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How did Alex misread his relationship with JoJo so badly?

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...

Alex bought into the fairy-tale magic of The Bachelorette — and got the axe for it

Love is happening for everyone on The Bachelorette, but is it really love or is it a manufactured by-product of the show? Why does every single contestant seem to fall in love with the bachelorette or bachelor each season, regardless of whether they have any basis for the attraction?

More: Awkward dating lessons learned from The Bachelor

This week, The Bachelorette picks up after the rose ceremony as JoJo explains to the camera that she has a few relationships where she can see herself falling in love. But she is scared there is more than one person that she feels this for. When the first date card goes to Alex, he tells the camera that he feels this is his chance to allow JoJo to fall in love with him. Even though she is seen telling us that she is having a hard time connecting with him romantically at this time. The disconnect seems to be that Alex wants this to be a moment for her to fall in love with him. He tells the camera that the date was a huge deal to him, and from the very beginning, he knew they had something special, which he explains to her. JoJo, however, responds by saying that she does not feel excited about his declaration of love and cannot reciprocate this feeling.

For Alex, he thought that they were going to fall in love and then the rug was swept out from under him. How did he not see JoJo sending him home? It seems like quite an off date in which he was not reading her signals right and/or got caught up in the show's magic of creating a romantic date and a possibility for love.

In comparison, when JoJo goes on a date with Jordan, they appear to have a strong physical and romantic connection. But is this really love? She is chasing him more than the others and tells him that she wants to meet his family and appears more assertive with him. He tells her that he is so in love with her (maybe because it is the right time in the show or is it real feelings? Only time will tell). He says it is so real and that makes her happy because she says she feels really loved. This is a powerful statement to make to anyone. So, hopefully it is heartfelt and not a by-product of the romance created on the show.

More: Why are the The Bachelor and The Bachelorette contestants so young?

Despite the show's best effort, love cannot be manufactured or forced. Sometimes love happens unexpectedly or can show up quietly and slowly. The Bachelorette as a TV show allows only for a big, show-stopping romantic love to occur, and this is truly the biggest mistake each season. The real issue is they're not really creating love, but rather a healthy dose of lust laced with fairy-tale idealism. It is at best a precursor to a true connection. The real love has to develop after the show when the couple actually gets to know each other in their normal lives.

Nonetheless, everyone experiences love that is personal to him or her; just remember that slow and quiet love is just as meaningful as loud and expressive love. When someone writes you a quick, thoughtful note, brings you your favorite coffee, asks about your day and listens to you answer, and makes you feel special in the most ordinary of situations, now that is real love.

More: Advice for the new couple after The Bachelor finale

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