I was talking to my friend the other day, and I mentioned that I thought that Bachelor/Bachelorette wasn't the best way for couples to get together if they wanted staying power. (I mean, the Bachelor/Bachelorette enterprise is in its 22nd season-- 15 seasons of the Bachelor and 7 seasons of the Bachelorette-- and only 1 couple that got engaged on the show is married. Admittedly, the Bachelor/Bachelorette enterprise does try hard to make a love connection beyond the show, and holds reunions for cast members, and now they have another show, Bachelor Pad (2 season starting soon!) )
I thought that for people really looking for a long term relationship, they should through contestants into a Survivor atmosphere. On Survivor, contestants deal with physical exhaustion, dehydration, extreme hunger and being filthy 24/7. If you can make a love connection in that environment its going to last. In Bachelor/Bachelorette everything is fantasy dates with hair and make-up ready to make you look perfect. A great way to have a good time, but not a great way to figure out if you can deal with this person when they are grouchy and smelly. Which happens when you are married.
I think the track record speaks for itself. The Bachelor/Bachelorette enterprise, including reunions and Bachelor Pad has 3 married couples, 3 engaged couples, and one extremely steady couple. It should be noted that only 1 couple that got engaged on the show is now married. And this is a show about dating.
Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter: the only couple to get engaged on the show and then get married. They now have 2 children together.
Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney: Jason didn't pick Molly during taping of the show. Instead he let Molly go in the final episode, then realized he really loved Molly, so he broke it off with the girl he'd gotten engaged to, and he and Molly got married.
Jesse Csincsak and Ann Lueders: Jesse and Ann met on a reunion cruise, and are now married with a baby. Cuteness.
Ali Fedotowsky and Roberto Martinez: they got engaged on air and are still engaged. Hopefully they'll get married soon, and it will be televised, so we can all watch!
Chris Lambton and Peyton Wright: just got engaged a few days ago. They met at a reunion.
Ashley and her mystery man: the latest season of Bachelorette has finished taping, so Ashley is engaged. To whom, we don't know yet (unless you read the spoilers online.)
Kiptyn Locke and Tenely Molzahn: known as Kip-ten, they are possibly the cutest couple in the world. When Tenely left her season of the Bachelor, Chris Harris (the host) told her she was the nicest contestant they had ever had on the show. On the first season of Bachelor Pad, Kiptyn and Tenely, who had been friends before the show, started dating. They've been dating for a year now, and Kiptyn has told the press that they might get engaged by the end of the year! Yay.
And then there is Survivor. A show not about dating, and has a much better track record. Three successful, long term relationships developed from contact on the show, with lots more from reunions and after parties.
Rob Mariano and Amber Brkich: met on Survivor Allstars, they formed an alliance the first day that lasted through the show. At the finale, Rob proposed to Amber. They got married a few months later, and have been happily married for about 10 years now, and have 2 children.
Erik Huffman and Jaime Dugan: met on Survivor China, and got married shortly after the show.
Alex Bell and Kim Powers: married, but didn't meet on the show, as they did different seasons.
Couples: there are a lot of couples from Survivor, but my favorites are:
Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca: they both won their seasons of Survivor, and met at the after party of her season. They were both part of Survivor Allstars, and started dating shortly thereafter. They've been dating for many years now, and she recently helped him get through cancer. They'll be competing on the next season on Amazing Race. Yay!
Stephen Fischbach and Courtney Yates: they didn't meet on survivor, as they did different seasons, but they make me extremely happy. Stephen is a scrawny nerd, and Courtney is a very thin girl who doesn't like to get dirty. She won a challenge once because she refused to fall in the nasty, dirty water, so she just sat motionless on top of her barrel for hours until everyone else fell in. They are super cute together.
Of course, reality tv really isn't the best place to find love. But if you want to try that route, I would suggest a show where you get to know the real person, when they are dirty and grouchy. That way your relationship will last after the cameras are gone.