The Bachelor and Long Distance Dating

I think Hell has frozen over in DFW.  Not only did Tony Romo deliver a playoff win for the Dallas Cowboys, but I’m watching The Bachelor again AND quoting Nikki Ferrell.

Bear with me.  I haven’t lost my mind.  No, I haven’t.

Nikki, formerly of Don Juan Juan Pablo Galavis crappily-ever-after fame as the “winner” from his season, and now as the latest Bachelor castoff has been relegated to walking the red carpet at other Bachelor events.  (Fear not Nikki, Melissa Rycroft’s career has turned out okay!)

Last night, host Chris Harrison interviewed interrogated her about the breakup prior to the gala premiere of the most current (Prince Farming) season.  And Nikki’s media coaching paid off because she didn’t crack even when Chris tried to get her to say “yes, Juan Pablo is a self-centered jerk” by asking her the same question five different ways.

Her classy response?  “At the end of the day, we have different priorities, we have different lifestyles.”  And “I just knew that my lifestyle was never going to fit in with his.”

Where am I going with this, you might ask?  Well, for me a light bulb went off when Nikki said this  “I’m so far removed from it when I’m at home – it’s not a priority for me at all.”

And in that brief two minute interview, it was a flash of wisdom.  The entirety of my dating life from my mid-20s to my mid-30s resembled something like a Bachelor season.  There were exotic locations.  Whirlwind fantasy dates that seemed magical.  Sometimes a bit too much alcohol (leading to irrational crying, drama, and/or unrealistic expectations).  And often a twist of undue competition and/or crazy jealousy.  And of course a lot of long distance dating.

Why?  Because typically one or both of the parties involved where living the relationship out as one extended vacation because one or both of us were frequent travelers (and often not living in the same city).  So yeah, what Nikki says makes sense.  When you are “far removed” from your day-to-day reality, it’s easy to see something that isn’t there.  Vacation romances or trade show liaisons (aka “showmances”) or meet up hookups, they can seem totally real in context.  And then when the parties go back to their day-to-day life, there is no congruency.

Put aside the crazy production antics, the production-encouraged alcohol-fueled drama, and the instant stardom aspects of the show – the reason The Bachelor has a poor track record is that it’s essentially long distance dating drawn out as a television.

And that stuff is HARD.

But it won’t stop me from watching another season.  I can’t imagine this season will be anything less than satisfying on that front.  Girls in sequined dresses competing to go back and marry a guy who is a rural farmer in Iowa?  That’s the stuff that vacation romance and long distance relationship issues are made of.

You can bet I’ll be tuned in.


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