Dating tips from ‘The Bachelor’…or NOT!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I must admit that I am a sucker for the “The Bachelor” on ABC.  I have always thought of the show as a study in 21st Century dating and social order (which may not be a very good sign for the 21st century).  And, as a closet romantic, I always root for a girl that I believe is “right” for the bachelor; hoping that true love will survive the chaos and drama of this tortuous show-it rarely does.

But recently (while planning dates for me and Kev) I have analyzed the “dates” that these couples are sent on.  Here are a few for example; climbing a bridge, repelling off a 30 story building, jumping out of a helicopter into the ocean, zip lining through the rain forest, and flying over the Swiss Alps.  Ok people, have any of you EVER had a date like those?  I mean really?  This “so-called” reality show is NOT reality (I know you all already knew that).  And, to further complicate matters the thrilling, adrenaline producing events that the producers usually put these “daters” in are usually the BIGGEST FEAR for the girl involved-I always thought that was a coincidence.  “Wow, Emily is deathly afraid of heights and the producers set up a date that had her climbing a bridge, what are the odds of that?”  Well, actually I am sure it is all planned.  Studies have shown that emotions felt during intense, adrenaline producing activities can cause people to “think” what they are experiencing is love or at least deep like.  That is why we sit at home and wonder why all these girls have “fallen” for this average guy.  They have experienced the highs of emotional responses while paired with the bachelor and have labeled that emotional high as “Love”.  I know this is not a new concept, but it is certainly why most reality show couples don’t last.  You can’t jump out of helicopters everyday!

What does this have to do with me and Kev dating? Well, I would have to say on the adrenaline producing scale our last date was a 1 out of 10.  We really had a tough time coming up with a good “date”.  We had a gift card to Solstice Kitchen so as a last resort that was going to be the date-not even a movie included.  Vanderbilt happened to be playing its short-lived stint in the NCAA tournament so we decided to watch the game at home and then got to dinner.  Vandy lost-no adrenaline there.  By this time it was about 8:30.  I was ready to put my stretchy pants on call it a night, but No, I had to “dress up” and go out to eat.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love to eat at nice restaurants and I always love Kev’s company, but really, 8:30 was just a little too late for this home-body.  Can you just picture THIS date on the Bachelor?  Boy, the viewers would be flocking to see daters going to eat at a restaurant.

Of course our time together was warm, familiar and fun.  We laughed so much that night-I can’t even remember why, but it certainly was a special, intentional time for us to recharge and remember why we are together in the first place.  Sure, we have had our hearts race, butterflies in our stomach and even the occasional adrenaline producing events (like bungee jumping in Destin, FL); but what makes for great relationships (not great T.V.) is finding love and passion in the everyday moments; watching a basketball game, cooking dinner, cleaning out the attic or sitting across the table from one another laughing.

Maybe next month we will repel off of the Capital Center Building….stay tuned.

Because…

While pondering our March date, which has yet to be determined, I asked myself this question:   Why am I dating my wife, especially when she is soooo tired all the time?

Because if I dated another woman it would be extremely hard to explain.

Because dating her allows for minimal rejection – she won’t tell me she has other plans.

Because there is no other woman on the planet who deserves my full attention. Period.

Because it feels good to get in our car and back out of the driveway knowing wherever we go there will be no arguments erupting from the backseat about the ipad/pod.  (there’s a thought…maybe for our March date we should just drive around peacefully for hours.)

Because if, and when, our children get married, I want to have earned the privilege of sitting on the second row of the church while holding her hand during the wedding.

Because Family Systems is more than a Theory, and most likely, how Aly and I treat one another will be a key ingredient to the interaction between our children and their spouses.

Because when her eyes smile at me some of my insecurity is defeated.

Because she is curvy and smells nice.

Because “quality versus quantity” is bologna, and hours invested with each other make more difference than minutes.

Because when it came time to say “I do” twenty three years ago, I did.  And the vows said nothing conditional about receding hair or expanding waist (mine.  all mine.)

Because she tolerates my jokes.  And laughs every now and then.

Because everyone we know who has an empty nest tells us the view from the top of that mountain is worth the climb together.  Dating each other is part of that climb.

Because sitting in church on the same pew the Sunday morning after a Saturday night date is better than sex.  (In one sense.)

Because Merlot, cornmeal encrusted oysters on fried green tomatoes, and Crab stuffed Sea Bass are pre-requisites to conversations that CANNOT be had at home.

Because God said I should. Well, maybe not explicitly, but The Song of Solomon said something about walking across the Hills of Bether, and I think that is kinda about dating my wife.

Because sometimes there are problems in life that CAN be solved by dinner and a movie.

Because staying in love means playing the part, not just assuming the character.

Because our lives are too stressful to have no rewards.