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JoJo's hometown dates may have stirred up troubling relationship drama with her men

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...

Hometown dates on The Bachelorette showcase how outside drama can damage relationships

Last night's episode of The Bachelorette, filled with both family and ex-girlfriend drama, makes me wonder: What can you do to protect your relationship from these issues? Well, it starts with communication and understanding. Also, a new partner has to be able to accept how a family handles problems and issues, as they may not understand all of the story or the family dynamics. This was particularly evident during this week's hometown dates on The Bachelorette.

More: The three D's that could be the harbinger of doom for your relationship

As we saw with The Bachelorette's Chase, he is worried about his residual baggage from his parents' divorce. It was a painful experience that he wants JoJo to understand. He kept explaining that she has to meet his mom separately from his dad and hopes this will not change her perception of him. JoJo tells the audience that she understands why he has difficulty sharing his emotions, but it's not an entirely fair assessment for her to make. At the end of the hometown date, Chase indicated that he is able to show his feelings to JoJo. He, like many others, may have had difficulty vocalizing his emotion, but being able to show a feeling can be just as valuable.

When JoJo goes to Jordan’s hometown in Chico, California, they visit his old high school and look at his football photos. She points out his brother Aaron and tells the camera that Chase seemed to be hurt by having all of these memories about his brother that he can't share with him. They go to his family’s home, and she comments that she knows Aaron won’t be there, but she is excited to meet the others. Because Jordan's brother is the famous quarterback Aaron Rodgers, it's likely that the show pushed this topic to be seen on camera. However, with real family issues, it is best left to the family to work out when they decide they are ready. It does not feel right to continue to push an issue where the brother is talked about but not there to give his thoughts. Families need to work out conflicts through communication when all parties are present and willing to open up.

More:How did Alex misread his relationship with JoJo so badly?

Robby’s hometown date focused on his old relationship that lasted four years and only recently ended. Robby’s mom tells him that there is noise going around that he broke up with his girlfriend to go on the show. He tells JoJo about this issue and tries to explain his past to make sure she does not doubt him. She questions him and feels like he may not be over his ex, and she is not sure. Drama from the past might show up in current relationships, but this type of show does not allow for her to see how this would play out in real life because they are kept away from any real drama. JoJo can only decide from what she hears from him. In real life, you could observe someone’s actions and see if they are honest about their words. The couple could discuss the drama and create a plan to problem-solve if this shows up in their relationship.

Drama can occur in relationships, and you can handle it if you have a healthy foundation. If a couple needs to work together and figure out how to problem-solve drama, then having good communication skills will help. But the issue with TV shows is that there is not any time or focus on actual problem-solving.

More: JoJo's obsession with passion could keep her from finding love

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