that what’s truly important in sustaining a marriage in the long run isn’t the fairytale, but rather the foundation that your relationship is built on. Without things like trust, open communication, similar values, and a desire to take your lives in the same direction, all the fairytale stuff is empty. Sure, I love when Cam gets me flowers, but what I love more than that is knowing that he is a man of integrity and that his word means something. His character, morals, and faith are things that I love about him, and those things, not expensive dinners (as much as I love them), are what made me want to spend my life with him. Developing a foundation for a strong marriage isn’t easy in here in the real world, so I feel it’s even more unrealistic to think that it can be done through the lens of reality TV. So while I do love to watch the Bachelor for entertainment, that’s really all it is.