Ease your student supervision speed bumps.

Will you accept this rose?

The TV show The Bachelor has been around since 2002 on ABC.  Monday March 11th will air the finale of this season with Sean Lowe.   He was on The Bachelorette season with Emily Maynard, who also experienced heartbreak as a previous finalist.  His online bio describes Sean as

A real romantic, Sean loves to make a woman feel special and, as a life-long Texan, he holds Southern values close to his heart. He wants to propose once, be married once and live a faithful family life, like his parents, who have had a loving 35-year union.

It is hard not to know of this series.  Being around the last ten years, between Bachelor, Bachelorette and the newest series Bachelor Pad the constant commercials alone would loop you in.

There is no doubt this tv show is a guilty pleasure of mine.  It also is uniquely something I get to share with my mom.  It would take me almost exactly 24 hours to drive home, but through this show I get to share something weekly with her.
It also is one of the few times that I let myself indulge in the drama.  If you have watched this season, the drama was open for the taking especially by one cast member Tierra.  She had countless memorable quotes and dramatic moments.  The ones below were the most popular:

Ok now I feel bad.  With the high dose of drama and public vulnerability, many shows like this make me wonder:

 If I was single would I consider applying? 

Would I accept this rose?

The show takes nominations and applications year round by mail or online.   The casting website declares

Making a video is the best way to show us your personality and ensure that you are seen by the casting team!!!

I know finding and keeping love is difficult.  I feel stuck when trying to support my single friends looking for love.  Dating has always been complicated, but now with the online world in the mix, I am at a loss how to help.  Lloyd and I will be celebrating our ten year meeting this month.  Meeting eachother was a mix of fate, luck and being a little crazy.
We probably should have never met.  Statistically we probably shouldn’t have made it past the first phone call.  But we were both stubborn (and young enough) to work extremely hard to make it work.  Two years of being long distance and we started to build our lives together in Los Angeles.
What I loved about being long distance was the honeymoon effect.  Seeing him after one to two months brought on such a high, and saying goodbye brought us closer.  But this was also risky.  When we did finally move-in together, could we exist without those highs?
But we did make it.  After five years together, we got engaged and are living the happily ever after.
Here is where I connect back to The Bachelor and Bachelorette series.   The statistics are very low for successful couples resulted from the show.  As reported on wetpaint.com/

16.5 completed seasons of The Bachelor and eight seasons of The Bachelorette — a full three out of 24 “official” couples are still together.
That lucky 12.5 percent includes Jason and Molly Mesnick, even though Jason had originally chosen (and proposed to) Melissa Rycroft over Molly on The Bachelor 13 finale. We’re also adding Ashley Hebert and JP Rosenbaum of The Bachelorette Season 7, since they are currently engaged and are set to tie the knot on ABC in December.

That’s right, only three!!
So with these margins so low, why do people keep flocking to this show?  Is it the pursuit of love?  Reality Stardom?
This season is down to two women, Lindsday and Catherine.  The Bachelor website offers the following on the two finalists:

Would you describe yourself more as “the party-starter,” “the wingman,” or “the laid back one”?
I honestly thing I am a bit of all three but if I must pick one I am “the party starter.” It is important to me that everyone has fun :).
What’s your worst date memory?
I got sent on a blind date with an old man!
What is the most romantic present you have given? Why?
I made my ex-boyfriend a drawing book when he studied abroad becauese he loves to draw. He loved it!

Who do you admire most in the world and why?
Anyone who can look beyond themselves and unselfishly help others. Giving more than they may have. They are an example for us all.
Do you consider yourself a romantic and why?
Absolutely. Love is the best and expressing it to someone is so special.
What are the top 3 things on your bucket list, and why?
To eat traditional pasta in Italy, to go skiing in the Alps, and to ride an elephant in Thailand.

Being an distant observer, in my PJs, eating a bowl of ice cream while cuddling up on the couch with my cat – I remind myself these are real people.  Real people that believe (and really may be) in love.
Based on how the show is set up, they are physically removed far from reality.  All they can think about is love.  Because honestly, that’s all they can do on the show between dates.  Removed from their normal lives and dropped into love land, with pretty dresses and whisked out to romantic destinations.
It is the honeymoon effect on steroids.  Dosages boosted by producers, other participants and the bachelor/bachelorette themselves.  When moderated wisely and responsibly, the warm and fuzzy feelings of love can lead to something lasting.  For Lloyd and I, this was after two years building a solid foundation to rely on.
But what Bachelor and Bachelorette cast members have are a handful of moments with each other, maybe spending a few full days together in t0tal if they are lucky together.
One of the episodes that I have come to purposefully skip is the hometown dates.  While I love the idea of asking for permission to marry your daughter, I could never dream of putting my father through that!  With a camera in their face, of course the dads have to say yes.  Look closely, you can see it in their eyes.
Catherine and Lindsey are real people and I have come to worry about both of them.  They most likely will both get their hearts broken.  One will go home without a ring.  The other, newly engaged but must take on a long distance relationship (which is extremely difficult) and also a legal contract agreeing to keep the relationship a secret.  After Monday, finally the couple can be public, which also means they will be poked and prodded the rest of their lives.
Did they ever really have a chance?  A kind of life that will make love more difficult than usual?  A love set-off to beat a 87.5% statistics that says their relationship will fail.
But I am romantic.  I hope for all those that are called to love to have the ability to find it.  The risks and statistics are worth it.  But here is another statistic: half of all marriages end in divorce.  Does this keep people from getting married?  No.
I will keep watching, because I keep hoping that accepting the rose really will lead to happily-ever-after-the-bachelor.
Tune in with me, Monday March 11th 8|7 C.  Get comfortable though, it will be three hours!
Would you accept this rose?

About Josie

I’m Dr. Josie Ahlquist—a digital engagement and leadership consultant, researcher, educator, and author. I’m passionate about helping people and organizations find purposeful ways to connect, engage, and tell their unique story. I provide consulting, executive coaching, and training for campuses, companies, and organizations that want to learn how to humanize technology tools and build effective and authentic online communities.

My blog and podcast have been recognized by EdTech Magazine, Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education. My book, Digital Leadership in Higher Education, was published in 2020 and was listed as a #1 new release for college and university student life. I have been growing my consultancy since 2013 and am based in Los Angeles. When I’m not helping clients lead online, you might find me training for a triathlon, spoiling my nieces and nephews, or exploring with my husband and our rescue dogs in our new RV called Lady Hawk.

I’d love to connect! Find me on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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Rebekah Tilley

Assistant Vice President, University of Iowa Center for Advancement

Rebekah Tilley is the assistant vice president of communication and marketing for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement (UICA). In that role she supports fundraising and alumni engagement efforts for the university, including its CASE Gold winning Iowa Magazine, and serves UICA in a variety of strategic communication efforts.

Previously she was the director of strategic communication for the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business, and the director of communication for the University of Kentucky College of Law. She is a Kentucky native and a proud alum of the University of Kentucky.

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