'The Bachelor' Exploits Fear for Love

Sasha Brown-Worsham

Monday night on The Bachelor, the two ladies who went on one on one dates -- Michelle and Chantal -- were both subject to tests of their greatest fears. Both said they had to do it to prove to Brad that they were "serious about him," but to me it seemed like cruelty on the part of ABC.

Chantal was forced to walk on the ocean floor even though the deep water of the ocean is practically a phobia for her. Michelle rappelled off a building even though she was practically hysterical with fear. "I am afraid of heights," she told Brad, in tears. Then, in a cruel twist, Emily, who lost her fiance, race car driver Ricky Hendrick, in a plane crash, is going to be forced to race cars on the next episode.

Since when is trauma a part of dating?

How many of us had to do something we are terrified of while we were dating our significant others? I am going to go with approximately none (or a very low percentage). It's only in reality show land where we're forced to "face our fears" to prove our devotion. I wonder if one of the girls just said, "You know, I am scared of heights and this isn't for me," if the Bachelor would actually dismiss her.

If he would, he's a dolt. Facing our fears is a powerful thing and we should all try to do it more. But a real phobia isn't something to mess with just for dramatic effect. I would probably bond and fall in love with the man who was in a tank full of spiders with me, but what I would be feeling would be false.

If ABC actually wants lasting love, the way to get it is not to falsely elevate feelings using adrenaline, and it's getting annoying to watch. How many times can I watch a woman "face her fear" of heights and then make out with a guy dangling 300 feet in the air? Someone must cry foul and I am happy to do so.

Part of real love is being able to face weakness together and using that to make each other stronger. But that comes with time. Exploiting fears to create love is just asking for trouble.

This just in: the feelings on The Bachelor might be false! I'm so shocked.

Did you "face fears" with your significant other?


Image via ABC

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