Jan 202004
Authors: Natalie Plowman

Though television reality romances conclude in various ways, the

apparently successful marriage of Ryan and Trista of “The

Bachelorette,” may form unreasonable notions among young adults

concerning real-life romances.

Larry Bloom, a psychology professor at CSU, believes the Trista

and Ryan relationship succeeded because of several contributing

factors, such as “the hype,” “the publicity” and “because of the

fact that it would be advantageous for them to work out their

relationship,” Bloom said.

Did Ryan’s parents think the relationship would work out?

“Not in a million years,” said Robert Sutter, Ryan’s father.

“We’ve been happy for Ryan, he believes he’s found his soul


Bloom takes an opposing perspective on “soul mates.”

“This business of finding one’s soul mate is overdone in

American relationship lore,” Bloom said. “I think it sets up this

notion that we can look into one’s eyes and know right away and

that’s nonsense.”

Some reality television shows contribute to unrealistic


But there are some reality shows, Bloom said, like the more

recent MTV “Newlyweds,” starring Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey,

that could actually be portraying something relatively pragmatic.

But there are still several impractical aspects as well.

“If you’re looking at the Bachelor/Bachelorette, that’s totally

unrealistic,” Bloom said. “Here’s two people who are in the

beginning stages of a relationship, which is ridiculous. That is

not a time when people can make intelligent decisions.”

How do students view reality shows?

“I think reality TV shows make it all a fantasy. You think every

relationship is going to be perfect and easy and it doesn’t always

work out that way,” said Natalie Plegge, a freshman biology


Modern technology, such as television and online dating, may

have make it easier for people to find their “soul mates,” such as

Trista and Ryan’s experience, or just someone to date in


“There are lots of other opportunities out there,” Robert Sutter

said. “It’s easier in the fact that there’s more opportunity.”

Some students believe that technology does add for opportunity,

but they also see the downside to it.

“I think technology shows that people think love comes cheap and

it’s easy. That’s why there’s so many divorces – people think love

is easy,” said Jonathan Hellyer, a freshman veterinary medicine

open option major.

For some reality show fairy tales appear to have taken over the


“I think it’s just that everybody wants to know the kind of love

they exhibited on TV,” Sutter said.

The evolvement of reality TV shows can appear to have an effect

on the way that people of all age groups view relationships,

whether a realistic or impractical view.

For example, Bloom said that with Ryan and Trista’s

relationship, the marriage proposal came too soon. They needed to

get past their walking-on-air stage before a lifelong decision was

made, Bloom said.

Such shows can affect people of all ages and their morals and

standards toward what relationships could or should be.

As for how college students are affected, some believe the

intelligence of that age level aids in maintaining proper


“I think that college students are smart enough to know that

reality TV shows aren’t reality. It’s more for entertainment,” said

Greg Luft, a broadcast professor in TV, news and video


Luft recommends that instead of looking to television for

relationship guidance, it is best to look to one’s family. Friends

and family who live in stable environments are good examples, Luft


Luft believes that there are, however, some benefits of viewing

reality shows.

“A young adult can be critical, find a way to act more

intelligent,” Luft said.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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