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Awkward dating lessons learned from The Bachelor

My work as a marriage and family therapist in Scottsdale, Arizona helps to  instill hope and change through the use of techniques including: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Parenting Skills Training, and Brief Solution focused therapy. I u...

The Bachelor is a perfect example of how not to date

"I’m not going anywhere. Everyone else can suck it," Olivia tells the camera in the opener of Monday night’s episode of The Bachelor on ABC. “Looking forward to the day when Ben Higgins is my husband," she says to the camera upon getting a rose at the rose ceremony. Her words on both ends are problematic in that ownership of someone is never a good start to any relationship — foreshadowing a warning for this contender.

More: What The Bachelor can teach us about feeling unlovable

The saga continues as everyone goes to the Bahamas for more drama and dates.

Caila scores the first one-on-one date, and conversation at dinner begins as Ben opens up the discussion that he wants to find out more about her “behind the smile." She doesn't know why she can’t share and tells him, “My greatest fear is that I can’t totally fall in love with someone.” This odd exchange continues as Ben tries to prod Caila to find out if there is more behind the smile.

She tells Ben she is a confusing person, and he asks if she is ready to find someone. “I know I am falling in love because I feel like I am being understood,” Caila responds. She says she feels like she knows what he is about, she wants him in her life, and she feels happy. Ben breathes a sigh of relief when she opens up about not being able to open up, and offers her the one-on-one rose. Ben says theirs was the best date of his life.

Lesson learned: Opening up about not being able to be vulnerable is still opening up and can still feel like a connection in dating.

More: Ben Higgins reveals his greatest fear on The Bachelor — and it's a common one

The night's group date goes into the ocean, where the group swims with pigs. Conflict occurs between Ben and Leah, because she feels he has not made an effort to get to know her, and she continues wondering why he isn't showing her any attention. Ben agrees that he feels the group date was awkward, but what isn't awkward about one man dating a group of women in the ocean swimming with pigs and feeding them hot dogs?

Lesson learned: Maybe don’t swim with animals while feeding them.

More drama ensues as Leah tells Ben that Lauren B. is not what she seems around the women and she's different around Ben. He abruptly goes to discuss this with Lauren as Leah goes back to the girls and tells them she didn't say anything. Leah decides to up her game and go over to Ben’s room in an attempt to take down Lauren B. Competition does not suit this woman, as Ben sees right through her, and she is sent home.

Lesson learned: If you talk bad about someone else, make sure you are telling the truth, because it might backfire on you. Karma.

Another highlight in this episode is the dreaded two-on-one date between twin Emily and villain Olivia. This type of date is one of the many anti-feminist moments in which Ben must send one woman home in an embarrassing situation for anyone. It's awkward and wrong, which is why it never happens in real life. He takes the women on a boat ride and feels the pressure. Then he gives the rose to a more subtle and genuine Emily after overzealous and confident Olivia declares her love for him and continues to tell the camera she is going to marry Ben.

Lesson learned: Overconfidence is not a blessing but a curse. Modesty is definitely more becoming in relationships.

More: Why technology might actually be making dating worse

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