12 Signs You Need To Stop Watching ‘The Bachelor’ And ‘The Bachelorette’

Last night marked the final episode of Michelle Young’s season of The Bachelorette. After a season full of drama, fans are only getting less than two weeks of a reprieve before the next season of The Bachelor featuring medical sales rep and lover of dogs, Clayton Echard. When you’re watching every season of The Bachelor and every spin-off, your life ends up brimming with reality dating show drama.

You actually think it’s 100% real.

UnREAL

Oh girl, no. If you need a wakeup call, go watch reruns of UnREAL over on Hulu. The show was created by former Bachelor producer Sarah Shapiro and shows how ugly it actually is behind the scenes. Producers regularly manipulate the contestants to say and do things they might not have, plying them with alcohol to make the whole thing easier–and more dramatic. Sorry, but this isn’t how something like this would actually play out in real life.

You’re known as the “Bachelor Girl” at work.

If coworkers have started calling you Bachelor Girl, it isn’t a compliment. This only happens when they’re sick of you. The show is likely the only thing you talk about. Get some other interests–your coworkers will appreciate it. And remember, if they don’t watch the show, they’re never going to care about your hot take. You have to have some other hobbies, right?

You can plot the whole show before the new season even begins.

A Chad-filled two-on-one. / The Bachelorette

You see a few seasons of The Bachelorette and you can suddenly predict every plot point of all future seasons. There’ll be someone in a weird costume on the first night who you never see again. There will be a “Chad” bully who all the other guys hate, and he’ll eventually be put on the two-on-one date against his biggest hater. One of the final five will spend an inordinate amount of time being jealous that the bachelorette is dating other dudes. Once you get to this point, if you’ve seen one season, you’ve seen them all. Might as well just skip it.

You spend your free time making Bachelor drinking games and fantasy leagues.

Screw hobbies or dating. You spend all your time finding fun new ways to watch The Bachelor. You’ve created an original drinking game, got your friends to join your homebrew fantasy league. At some point you have to ask yourself: Is this really all you have in life?

You plan your entire life around the show and its spin-offs–and your friends and family hate you for it.

Sorry, Mondays are off-limits. Spending the day at the beach over the summer holiday? Not for you: You’re busy watching Bachelor in Paradise. Quit blowing off your friends and family or they might stop asking entirely, and then what are you left with? Watching The Bachelorette in an empty apartment with a bottle of wine and a deep well of sadness.

Your ideas about love are totally skewed.

You seem to think it’s normal to date 20 guys at once. Or you think it’s not meant to be if you don’t fall in love after the first date. Newbies know not to take The Bachelor as some sort of manual for love, but you’ve gone way too deep into this hole. Crawl out and start experiencing love the way it truly is: messy, sometimes annoying, and always totally worth it.

You won’t accept anyone other than a model/entrepreneur who takes you on hot air balloon rides.

The guys you see on The Bachelorette don’t exist. Not only are most guys flawed just like you, but so few actually look like the contestants. Why? They’re all models and actors. Even if they have some other job listed in their bio, that’s likely a previous job they had before entering the entertainment industry. If you’re waiting around for the perfect guy, you’ll be waiting forever–and that’s the show’s fault.

You experience real grief whenever Bachelor couples break up.

Clare Crawley and Dale Moss before their inevitable demise. / The Bachelorette

When you heard that Clare Crawley and Dale Moss broke up, you were inconsolable. Though these may feel like your real friends, they aren’t. You’ve become way too invested, girl. Save your grief for things that actually matter.

You’re actually thinking of going on the show.

After watching for this long, you should know better. The producers will do anything to create drama, including making you cry about your past. You’ll likely be heartbroken. Even if you end up with the guy at the end, the odds are good you’ll break up within a year. Keep the show in the realm of entertainment and stay away from that casting application.

…And you’re looking to change everything about yourself to do it.

They all look the same… / The Bachelor

If you’re a longtime fan, you know there’s only a small selection of (usually white) women who make it on the show. You need to be a size 2 with long, flowing beach waves and a suitcase full of expensive sparkly gowns. (Because they of course don’t provide the outfits.) No nerds, no baggage unless you want it exploited. The odds that you fit that narrow definition is small, and it’d be a real shame if you tried to change yourself to do so.

You’re only watching it because it’s tradition.

At this point, you’ve already been asking yourself why you’re still watching the shows. It’s just something you’ve always done. Maybe it’s tradition with your friends group. But if that’s the only reason, OMG, stop.

It’s no longer making you happy.

Let’s make a rule right now. If you’re doing something that doesn’t bring you joy, stop it. Sure, you might have a morbid fascination with the drama of the show, but is it serving you? Just like the toxic people in your life, cut this shit out. No more Bachelor for you.