Because, as it turns out, the best reality shows for relationships aren’t even about romance at all. To be fair, some of the shows that have strong track records are rooted in finding love. But there are more that are simply competition reality shows wherein participants find unexpected love.
Even though, especially in the last couple of years, all TV shows have tried to be more inclusive, reality TV dating will never show you the cultural intricacies that sometimes go behind real-life dating. Because these shows are mostly American or European products, they only show a very Westernized form of dating to their audience. For example, Asian dating is naturally very different from the Western tradition we’re used to. In eight seasons, the show has led to three “perfect match” marriages and multiple marriages of couples who were matched with someone else or were on a different season. This series has also seen plenty of couples break up with their match, so the show is only partially successful. Follows a group of men and women who have been secretly coupled up in a matchmaking process as they try to identify their “perfect match” by pairing up and competing in different challenges.
The third stage is often the make or break point for relationships. When they followed up with participants, the researchers found that the couples who had stayed together for three years or more had the most decreased activity in this part of the brain. Neuroscientists and “experts in love” have outlined four stages of a relationship. Let’s be honest, the internet is really just a super elaborate and sophisticated farce designed to distract you from having your pockets picked by greasy conmen in cheap suits, right? Not quite, but it is full of unscrupulous vendors looking to separate you from your money by whatever means possible (in other news, have you heard about the secret to getting killer abs in less than 7 minutes using this 1 weird trick…?).
But once our stars are no longer serving up plates of entertainment, do we then cease to care about their wellbeing? The reality fame machine chews up these once unknown humans and spits them out into a changed world. Actually lives or dies through the strength of the casting and the resulting drama of the casts’ relationships. Though it’s not a dating show in the traditional sense, when it comes to marriages, 90 Day Fiancé is the most successful reality show by far. The TLC series follows a group of real-life couples, consisting of an American engaged to someone from another country. They plan their wedding 90 days before the international person must get married or be deported.
And 9 couples that unfortunately couldn’t even last a year together:
Gill’s season five co-star Yewande Biala is also building her empire following the show. The concept ofToo Hot to Handle is pretty much true to the title. Ten hot and horny serial swipers live in a house together and start off by cheers-ing to how sexy they are on this Netflix original. OK, so maybe the whole point of Bachelor in Paradise is for people to hook up and get engaged.
These shows were not explicitly focused on the actual challenges posed by dating as a queer, gender-nonconforming person in a straight world. Plus, the central objects of desire were hot in conventionally gendered ways, and the shows worked through enticing plot gambits that could bring in mainstream audiences. This statistic presents the share of Americans who watched reality tv shows on TV in 2021, by age. In that year, 32 percent of respondents aged 18 to 29 years stated that they watched reality tv shows on TV. Dating is certainly hard enough on your own — but have you ever tried searching for love in a French villa with,wait for it,your sibling? That’s what seven sibling duos set out to do inDated & Related, which tracks them as they set out to find their soulmates — and potentially win $100,000.
By our last count—calculated through our exhaustive research — it seems 29 couples from this TLC reality show are still married and actually together, including Season 4’s Pedro and Chantel Jimeno . In today’s modern world, forming and maintaining sayallo account a healthy and functional romantic relationship based on mutual love and respect is becoming increasingly tricky. People of all genders are becoming disillusioned with relationships and prefer to focus on their career or anything else.
The format of Barris’s first dating show, The Dating Game, which premiered in 1965, saw a bachelor or bachelorette ask questions of three singles seen only by the audience. The various suitors were able to describe their rivals in uncomplimentary ways, which made the show work well as a general devolution of dignity. Some of the questions were written to elicit humorous or suggestive answers.
As for people of color, the casts of many dating shows include them, but still have a majority of white actors. From what I’ve seen, white people generally take up lead roles while people of color come in every once a while. Many people of color, unfortunately, get typecast in reality television, and “The Bachelorette” only had its first Black bachelorette — Rachel Lindsay — in 2017. By putting more people of color and more people from the queer community in lead roles rather than supporting roles, dating shows can mitigate this problem. Having multiple seasons of multiple shows will help other reality dating shows avoid having to be “all things to all LGBTQ people,” or making a cast of 16 individuals the single example that represents an entire community.