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
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
“A young adult can be critical, find a way to act more
intelligent,” Luft said.