8 Dating Lessons ‘The Bachelorette’ Taught Us, For Better Or Worse

Some reality TV shows can be truly educational — at least, that’s what I tell myself to justify the mind-numbing hours I spend watching them — and The Bachelorette, my friends, is one of those shows. (Shh. Keep your thoughts to yourself. Don’t ruin this for me!)

In all seriousness, though, you can definitely learn a thing or two from watching the girls go through the trials and tribulations of meeting a modern man:

  1. Never ever kiss if you don’t want someone to tell. The entire fandom was shocked when a spurned Nick Viall chided Bachelorette Andi Doorman for doing “fiancé type stuff” with him in the fantasy suite and then told the whole world that she “made love” to him. The takeaway is this: privacy, especially in the days of habitual oversharing, is never something you should take for granted.
  2. Doing ridiculous things together really does help to strengthen a bond. Season after season, guys and girls are falling head over heels in just a few short months. Sure, some of the actors may be putting on just to make a better show, but many at least appear to be genuine. That’s helped along by the fact that the show manufactures one-of-a-kind shared experiences for the contestants to laugh and reminisce over. Try doing something different together to capture some of that excitement.
  3. If it’s not working for you, don’t drag it out. Men have feelings too, as evidenced by the surprising amount of tears the guys have shed on national TV. Take a lead from the girls who graciously tell guys goodbye, and don’t lead a guy on if you know they’re not the right one for you.
  4. You can learn a lot about someone from their friends and from how they interact with other guys. Some people aren’t a big fan of all the screen time spent delving into the bromances or frenemies in the house, but that’s so important. You can learn a lot about a guy from how much his roommates like living with him or what his friends have to say about him. After all, if all goes well, you’re the one who’s going to be his roommate.
  5. You always need to be on high alert for BS. Ali’s advice to the upcoming Bachelorette was short and sweet: “Your BS detector needs to be out.” It’s a lesson that a lot of the girls had to learn the hard way, and that everyone should keep in mind in this crazy dating game we all go through. It’s fair that a guy is trying to present the best version of himself, but make sure they’re not just gaming you. Beware of liars.
  6. Dating is a lot more difficult without getting second opinions from your girlfriends. Chris Harrison is great and all, but sometimes it seems like the girls would make better choices if they could check in more often with their real-life gal pals. They’re a great resource for keeping you in check and for calling you out when you’re letting fantasies cloud your judgment – use them!
  7. Having a checklist of “requirements” for your dream guy never really works as well as you think it will. Seriously. Just based on looks and resumes alone, every single guy in the show seems like he’d be an awesome suitor. And then they open their mouths and out comes a loser.
  8. Sometimes being ready for love is just as important as meeting the right guy. The one thing that all of the bachelorettes have in common is that they’ve made the decision that they’re ready to look for love. That requires sacrifices and commitment, and sometimes owning up to that is the hardest part of all.
Jessica Levy is a freelance blogger and content writer. She’s also a politics junkie, a fledgling foodie, and a frequent traveler. She has lived in Morocco, Israel, India, and Barbados, and never wants to be cold again. Follow her on Twitter!