‘The Bachelor’ and ‘The Bachelorette’ Could Break Down Ideas About Monogamy / MEL Magazine

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Could reality TV open up a real conversation about relationships?

During the last season of The Bachelorette, 25-year-old bachelorette JoJo Fletcher was overwhelmed. The physical intimacy she experienced in the Fantasy Suite — the only private moment offered to contestants who are dating, as a reward — came threefold. In an interview with People Magazine, Fletcher joked: “I’ve definitely kissed more guys in a few weeks than I had in my entire life!” She added that you can’t censor yourself during the show: “…If you know there is chemistry and a physical connection, it’s a good time to have privacy and let whatever happens happen.” Though she eventually shacked up with former quarterback Jordan, her experience through reality TV show sounds like a combination of speed dating and a possible foray into polyamory — particularly because there is so much emotional processing on the show itself.

Ultimately, audience members are programmed to want Fletcher to pick one guy and settle down with him for the rest of her life, or something like that — and while the show’s finale implies a happy ending, that’s usually not the case. Meanwhile, the journey she takes to that final moment is a pretty unusual one. Could The Bachelor open up a conversation about relationships, specifically the idea that one person can’t be everything, and thus it’s okay to date multiple people at once or have relationships that are not so black-and-white?

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