Bachelor Chris Soules and fiancee Whitney Bischoff announced they have mutually and amicably decided to call off their engagement. Chris shared that the split has been "really tough," but they continue to be supportive friends. Despite the fact that the way in which couples meet on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette is so exciting, it seems many relationships don't work out in the long term. Even so, the show carries intrigue for the viewers in the same way it does for the participants. It gives everyone the chance to think about the possibilities of meeting someone new and starting over, finding Mr. or Mrs. Right, and having the sense that anything can happen, the world is your oyster. It can seem like a dream come true.
Being a contestant on one of these shows is available to only a few people, but many of us have had the experience of meeting someone new in a more exciting than real life situation such as on vacation or at a big event like a wedding. When that happens there can be an immediate connection, and the sense that you have known that person all your life. Those feelings can be fueled by chemistry and the attraction you have for one another, as well as the fanfare of the situation in which you met. In the same way that people meet on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, it can be a key in the ignition that turns the relationship on, but then how do you keep it in motion? And why do so many of these relationships, whether they begin on the television show or in an out of the ordinary setting, end sooner rather than later?
It probably has a lot to do with the fact that these couples aren't having the opportunity to experience the other person under typical circumstances. On the show, for example, there is an intended outcome, goal, and timeline for a decision to be made which can disrupt the regular flow of getting to know each other. In the case of those couples who meet in other places, on a whirlwind vacation or swept up in the romance of the wedding they are attending, the same can be true because things might move faster than they would otherwise. It's all about the excitement and celebration - capturing relationships at the very beginning, where almost everyone starts out excited about falling in love. For many people, however, making a relationship succeed requires work that has to kick in once you're past the first stage of making the connection. This entails being able to communicate effectively with each other, dealing with compromising, sharing goals, and finding a balance between personal lives and their life as a couple. Those are the elements that make a relationship durable and enduring.
The inability to navigate their way through these important steps, paired with the idea that they are no longer in a glamorous world or on a television set, can very often diminish desire. The more frustrated, disappointed and angry you get, the faster you can lose your footing and grasp on what is keeping you together, and the more likely you are to get turned off to your partner.
Of course, it helps to know what you are looking for before you embark on the search for a new mate, whether through participating in a show like this or not. In other words, consider the values, temperament and energy level you are hoping to find in a new partner. Do you hope to be with someone who is a go-getter, or on more of an even keel? Are you searching for someone who is ambitious and looking to make a lot of money, or someone who is more creative and not so focused on the finances? The most important thing in all of this is figuring out how you feel when you are with the other person, and how he or she makes you feel about yourself. If all of that falls into place, it might be worth making the effort to stay together even after the band goes home or the camera people are no longer a part of your time together.
For Chris and Whitney, getting back to the ordinary elements of living and away from the show may have shed a light on a reality they no longer wanted to be a part of. At least they are making the best of it and continuing their friendship.
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