So, for a post-Valentine's Day treat for all of you Bach fans AND because my husband spoke at a panel discussion this weekend about Reality Romance shows, I thought I'd write about it this week.
Tonight, apparently, is hometowns on the show, and as a producer, it was my least favorite part of the show to produce. Usually it's such a let down from all of the world traveling you've been doing...to now land in a small town where the best restaurant is...an Olive Garden. Also, while traveling around the world, we usually stayed in some pretty nice digs. When you're in a small town, the accommodations generally range from a local B&B to, perhaps, a Courtyard by Marriott. Not terrible, but when you've been in some of the best hotels in the world, you tend to be a bit spoiled when it comes to hotel stays.
The other reason I sometimes dreaded producing the home towns is the same reason home towns are the most real parts of the show. We're meeting the girls' families, and that's not something to take lightly. For me, I usually spent anywhere from a couple of days to almost a week with them before their child comes home with the Bachelor or Bachelorette.
They have a lot of real questions about the show and their child's journey so far, and I couldn't really answer most of those questions because we wanted the parents to ask the Bachelor and their own child those questions! I mean what would it be like if the Bachelor and their child were telling them all about their travels, and the parents just said, "Yup. Katy already told us all of that!"
For the Bachelor or Bachelorette, it's the most real because they get to see parents' homes, how they live, and what it would be like to spend Thanksgiving dinners with these people. They're not in another country, where they don't speak the language and going on a date on an alpaca farm or dinner under twinkly lights and 100 candles lighting the way! Instead, they're sitting down at a home eating either a home-cooked meal or delivery from their favorite local place and talking about real issues that puts the R in Reality. And for this reason, I really want to say that it's important before you get married to understand each other's families and also to talk about the real issues...like money!
I've had the privilege of producing hometowns with a lot of the "winners" or future Bachelor/Bachelorettes, including JP Rosenbaum's hometown on Long Island (he and Ashley are now married with two beautiful children).
On Emily's season of The Bachelorette, I produced Sean Lowe's hometown. Although he didn't end up getting picked, he did end up being the Bachelor the next season. I loved his family! Sean, his father and I went to the same high school (not at the same time, obviously), and his father and I even went to the same junior high school in Arlington, TX (MY hometown). Below is a photo of me with Sean's parents at his and Catherine's wedding.
So, what did I learn about love and relationships from when I worked on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette? I believe in happily ever after, if you've really done the work. Do your core values match? Judging from the tease for tonight's episode, Madison's values have led her to not having sex before marriage. Sean Lowe had a similar value. He made sure the person he chose, Catherine, had similar values of faith, respect and family. Isn't the scene below with Sean and Catherine the cutest?!
I also learned that while money doesn't buy you happiness or love, money definitely can be an illusion and give you a false sense of happiness and love. I mean, it's sooo much easier to fall in love when you're traveling around the world, living in 5 star hotels, getting all of your meals and necessities taken care of, not going to a job, and not worrying about your bills. That's why if you have money, it's even more important for you to dig deeper and find out if the other person is truly in it for "richer or for poorer." And if you are dating someone with money, it's the same test. Is it the high of having everything taken care of for you? Or is it truly love and a desire to create the same vision for your futures together?
With so much Love & Gratitude,
TOMORROW night (2/18/20) in Los Angeles from 6-8 p.m., I will be speaking at Tuesdays Together's Rising Tide Event on Money Mindset with 2 other amazing women! Click on the flyer below for all of the details! I hope to see you there!