I watched the finale of The Bachelor last night. Having viewed this prime time drama, I am left feeling that television is perpetuating a dangerous view of what love is and should be. I am aware of the cliches that have been ingrained in me by years of consuming tv romance. I understand that love is something deeper and more complex than what tv relationships generally illustrate, but I do on occasion find myself affected by the constant barrage of images of people "falling in love". The interesting thing about The Bachelor this season is that all the people I have spoken to seem to acknowledge the immaturity of Jake and Vienna's relationship. Yet the couple talk about it as if everyone is seeing them wrongly and that regardless their "love" will prevail. I find this scary, if the person we love causes us to shut out others and the rest of the world that is dangerous. Love is not about finding someone who does not see any of your faults, but about finding someone to support you, who builds on your strengths, but is not afraid to shine light on your weaknesses. I am also concerned about the way that tv romance deals with feelings. Jake ends up so confused and has trouble making his decision regarding Tenley and Vienna. He is portrayed as tortured by the end of the final episode. And no one asks him why. No one challenges him to look to the future, to look at himself, to acknowledge what environmental factors are having an effect on his decisions. Tenley does in the After the Rose episode, but Jake just gets defensive. We should not have to defend our choices in love, but we do need to be able to talk about why we made certain decisions and the consequences of those decisions. Especially regarding the people that we choose to spend time with. I work with middle schoolers and it struck me how similar Jake's and my middle schoolers' answers were. Tv romance is no more mature than middle school crushes. How are we as a society supposed to mature when the relationships we view are perpetually immature? Love is something beautiful, but it is not a given. The fact that a man would go on tv to find a wife and commit to choosing one out of 25 random women is weird. It gives the illusion that love is something that we get regardless of how we live our lives, treat ourselves and treat those around us. I have met many 20 and 30 somethings who are jaded at the thought of love and I think it has a great deal to do with the way it is portrayed in popular culture. Instead of it being a moment of joy when it does happen, it is a constant negative when it doesn't. If the next bachelor or bachelorette had the view of Alice Walker in the following quote, "I have learned not to worry about love; but to honor its coming with all my heart." how would this affect our expectations and thoughts on love?