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Culture > Entertainment

Red Flag! Why You Should be Skeptical of Love on “The Bachelorette”

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

If you clicked on this article, it’s safe to assume that you’ve seen the most recent season of The Bachelorette — Gabby and Rachel’s season — including that train wreck of a finale. The process of finding love on the show inherently has its fair share of flaws, and this season in particular was a perfect depiction of them.

Rachel Recchia’s journeys on both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette were nothing short of heartbreaking. From the beginning of her role as Bachelorette alongside Gabby Windey, Rachel had her eyes set on Tino Franco; he even received her first impression rose. The show ended with an engagement for the pair, but things quickly went downhill from there. “I slowly was pulling on that string and revealing more and more,” Rachel summarized during the live finale, “and, I mean I think everyone knows obviously, um, it didn’t really work out — he cheated on me.”

The unfortunate truth of this television show is that the chances of a successful relationship coming out of it are slim. After all, you barely know who you’re engaged to until the show is over and the cameras are off. Take it from Rachel’s co-bachelorette, Gabby: “Our relationship, you know, was all on camera, so we had a lot to learn about each other afterwards and you never know what comes up or how you’re gonna deal with things, you just hope it’s the person that you thought you met.”

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Over 19 years, there have been 26 seasons of The Bachelor and 19 seasons of The Bachelorette, and there are 24 couples that have remained together. This is about a 52% success rate for the show. Whether or not this is a good sign as to if the process “works” is hard to say. What we can notice about the show, however, is that it encourages its contestants to find romantic interests in a manipulative way, building inorganic relationships that are clearly not meant to last.

In an article written by licensed psychologist Shauna Springer, she highlights the tactics used by producers and hosts that encourage contestants to believe they are on the right path to true love. She mentioned one line frequently used by the hosts of the shows: “Do you think your future husband (or wife) is in that room?” According to Springer, this is “a form of psychological priming,” meaning it is supposed to convince the contestant that their journey will have a positive outcome if they trust their instincts — which is hard to do when their love stories are developed by producers trying to make an entertaining show.

Part of the foundation of every withstanding relationship is trust, but how can you build real trust when everything you say and do is broadcasted for a large audience to watch? Another point that Springer made in her article was that building the beginning of a relationship in an unrealistic and VERY public setting can be harmful, especially when attempting to establish trust. It is a common theme on the show for contestants to open up about very personal things — usually topics that should not necessarily be discussed on television. Talking about private matters in front of a large audience quite literally diminishes the effect of the conversation. If it was really that important of a matter to them, wouldn’t they have waited to discuss it in private?

A lot of the show seems fabricated, even for an enthusiastic viewer like me. Some of the most heartfelt conversations are made mildly inauthentic by the sole fact that they happened in front of cameras, a production crew, and were watched by millions. The next time you envy a relationship you see on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, remember the instability that comes with the highlights that are broadcasted!

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Ava Cichonski

U Mass Amherst '26

Ava Cichonski is a freshman at UMass Amherst studying nutrition. She loves to work out, crochet, and watch Rick and Morty in her free time.