Finding Love In A Hopeless Place? Why This Season of ‘The Bachelor' May Actually Matter

So I’m feeling a little weird right now. You see, it’s three weeks into Season 17 of The Bachelor and everybody knows that’s supposed to be like watching the first ¾ of a deadlocked sporting event: It doesn’t really mean anything, no one’s throwing ‘bows quite yet and you’re conserving your emotional energy until the stakes are at their peak ( You’re relaxed, enjoying the ambiance of the stadium and texting away like it ain’t no thang.

But Season 17 of The Bachelor is kind of a thang. In fact, there’s a possibility that Sean Lowe will actually fall in love. And I simply don’t know how to handle this.

I used to watch The Bachelor merely for comic fodder, as ironic a fan as Alanis is of having ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife. But suddenly, this episode came along, and I was hurtled to the precipice of the slippery slope that leads to that other kind of irony. The kind that you shout out when defending your 22-year-old self for spending $200 on Miley Cyrus concert tickets. Knowing deep down that you spent another $35 for the MiCy tankini and you wear it everyday underneath all your clothes. This is the “irony” of a lifetime of lies.

Because, here I am, wondering if it’s not only Sean’s chest that is exposed, but his heart, as well. And I’m wondering if there is love in the world. Actual love. The-Chris-Harrison-and-me-starring-on-MTV-in-“True Life: The Notebook Lacked Spark Compared To Our Love” kinda love. Suddenly, up is down and down is up and Jef Holm is straight and… I don’t know how to look myself in the eye anymore.

Am I losing my edge? Has the world gone insane? And how amazing are the FLOTUS’ bangs?!

Well, as a child of Pythagoras, it seems the only way to solve this is with some simple math. Thus, I’ve compiled a tally of my optimism levels during The Bachelor Season 17, Episode 3, where the baseline level = belief in love as of episode two = 0.


Third straight opening clip of Sean starring in a Bowflex commercial: -3

The way that a blue button-down brings out the sapphire of Chris Harrison’s eyes: +10

Robyn’s romantic musing, “I want the date card to say, ‘Robyn, let’s ditch these bitches and go fall in love for real:” +1 (for use of iambic pentameter)

Imagining a date at the Guinness World Records Museum: -48 (continuous states visited by Papa Lowe)

The sign behind Lesley that reads “Longest On-Screen Kiss” as she proclaims, “I have no idea what’s about to happen:” -1

All I see is Chris Harrison bringing dapper back.

The fact that no one provided ChapStick:  -1

Sean’s on-screen butt grazes: +3

Lesley’s lack of on-screen butt grazes: -3

Description by one audience member of the 3 minute, 16 second kiss as, “just, like, awkward:” -5

Potential popularity of longest-on-screen-kiss-record-breaking game show: +72

Lesley’s last-minute leg pop: +1 (Because she paced herself.)

Hearing my own aloud reaction to Sean and Lesley M’s date (“Oh holy balls they love each other, this is crazy, OMG, OM-f-ing-G.”): +100

How rapidly all the other contestants became the evil stepsisters to Lesley’s Cinderella: +10

Sean blushing as he tells Lesley, “I didn’t think I would have feelings this fast, but…you know…I do:” +8 (What a panda. Like truly the hottest of pandas.)

Sean’s record-breaking ability to cite three qualities he likes about a girl (“sexy, smart, funny”) that don’t include “her energy” or “something about her”: +3

Seeing the girls chant, “Take off your shirt!” as they rotate sitting on Sean while he does push-ups: -5 (But +5 of a different kind of love.)

The “serious quality alone time” of a 6-on-1 date: -5 (for number of people making it anti-alone time)

My preoccupation with uncovering the identity of the announcer at the volleyball game: -5 (Though, if my suspicions are correct, it’s actually God taking a break from his human incarnation (Chris Harrison). In which case: +infinity.)

Witnessing the waste of vital resources as the winning volleyball team sprayed champagne in celebration: -1 (Do you not realize there are 6 of you going on a date together? That’s 5 more than you want….Ya huh. Math on math on math.

Lindsay + Lindsay’s face + Lindsay’s voice: -3

Beholding Lindsay’s face while hearing Lindsay’s voice say the quote below: -50

“Oh my gosh. I am just, like, so amazed by you. You’re everything I’m looking for. You’re all, like, hands-down on paper and I feel chemistry. Like I don’t need that constant attention but I wanna be able to look at you across the room and give you a look and you totally know what I’m thinking. Like, I need, like, you know what I mean? Like, my best friend.”

My ever-growing concern that Amanda is, in fact, a psychopath: -5 (“It has nothing to do with volleyball. Nothing.”)

This face: -1

“And I look like a crazy person who can’t handle all this drama.” …At least she’s self-aware.

The reveal of Tierra’s upcoming autobiography entitled Tierra Took A Big Fall: -1

Understanding Sean’s ability to move on from his date with Lesley M thanks to his self-description as “a guy who’s had several concussions:” +10

How little concern AshLee has for Tierra’s potential injuries: -4

Seeing Tierra have a bitch blackout on a stretcher: +1 (It just made me feel warm.)

Sean’s genuine (really) compassion (no seriously) in spite of wearing a shirt (poor planning): +20

AshLee’s touching (emotionally) vulnerability (the nice kind) in spite of her face’s relative lack of mobility (part plastic): +10

Sean. Crying. From his eyeballs.: +1000

Sean having “the highest hopes” for his future with AshLee: +5

Remembering that he said the same thing to Lesley and Desiree: -15

Realizing AshLee’s feelings for Sean describe my newfound feelings toward our bachelor’s search for love (“I really want this. I never thought I’d believe in this.”): +30

The amount of whooping Sean evokes: -10At a rose ceremony? Come on, ladies. Have some respect.

This face: -1

A lesson in questionable choices.

Sean surprising Sarah with a visit from her puppy: I MEAN. THIS HAS TO STOP.

Tierra’s need to “punch some [bleeping] walls:” +/- 1 (Depends on what the bleep stands for. Could be one of those “glass-ceiling” barrier shenanigans.)

Lesley H’s second turtleneck at a rose ceremony: -11 (Seriously, gurl, what is up with your décolletage?)

Picturing the kountless kats Kacie will keep: -….0h, whatever belief in love I had left. So nevermind. False alarm.

Images via ABC