In Defense of Juan Pablo

When The Bachelor/Bachelorette reality show first came on the air, I thought it was silly, didn’t watch it, and didn’t think it would last. That someone would actually propose marriage to a person after a couple of months of fairytale dating adventures seemed to me to be unbelievable or very naïve.

The show has been on the air for 17 seasons now, I have watched it off and on during that time, and as proven by the number of broken engagements stemming from the show, my initial impression was both inaccurate and accurate. The show has lasted far longer than I would have ever expected. The proposals at the conclusion of each season are unbelievable or very naïve; which brings us to this season.

When Juan Pablo began the season it appeared to me that everyone loved him. The women on the show said he was sensitive and chivalrous and just the kind of man they had always wanted. By the end of the season, many of the contestants for his love had turned against him and the host was obviously not in his corner. Though he is not the only bachelor who did not propose at the end of the season, he’s getting his share of negative press. Juan is being maligned because he was unwilling to say “I love you” even though or, perhaps, because he was pushed to say it.

Has the audience actually convinced themselves that people fall in love after a few months of dating in exotic locations? Do they actually believe that a healthy marriage will stem from a short, intense experience with or without a group of other datees? If a man doesn’t propose marriage because he thinks it’s too early in the relationship to do so, and rather than propose and then back out, he doesn’t propose in the first place; and if he doesn’t say “I love you” because (horrors) he isn’t quite ready to do so and won’t be bullied into it, I have one thing to say: I applaud you.

I'd love to hear from you!