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Final Thoughts: Life lessons from reality TV

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If you’re anything like me, you have more than once been sucked into a lusty reality TV show that seriously made you question if you lost brain cells in the process.

The fluffy nature of these shows does not make them any less addicting, and ever since 12-year-old me discovered The Bachelor, I’ve been hooked. This last year, I was drawn into Too Hot to Handle, Love is Blind, and all five seasons of Selling Sunset. And knowing me, I’m not about to slow down.

Every time I finish binge-watching one of these series, waves of embarrassment ride through me and make me regret “wasting” all those hours. But recently, I have been telling myself off for having these feelings because there is so much we can learn from watching reality TV, and we might as well recognize these shows for their value. In fact, there’s no better way to learn what not to do. 

Without any further ado, here are the top three things I have learned not to do thanks to the reality TV I’ve watched this year:

  1. Do not try and force someone to love you.

I know, I know, this might seem obvious, but when you’re head over heels, sometimes it’s hard to think straight. This was a major plot point of many seasons of The Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise. One example that is burned into my mind is Corinne in Nick’s season of The Bachelor, where Corinne spent the entire time basically being a whiny brat just to get attention from Nick. If someone is not naturally interested in you, it’s better to let it go before you make a fool of yourself. 

  1. Get to know someone before agreeing to marry them.

Taking the time to date and get to know someone goes against the whole premise of Love is Blind, where you can get to know someone (without seeing them) in a few days before deciding that you want to spend eternity with them. I would argue that looks do matter when figuring out if you can love someone enough to marry them, and even though everyone on the show is beautiful (which seems weirdly premeditated?), that is not real life. Please don’t take this gamble.

Also, both married couples from season two are now allegedly getting divorced, so I will just let that speak for itself.

  1. Don’t be a bully if you want friends.

I’m looking at you, Christine Quinn (Selling Sunset). There is nothing wrong with being ambitious and wanting to play by your own rules. In fact, I admire nothing more than a strong woman willing to go the extra mile to get what she wants. It’s just not classy if you put down others in the process, especially when those people are your friends and have your back. It creates so much drama and makes you look like an idiot. 

So next time you feel bad after spending 10 hours binge-watching the latest trashy reality TV show, just remember that you are probably learning valuable life lessons on what not to do, and at the very least, you are giving your brain a well-deserved break from the endless commotion of the world around us.

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