Photo: Steve Nadeau

I think the reason there are so many dating shows on television is because dating is an experience that is truly fascinating to witness from the outside looking in. While you’re in the midst of dating, it becomes its own little microcosm of meaning, with ups and downs that carry tremendous weight to the parties involved, especially if they really like each other. Dating is the one place people’s true characters come out–the raw or vulnerable emotions they hide at work or from friends and family. Dating may be the one arena we are truly ourselves, which can be good or bad depending on how it influences the relationship.

The thing is, nobody’s perfect. The cure to our regretful imperfection is choosing communication, respect and honesty over games and drama. In fact, dating should never be a game or a one-sided experience. Otherwise we just hurt the ones we love and end up alone–watching dating shows on television.