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Can straight men benefit from watching The Bachelor?


Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available  from Port Hole and Barnes & Noble .


My name is Ned and I watch The Bachelor.

I’ve been a heterosexual for 17,155 days and counting.

I can see the looks of confusion but that’s okay; I’ve gotten used to it. In fact, I used to hide my Bachelor/Bachelorette watching…

“Hey Ned, how about that Trailblazers game last night?!?”
“Yeah, man! They really dominated the paint!”
“What are you talking about? They LOST!”
“Oh, right. Uh, I got tapped out for a house fire and missed the second half.”
“Was everyone ok?”
“Yeah, but the girls who didn’t get a rose were pretty upset.”
“Wait… what?”


I actually watch very little television. The shows I do watch are because of personal interest. I watch Chicago Fire because I’m a volunteer firefighter; The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour because I’m a journalist; Hell’s Kitchen because I was a chef for 10 years; The Bachelor because I don’t ever want to be one again. As a happily married man, I can tell you the benefits of a good marriage far outweigh the initial discomfort of watching Chris Harrison — week after week — inform everyone who didn’t pass kindergarten math that there’s only one rose left. You also have to get past the three main types of contestants who appear each season:

The Cryer — Easy to spot because they are reduced to tears and sitting alone within 15 minutes of arriving at the mansion
The Liar — This person is already in a long-term relationship and is a struggling actor. They are always extremely attractive, which causes the Bachelor’s judgement to become cloudy as blood flows away from the brain to an area in close proximity to his pants pocket.

And lastly,

The Psycho — Always arrives separately from the rest of the contestants, usually in some uniquely pretentious way, such as by helicopter, riding a Segue wearing only a wrestling singlet, or in the case of this season, pushing a piano. (Not a good plan. Especially when the driveway is made of cobblestone.)

However, as with certain ethnic foods that include colon lining, over time you can begin to stomach these people long enough to identify critical ingredients you had previously missed, probably while sitting in front of the commode in a cold sweat. Those are the ingredients you can use to create a relationship similar to a chocolate soufflé: rich in flavor, light in texture, and with enough rise to make even Chef Ramsey jealous. In a purely culinary sense.

As someone who has been watching The Bachelor with his wife for several years now — and by that I mean in actual years, and not just that it feels that way since the season started — I have gained a few insights that have made me a better husband. To illustrate my point, and more importantly show my wife I’m not just paying attention during bikini volleyball, I am going to share a few of those insights with you.

First, always keep a rose with you. Always. Having the ability to — at a moment’s notice — produce a fragrant flower symbolizing your love is a game changer that can diffuse any situation….

Wife: “Are these your dirty BOXERS in the sink… AGAIN!”
Husband: [Pulls out rose] “This is for you.”
Wife: “Oh sweetheart! Where else can I look for your boxers? Wait, don’t tell me! I want it to be like an Easter egg hunt!”

In the rare instance a rose isn’t enough, make sure you have a mutual friend willing to be a love liaison for you. Someone who cares about you both and has your best interest as a couple in mind. I would highly suggest getting Chris Harrison. He may not be able to count higher than 1, but he is an artful mediator. Contrary to what you might think, getting his help is actually pretty easy. All you have to do is take a single rose and put it in a basket. He will appear almost instantly to announce it’s the only one left. When he does, you’ve got him.

Lastly, after watching several seasons of The Bachelor, it’s clear that trust and emotional bonds are strengthened by participating in life-threatening activities together.

Bungee jumping.
The rose ceremony.

These opportunities are presented many times over the course of a season. For the rest of us, especially those with children, the closest we get to experiencing bond-building danger together is when someone accidentally puts a fork in the microwave. For this reason, when opportunity presents itself, you need to make the most of it by doubling up on the danger.

Going bungee jumping?
Do it over a shark tank.

Going skydiving?
Land in a bull-riding competition dressed as rodeo clowns.

Riding as passengers in a NASCAR race?
Let my daughter drive.

Haha! Just kidding! You can’t strengthen emotional bonds if you’re dead.

But you get the idea.

So, come next Monday, I’ll once again take a spot on the couch next to my wife and watch as Juan Pablo attempts what is essentially televised cat juggling, complete with claws and hissing. Possibly even some flying fur. But as he attempts to discover the inner truths of each woman and searches for his soulmate one rose at a time, my wife and I will be eating snack foods and probably sipping a cold beer as we share observations about each contestant — which brings me to the most valuable lesson I’ve learned: Given the chance to be The Bachelor, I’d still choose my wife.

Especially if there’s bikini volleyball.


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About Ned's Blog (35 Articles)
I've been a journalist and humor columnist at the Siuslaw News for 16 years. I'm also a volunteer firefighter. If the newspaper ever burns down, I will have some explaining to do. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

40 Comments on Can straight men benefit from watching The Bachelor?

  1. Now I see why three marriages have ended for me. “This Old House” apparently doesn’t work.


  2. anitadesignstudio // January 22, 2014 at 8:35 am //

    Having experienced the single life for much longer than I care to remember and having sampled the ‘delights’ of the modern day Bachelor, I’d probably choose your wife too.


  3. Almost Iowa // January 22, 2014 at 8:39 am //

    “The Psycho”

    Originally, the casting staff treated this archetype like a pile of moose poo on a bike trail – but after intense lobbying by the wives in the audience – The Psycho is now the centerpiece of the show.

    Keep in mind guys… least you consider dating again.


    • I think I actually remember an episode where the psycho woman was LITERALLY the centerpiece, laying on the table with an apple in her mouth. Talk about psycho. She still got a rose, though.


  4. There may be just one rose left, but there is always an endless supply of STDs to be given out.


  5. and I thought you were going to be all feely and sympathetic to Juan Pablo and his caring nature in regards to how he calms women down like The Dog Whisperer. Your take was much better! That must be because you’re a professional – I saw your card for the first time up close ( Jurnalist) Thank you for writing. Jayne


  6. robertsonwrites // January 22, 2014 at 12:27 pm //

    Yeah. I cannot sit through it with mine. She watches it…I cannot bring myself to stand the drama. Makes me want to steer clear of the human race.


  7. Cherish Rosas // January 22, 2014 at 3:14 pm //

    I should probably cease watching Breaking Bad on Netflix if television is a parallel to my love life. And Walking Dead.

    *back to Soap Operas and Disney*

    Great post.


  8. Have never been a fan of The Bachelor, but I do love MasterChef, Hell’s Kitchen, The Taste & a few other cooking shows!


  9. Love it. I would love to hear a week to week wrap up on this show. It’s hilarious


  10. oh, god, and i’ve been watching ‘deadly monsters of the sea’ and ‘storage wars!’ this could explain a lot…..


  11. ……………………………………… (long awkward pause) *facepalm*


  12. I believe you meant to write “topless bikini volleyball.”
    For me, this means men playing volleyball wearing low-slung surfer shorts.
    For the men of LAP, this means they want to watch what you watch.


  13. Great writing, Ned. Loved this. I laughed the entire time, and it ended very sweetly. I definitely don’t judge you for watching The Bachelor. I’m obsessed with some silly MTV show called “Awkward”, and I swear I’ve caught my husband watching sometimes. He’d never admit it, though.


  14. This show makes me wish to never receive a rose, or meet a man, or own a television. You are very wise, Ned. I will now call you Ned Pablo.


  15. Never watched the show so no comment!


  16. I think you just did.
    Well, sort of.
    But not really.

    Between the two of us, I think that about covers it.


  17. I actually got through the audition process for the Australian Bachelor and dear God I am glad I didn’t get through to the actual filming. They asked questions such as “how comfortable do you feel in a bikini on National TV” “tell us about the drunkest you have ever been and what you did” and “can you not wear your glasses?” Egads.

    Ps. Are you SURE you have been heterosexual for that many days? 100%???


    • The weird thing is, those questions could be asked at any singles bar… although personally I like the glasses.

      And except for that time in 5th-grade gym class when I accidentally saw Jimmy Franzen’s privates and thought it meant I was gay, I can honestly say I am a lifelong heterosexual. And my wife will back me up… although that’s probably not the right way to phrase that.


  18. A better question is “Can ANYONE benefit from watching The Bachelor?”
    Great post, Ned. You’re the real deal, buddy.


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