Wilted Roses and The Perils of Polygadating

© James Gregory, 2011

See the relevant Wikipedia articles for The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, respectively, because this post relies heavily on the information therein.

The American TV series, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, leaves relationships broken and far worse than the traditional method of dating one person at a time with a view towards marriage. The failures of the shows are directly the result of polygadating. The perils of polygadating have proved to be too much, so that the overwhelming majority of all attempted relationships have wilted away just like the roses that are distributed throughout each television series season.

And what is polygadating? It is dating more than one person at a time. Polygamy has been outlawed in the US, but what about polygadating? Currently, marriage in the US ends up in divorce 50% of the time. I don’t know anyone who dates more than one person at a time. My assumption here is that those marriages that end up in divorce are built off of monogadating, the practice of dating one person at a time. I realize in these terms the Greek roots are not correct. Cut me some slack, and afford me the opportunity to show you why polygadating should be banished just as much as polygamy.

The American TV series, The Bachelor, has seen 15 seasons, while its counterpart, The Bachelorette, is currently in its 7th season. Therefore, we have a sampling of 21 individuals who tried to find a monogamous, lasting relationship through polygadating. Let’s take a look at their results, starting with the bachelors.

The first bachelor, Alex Michel, chose Amanda Marsh at the end of the season. He did not propose to her, but, rather, chose to pursue a relationship, which quickly wilted. The second bachelor, Aaron Buerge, proposed to Helene Eksterowicz, but later called off the engagement. Andrew Firestone, the show’s third bachelor, proposed to Jen Schefft, but they later called off the engagement. In its senior season, Bob Guiney gave Estella Gardinier a promise ring, but they later broke up. Jesse Palmer, the fifth bachelor, chose Jessica Bowlin, but he did not propose to her; they did continue to date, but, still, they too broke up. In season six, Byron Velvick proposed to Mary Delgado. They remained together for 5 years and never married. Charlie O’Connell, the seventh bachelor, chose Sarah Brice, but he did not propose. They tried twice to maintain a relationship before giving up on it altogether. The eighth bachelor, Travis Lane Stork, chose Sarah Stone, although he did not propose. They broke up their relationship. In the ninth season, Prince Lorenzo Borghese chose Jennifer Wilson. He did not propose, and their relationship wilted. The monumental tenth season saw Andrew Baldwin propose to Tessa Horst, but they later called off the engagement and subsequently ended the relationship. The controversial eleventh season saw Brad Womack accept no one for a relationship. Matt Grant, the show’s twelfth bachelor, proposed to Shayne Lamas, but they later broke up. The most controversial season ever in the history of The Bachelor was season 13, in which Jason Mesnick initially proposed to Melissa Rycroft only swiftly to call off the engagement and resumed a relationship with Molly Malaney. He later proposed to Molly and subsequently married her. At this time, they are still married. In season fourteen, Jake Pavelka proposed to Vienna Girardi, but it ended dramatically. In the last season that aired, Brad Womack returned, this time proposing to Emily Maynard. The relationship has already been strained and wilted.

Let’s summarize a bit:

  • Failed Bachelors:
    1. Alex Michel & Amanda Marsh (The Bachelor, season 1)
    2. Aaron Buerge & Helene Eksterowicz (The Bachelor, season 2)
    3. Andrew Firestone & Jen Schefft (The Bachelor, season 3)
    4. Bob Guiney & Estella Gardinier (The Bachelor, season 4)
    5. Jesse Palmer & Jessica Bowlin (The Bachelor, season 5)
    6. Byron Velvick & Mary Delgado (The Bachelor, season 6)
    7. Charlie O’Connell & Sarah Brice (The Bachelor, season 7)
    8. Travis Lane Stork & Sarah Stone (The Bachelor, season 8)
    9. Prince Lorenzo Borghese & Jennifer Wilson (The Bachelor, season 9)
    10. Andrew Baldwin & Tessa Horst (The Bachelor, season 10)
    11. Brad Womack (The Bachelor, season 11)
    12. Matt Grant & Shayne Lamas (The Bachelor, season 12)
    13. Jake Pavelka & Vienna Girardi (The Bachelor, season 14)
    14. Brad Womack & Emily Maynard (The Bachelor, season 15)
  • Successful Bachelors:
    • Jason Mesnick & Molly Malaney (The Bachelor, season 13)
  • Ratio:
    • Bachelors had a 1/15 or 6.7% chance of finding a monogamous, lasting marriage through polygadating.

Having looked at the bachelors, whom have a poor record, let’s take a look at the bachelorettes. Will they do any better?

The first bachelorette, Trista Rehn, chose Ryan Sutter, who proposed to her. They married and had two children. They are still together at this time. Meredith Phillips chose Ian McKee in the second season. Ian proposed, but they later ended their relationship. In season three, Jennifer Schefft controversially chose no one. The fourth bachelorette, DeAnna Pappas, chose Jesse Csincsak, who proposed to her. However, they broke up. Jillian Harris, season five’s bachelorette, chose Ed Swiderski. He proposed, but they later broke up. The sixth bachelorette, Ali Fedotowsky, chose Roberto Martinez, who proposed to her. They are still together and are currently planning their wedding.

Let’s now summarize the bachelorettes:

  • Failed Bachelorettes:
    1. Meredith Phillips & Ian McKee (The Bachelorette, season 2)
    2. Jennifer Schefft (The Bachelorette, season 3)
    3. DeAnna Pappas & Jesse Csincsak (The Bachelorette, season 4)
    4. Jillian Harris & Ed Swiderski (The Bachelorette, season 5)
  • Successful Bachelorettes:
    1. Trista Rehn & Ryan Sutter (The Bachelorette, season 1)
    2. Ali Fedotosky & Roberto Martinez (The Bachelorette, season 6)
  • Ratio:
    • Bachelorettes had a 2/6 (1/3) or 33.3% chance of finding a monogamous, lasting relationship through polygadating.

Bachelors have much less statistical success than the bachelorettes. However, The Bachelorette has only been around for half of the time that the Bachelor has been on TV. I would wager to say that the bachelorettes’ statistical success will dwindle as time goes on. Yet, it does seem that the bachelorettes will continue to be more successful over time than the bachelors.

Given the statistical data, what can we determine, if anything, about polygadating? First of all, it is absurd to think one can use polygadating to try and find a monogamous, lasting relationship. The concept of polygadating necessarily leads to polygamy, not monogamy.

Second, it is unrealistic. No one I know outside of these TV shows would pursue a relationship with someone while at the same time knowing that the cherished individual is simultaneously dating someone else. Such an individual would be considered a two-timer who is frowned upon and disengaged. Outside of these TV shows, for those who failed to obtain a monogamous, lasting marriage, I would wager to say that they did not try polygadating again. Instead, they probably utilized the traditional method. Why? Not because they didn’t like polygadating, in fact they probably did like it, but because everyone else in America operates in exclusivity. If a person can’t date someone exclusively and with a view towards marriage, therefore excluding all casual dating relationships that by definition do not seek wholeheartedly to find their marriage partner, then that person can’t date his or her love interest if that one is in fact serious in finding a monogamous, lasting marriage.

Finally, statistically, polygadating has a 3/21 (1/7) or 14.3% chance of succeeding. That’s not very good. And this statistic is for the relationship. If we limit it to marriage only, polygadating has a 2/19 or 10.5% chance of success for finding a monogamous, lasting marriage.

Since polygadating necessarily sets one up for polygamy and not monogamy, and because polygadating is unrealistic and statistically unlikely to yield success, all those seeking to date seriously and to find their marriage partner ought not to take part in polygadating, even if we are talking about a television show. Polygadating does more harm than good as it leaves countless individuals heart broken in far greater numbers than does the traditional method. Each season sees at least 30 so-called contestants. Across 22 seasons, that equates to over 600 failed relationships and wilted roses, though we cannot determine how many of them were genuine, not to mention the 16 failed engagements or monogadating relationships. Polygadating is perilous.

As such, it is mind-boggling as to why bachelors and bachelorettes keep lining up to participate in polygadating. They say that they have come to find true love. Really, is that so? Knowing statistically that polygadating is more likely to fail than to succeed at finding true monogamous love, how can one expect to participate on the television show and find true love? No, they must be participating for ulterior motives. The shows are not about love so much as it is about public exposure, making them a disgrace to loving relationships and marriages worldwide. Therefore, it should be banished.


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