Did you watch last night's episode of The Bachelorette which ended with an interview with previous season's bachelorette Emily Maynard? Emily talked openly about her struggles with Bachelor Brad Womack and confirmed the end of their relationship. Amid the tears and knee-jerk moments, Emily repeated quite a few times how much she had gone into the show with the hope that she would find true love forever. She talked of her excitement as the television season had progressed, and how she had gotten the perfect marriage proposal from Brad at the end of the show. But then, Emily and Brad exited stage left from this fabricated stage back into the real world. And that is where all the red flags, as Emily described them, started to show up. Emily even cancelled a move to Austin to live closer to Brad because of these red flags. As much as she wanted it to work, the romance that began on the television stage, ended sadly on the stage of life.
So why are we talking about the stage of life versus the stage of television in a series of blogs about the Internet? The Bachelorette often and easily gives us a fabricated sense of reality much like the Internet does. When we go online to find love, we enter with the notion that if we find the perfect love online, we have found the perfect love forever in the real world. Yet, this online stage lacks all the intricate interactions, moments, exchanges, pressures, and experiences that only the real world can give us. In essence, much like in the Bachelor and Bachelorette shows, the Internet love affair is really just the first step in a series of steps that a couple must climb on their journey to the final altar of marriage, an altar that can only be found on the stage of life.
In a world where 122 million singles are logging into dating sites each month, there is no question that many will take their online romances to their local church or temple. There are also many who will be woefully surprised that their online love for some reason failed horribly.
So the next time you log into your favorite dating site, remember you are taking just the first step on a long and hopefully lovely journey that a couple must travel before reaching the altar of love and life.
Until next week's episode, keep in mind the love of your life is more than a screen name or a credit at the end of a show.
See also Hemu's blog on The Bachelorette, Online Dating, and Hiring Your Next BF/GF.