Lessons From The Mansion: 7 Takeaways From 20 Seasons Of The Bachelor


The Bachelor first debuted on our (pre-flatscreen) TVs in 2002 and we’ve been riding the reality dating train alongside Chris Harrison ever since. Each season, we feel like we’ve officially seen it all, and then one of the contestants throws a wildcard (surprise boyfriend at home, affair with one of the show’s producers, conversation with wildlife, meltdown on a deserted island) our way, and we’re reminded once again why we faithfully tune in every Monday night.

This evening wraps up Season 20(!) of The Bach and thanks to the hours – and hours – we’ve tallied watching the relationship drama unfold before our eyes, we’ve learned a few valuable life lessons along the way. Perhaps these takeaways make up for the time that non-Bachelor Nation members may otherwise call “wasted”. Tsk.

It’s okay to be vulnerable. In fact, it’s often what the other person is looking for. TBH, it’s a little weird that the bachelor (or bachelorette) is always putting so much pressure on the contestants to be “vulnerable” – but it goes to show that people actually like it when their significant other is open and honest about their feelings. Putting up a guard is easy; letting it down is where the challenge lies.
We’re all a little insecure/dramatic/ultra-sensitive/insensitive/fill-in-the-blank. Season after season, gorgeous contestants flock to the show in droves. Sitting in our sweats eating leftover pizza, we’ll admit, we’re a little judgy at first. Really, the supermodel couldn’t find love in New York City?! But as the show unfolds, we’re reminded, we’ve all got our own ish to deal with.
Standing out is good, but being yourself is better. While you don’t necessarily need to pull any crazy stunts when dating IRL (like bringing a live chicken or puppy with you on your first date) it’s not necessarily a bad idea to strive to leave a lasting impression. However, what’s even better than leaving an impression? Just being yourself. The girls who end up going far on most seasons (especially this season) are the ones who are just genuinely true to their personalities. It can be exhausting to keep up a front, anyway.
Pace Yourself. We’ve all likely experienced the joy and unfortunate aftermath of open bar events. And it seems that every night is open bar night on The Bachelor. Each bathroom floor meltdown and stumble off stage is our reminder to keep a bottle of water close by at all times.
If you’ve got a relationship on the side, it will eventually be revealed. The fact that contestants think they can get away with a literal homegirl (or guy) without getting caught never ceases to amaze us. But, then again, people in real life do this too. Word to the wise, it doesn’t end well. Case in point, Ali Fedotowsky’s season.
ali fedotowsky
If you’re ever on TV, you need eyelash extensions. We’re pretty sure that none of these girls go au-natural when it comes to their lashes. Whether they’re donning falsies or sitting through a 3-hour extension application is anyone’s guess, but if anyone is ever filming you, it’s clear that a simple swipe of mascara ain’t gonna cut it.
Kind wins. We get it, throw 20-30 strangers in a mansion, have them all date the same person, and some variation of madness will ensue. The show’s a recipe for jealous disaster. Still, we love the contestants who find a way to rise above the drama and create friendships anyway. Becca and Jo Jo? Total squad goals.
And let’s be real, even if it weren’t for these pseudo life lessons, we’d still be watching tonight’s finale. Because beyond all else, this 20 season lovefest (or not) makes for entertaining TV on Monday nights. For that, we are thankful.

{featured image via Unsplash}