This week on The Bachelor, Ben and his adoring minions ditch the city lights and head to Park City, Utah, to spend some quality time in the great outdoors. Ben shows off his “country side” by wearing a plaid shirt and unsteadily clomping around on horseback, while the thirteen remaining girls continue delivering generous helpings of wine-induced meltdowns and catty girl fights. While the drama between the contestants is indeed entertaining, there are some meaningful (if not obvious) lessons in dating to be taken away from last night’s episode. Pour yourself another glass of wine and let the education begin.
Lesson 1: Don’t Be Less Interesting Than Inanimate Objects
On the first one-on-one date of the night, Ben picks up Rachel (a.k.a. Bangs) via helicopter and whisks her away to a private river for some canoeing and a horribly awkward waterside picnic. Rachel admits that she struggles with opening up and lacks in the communication department. That would be putting it nicely. When your date resorts to pointing out a barely visible beaver dam across the river because the sound of crickets is stealing the show, you know you have the personality of a Saltine cracker. Between forced sips of champagne, Rachel finally manages some comments about the way Ben winks and his crow’s feet. Good job, Bangs. Talk about your favorite music, your taste in food, your job, memories from childhood—heck, even talk about the weather if you’re that desperate! Ladies, when it comes to a first date (and social interaction in general), remember to use your words.
Lesson 2: Don’t Complain About Your Stupid Time Together
On the group date, Samantha pulls Ben away and complains that she’s been on three group dates and demands to know why he hasn’t taken her on a one-on-one date yet. Ben explains that she hasn’t proven herself in the group setting as she continuously acts catty and is overly emotional. Samantha doesn’t like that explanation and continues to pry, at which point Ben tells her off for not being laid-back and down-to-earth enough (clearly his favorite traits in women) and kicks her off the show. Just like that. Who knew Ben had the cojones? So ladies, remember this: before you complain that you’ve only gotten to do stupid things like ski in the streets of San Francisco or that you haven’t been suspended hundreds of feet in the air like other girls, count your blessings, be grateful for what you have, and don’t push your luck.
Lesson 3: Don’t Mistake Illicit Dog-Paddling for Love
On Ben’s second one-on-one date, he and Jennifer go on a hike leading to a crater blocked off by a sign reading “NO TRESSPASSING.” After a law-breaking hop over a wire, they repel into a water-filled crater and make out while frantically dog-paddling to stay afloat. Jennifer says that she thinks she is falling in love with this man, uses the word “journey” a lot, and makes a cheesy comparison about relationships being like “diving into the unknown.” Unsurprisingly, Ben describes his date as “down-to-earth,” “easy-going,” and “laid-back.” It’s a match made in reality TV heaven, right? But ladies, before you go looking for your own Jason Bourne or Ethan Hunt, be warned: it’s easy to mistake the excitement of trespassing and illicit dog-paddling for love; these uber-cheesy, adrenaline-inducing fairy-tale dates do not accurately reflect the sometimes-boring romance of real life. To see if their love is true, Ben and Jennifer should order Chinese takeout and watch a trashy weeknight TV show in flannel pj’s.
Lesson 4: Don’t Be a Gossip Girl
Each week, the contestants take turns hating a certain girl. This week it was the attractive, yet clearly off-her-rocker Courtney. During the rose ceremony pre-party, sweet little Emily takes Ben aside and delivers the ever-popular “she’s different around us than she is around you” speech. Ben seems unfazed by Emily’s warning about the hot model and tells her to concentrate more on herself than others. Good advice, Ben! We knew underneath that shaggy mop of hair you had a brain. Courtney then finds out about Emily’s tattling (Em, don’t tell the girl’s best friend next time, okay?) and the rest of the night is filled with shots of Emily nervously twitching her mouth side to side while Courtney maliciously twirls her hair and strokes her prized rose in the background. Let Emily’s downfall be a lesson to you: if you don’t want drama, don’t start it. You’ll only end up putting the other girl on a pedestal and will make yourself look like the bad guy.
Photo source: ABC Medianet