Love and reality television is a match made in media heaven. And thanks to popular network shows such as 'The Bachelor', 'Kiss Bang Love', 'The Farmer Wants A Wife' and 'Married at First Sight', reality television romance is also the flavour of the season.
This week's announcement from Channel 10 that Richie Strahan is the latest Bachelor has not only set hearts a-flutter but also given us yet another reason to cancel any plans and break out the popcorn. But while we sit there glued to our TVs watching the staged antics and cringe-worthy moments, we must stop (in between our cries of outrage and advice thrown to the unsuspecting candidates through the screen) and ask ourselves the golden question: Is it really possible to find the love of your life on TV?
Finding love -- a real true love -- is a quest that we will all embark upon at some point in our lives. And for some people, the search doesn't just stop at Tinder or online dating. Reality TV has become the newest way to be entertained, because it's unscripted, unpredictable and full of crazy and interesting characters who we love to judge without even knowing them.
But how much of what we see on TV is actually real? And is there actually more of a chance that you could find the person of your dreams while the world is watching? While the stories of Sam Frost and Sam Wood have given us romantic dreamers hope that it is possible, we still have to look at the hard facts of looking for love on reality TV.
What you see isn't what you get
If you haven't worked in TV, you may be surprised to discover that what you see on your screens isn't exactly what really happens. A lot of the time, scenarios have been set up, characters have been picked specifically to cause drama and conversations have been edited to grab the audience's attention. They may call it reality television, but it is actually controlled and scripted to a certain degree so that ratings can be filled.
When you're in a bubble you will think like a bubble
When you are stuck in a mansion full of free food, make-up artists and 24 other women with nothing to do, you tend to lose touch with reality. I can only imagine how easy it would be to start to believe that everything around you is normal and acceptable after being locked away for three months -- heck, after watching for three episodes we even start to think it's normal to pack up your life and compete for a man. Losing perspective doesn't mean you can't find love in the situation, but it does make it more difficult to identify what a healthy love is.
Love is a whole lot more than staged romance
If only every single date we had consisted of thousands of scattered rose petals around a romantic, candle-lit couch overlooking an African sunset drinking champagne. Alas, this is not entirely realistic.
So we must also remember that each and every 'date' has been crafted by a whole heap of people, with the intention of giving us the notion that the perfect man must also fill all of our wildest romantic fantasies. How could you not fall in love with a farmer that makes every single meeting totally romantic and memorable? But it is hard to know where reality and fantasy cross over.
After the lights and cameras and hype are gone, you will want to know that your new-found man or woman will know how to love and romance you without the input of a network.
There is no such thing as love at first sight
No thanks to Disney, many of us have this undying hope in our head and hearts that you can fall in love with someone at first sight. Sorry, people, but this is just not true. Love isn't based on a feeling, it's based on a whole lot of actions and it is something that is developed over time.
The controversial Channel 9 show 'Married at First Sight' (adapted from a Danish program of the same name) has taken it one step further -- binding two people together in a commitment ceremony after only knowing each other for two minutes.
Call me crazy, but marriage (no matter how many experts may have been involved to match make these couples) requires a whole lot more than some random peoples opinions and a few hours of knowing each other.
Call it extreme dating if you will, but a chance at true love? I'm not so sure I would be going that far.