Surprising Marriage Lessons from Juan Pablo of “The Bachelor”

The Bachelor

I must admit, the most recent finale of “The Bachelor” was fun to watch. I watched the final episode of the ABC show a few nights ago with my wife. I hadn’t seen any other episodes of this season, but it was pretty entertaining watching the pompous, arrogant, womanizer that the “star” of the show was. In my opinion, the show fosters this type of persona by giving the man his pick of a group of woman, but this guy was clearly a bit of a womanizer even before coming on to the show.

Yet, aside from the things to learn from not-being-Juan-Pablo, I think we can actually listen to some of what he said. Let’s consider his views on love and marriage.

First, he was adamant that he wouldn’t say, “I love you,” just because the show and audience wanted him to.  He had just participated in a crazy social experiment in which, by the end of two and a half months, after seeing multiple women, he was supposed to be in love with one of the women. His girlfriend, Nikki (the ‘winner’ of the contest who is typically engaged at the end) was right when she said that this is the real world, not some fairy tale. Juan Pablo and Nikki’s desire for a genuine relationship is admirable. Nikki was correct again when she pointed out that many of the couples emerging from the psychological experiment that we call a reality show merely fake being in love and end up breaking up soon thereafter.

     Juan Pablo’s desire for a genuine relationship and a lasting family is admirable.

Second, Juan Pablo said that he wanted to honor Nikki’s father’s wishes by not proposing unless he was 100 percent sure that he wanted to marry her. I’m sure there were some hopeless romantics out there that were disappointed he didn’t propose; or maybe everybody was relieved that he didn’t, since Nikki now has a chance to get to know Juan Pablo outside of the social experiment. I imagine if Juan Pablo was in love with Nikki, he would have proposed to her. So…what’s so bad about him wanting to honor her father’s wishes? Isn’t that a good thing?

Third, subsequent from the previous point, Juan Pablo mentioned how he did not want to end up getting a divorce. We were told that he has a daughter, but I don’t have enough background information to know if that is from a previous marriage or not. So either that means Juan Pablo has learned the hard way (through experience) that divorce is damaging to the soul and harmful to his daughter, or that he has learned this the easier way (through knowledge of others’ wisdom). Whatever the case, the lesson remains: divorce should be avoided. Teleologically, marriage is a covenant that ought to last forever.

As someone with a Lockean view of social structures, I believe that the family is the fundamental building block of society. Juan Pablo’s desire for a genuine relationship—to honor his girlfriend and her father—and a lasting family is admirable. I hope folks who watch “The Bachelor” realize that reality trumps fantasy. The show is over (as Nikki and Juan Pablo emphasized). Your entertainment from this odd reality show can wait until next season.

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