So Jason had a change of heart, dumped the woman he picked, and begged Plan B to take him back. I am referring to the latest Bachelor, and — for all my fundamentalist friends, don’t take this post as an endorsement.
If you haven’t seen it, the Bachelor is presented with 25 beautiful women, and over time dates them, rates them, all but mates them and sends them packing. One by one, they bid tearful farewells. The harem grows smaller till the Bachelor, in this case a likeable, ultra-sensitive single dad named Jason, has winnowed the pen down to two.
The chosen ones compete for Jason’s affection, till, in an emotionally charged finale, he picks “the winner” who gets to marry him… but only after he shreds the heart of “the loser” who rides off in a limousine strategically devoid of Kleenex.
The Bachelor makes a fundamental error in its definition of love. Love, as described in Scripture, is the outflowing of self-giving respect from one person to another. It depends on the lover more than the beloved. Yes, romantic love adds in affection, and chemistry, and the X-factor or whatever you call it… but recognizes that those elements wax and wane over time. Paul advises, “Love never fails.” Apparently Jason didn’t get the memo.
After proposing to Melissa and casting off Molly, the real dating began. Off camera, long distance, just two people “in love”. Jason realized he made a terrible mistake (as Molly predicted), and in a stunning TV reversal ditched Melissa that he might beg Molly to take him back. “Maybe we can go out for coffee.” This, to the woman who straddled him almost naked and slathered him with oil.
In one minute, months of goodwill evaporated as Jason displayed the emotional indecisiveness that unquestionably elicited shouts of, “See! I told you so…” from his ex-wife.
What gives? What happens on the Bachelor that creates such weird love?
The answer: adulterated bonding.
Jason–along with every other Bachelor and Bachelorette–said, “I never expected to fall so deeply in love with two women.”
Ahem. When you rub and suck face and go to romantic spots and laugh and snuggle and… you will bond. Bonding is not that magical, sorry to burst any bubbles here. It is the predictable outcome of bonding behaviors. The show’s format forces bonding behaviors between one man and multiple women. All the women bond with Jason. Jason bonds with all the women… and the bonds only grow tighter as the show ratchets up the sexual tension.
When you adulterate wine, you dilute it with water.
When you adulterate love, you dilute it with multiple bonds.
In fact, these bonds can haunt you for a long time… for a lifetime. That’s why Molly, before she got the news that Jason ditched his fiance, Melissa, said that she “hadn’t gotten over” Jason. For some apparently inexplicable reason, she couldn’t “wash that man right out of her hair.”
When I’ve counselled couples with a cheating spouse, I hear the same refrain… “We never meant this to happen… IT just happened…” Beware of the nameless IT. Attention people earth: you are not the victim of IT or of any magical force beyond your control. If you do bonding bahaviors. your soul, your spirit, your mind, your imagination will forge bonds. Weave enough threads of affection, and soon you’ll have an untearable fabric.
That’s what the Bachelor creates with multiple partners. By design.
And that, is the fundamental fallacy–the corrupting fallacy–about this show. God designed us to bond with one woman/man for a lifetime. The feelings of affection come and go, but if you keep doing the actions that create a bond, you’ll weave a fabric that no one can rend asunder.
Maybe God knew what he was talking about when he said, “Don’t commit adultery” and applied it equally to body and mind. Don’t water down your single bond. Don’t adulterate your affection. Don’t dilute your love.
All you’ll get is more craziness than you can handle, a lifetime of needless drama, and a top-rated TV show.
Welcome to America’s race to the bottom.