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Bachelor in Paradise showcases the messy reality of dating multiple people

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...

Unrequited love is the real star of Bachelor in Paradise

Dating is messy and confusing sometimes, and what is so realistic about Bachelor in Paradise is how it showcases the divide between people we like not always liking us back. It's also great at showing the need to date in order to learn about people and ourselves to find a successful relationship.

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Bachelor in Paradise at times may seem like a soap opera filled with drama and entertainment, but it is actually really similar to real-life dating. Even though it is born out of the same idea of finding love, Bachelor in Paradise is much more realistic considering the episodes don’t focus solely on love forming with one main character searching for an engagement. There are lots of mismatches and couples that breakup, stay together or are just plain confused along the way. This is definitely realistic, minus the exotic locale and resort-like setting (of course, the contestants are all on vacation, which makes the focus on dating even more significant since day-to-day normal life is not occurring, like jobs and bills). There are numerous people in Paradise looking to meet someone new, and potential men and women show up randomly to add to the mix and the dating scene grows.

On Monday’s night episode, the audience saw a confused Caila trying to figure out her feelings for Jared while she went on a date with a new guy named Brett. This is healthy behavior as it lets her date and see what develops into a relationship with time in order for her to get to know a few guys. The same goes for the men. Daniel seemed to be exploring dating with a few women and eventually chose Haley to date and sent Sara home.

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Sometimes one person wants to date someone and it is not reciprocated. We saw this issue with Ashley Iaconetti and Jared in their friendship. But it's realistic that not all relationships can turn into love. It’s a difficult feeling but needs to be managed the same as in the real world where you have to move on and look for someone new once you heal and are open to it. Of course, the show's short time frame puts pressure for these contestants to fall in love quickly, so even if two people are not on the same page right away, they don't have much time to work it out.

Lace and Grant are clearly moving from dating into a relationship. They're a great example of two people clicking, even though we saw in the beginning of the show that Lace was exploring dating someone else before deciding to get to know Grant. Frankly, that is what dating and looking for love is all about, and time will tell if this couple makes it outside of Paradise.

Dating is sometimes difficult and heart-wrenching but sometimes if it works, relationships can form and turn into true commitments. Bachelor in Paradise is an entertaining reality show that thrives on drama and entertainment. But the show is able to show some real dating issues and struggles of singles in the dating scene trying to find a match and sometimes failing. Just as in the real dating scene, there are some wins and losses, but you have to put yourself out there and be open to love to find it, and maybe you can discover it when you put in some effort and date.

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