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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at USF chapter.

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for reality tv dating shows. I am a proud member of the Bachelor Nation, I feverishly watched the Love is Blind: After the Altar updates this weekend, and whenever there’s a new show featuring a villa, I’m in. 

As a dating-show aficionado, you think that I would believe in the power of reality tv to find your soulmate, but honestly, I’m quite the skeptic. 

Are most contestants there for the right reasons? Or is it all for publicity? 

It’s been shown that, if you’re a well-liked contestant, can jumpstart your influencer career. 

For instance, look at Tyler Cameron, runner-up for season 15 of The Bachelorette. Cameron instantly charmed viewers which resulted in designer modeling opportunities, millions of followers, and even a book deal! 

Additionally, the fame that comes along with being a popular contestant is mentioned during the show itself, with drama arising with people not being there for the right reasons. In a previous season of Bachelor in Paradise, contestants talked about how being featured on the show has boosted their following. 

As a fan, it has made me pessimistic about how genuine the shows really are. 

On the other hand, the romantic in me hopes that these shows actually work. I think it’s such an amazing story and that the number of coincidences that would need to fall in place is so dreamy. 

For example, Cameron and Lauren Hamilton from Love is Blind, A newer dating show where people date without seeing one another before being engaged, have been married for over three years now. 

Contestants from numerous dating shows also seem to become very close with each other once filming ends, having a unique shared experience that brings them closer together. Contestants are seen hanging out years after the shows are done, highlighting genuine connections.  

To end this on an optimistic note, I am still not entirely sure if reality TV dating shows are completely genuine, but I do know they help people find meaningful connections in their lives, whether they be platonic or romantic. 

However, I do know that I will always continue to tune into next week’s episode. 

Hi! My name is Penelope, but everyone calls me Penny. I am an undergraduate student at the University of South Florida majoring in marketing and integrated PR and advertising. I'm a proud, communicative Gemini, who is excited to share on Her Campus! Some of my interests include watching movies (I consider myself an 80's movie aficionado), listening to music, going to concerts, and following hockey.