5 Dating Lessons Men Can Learn From 'The Bachelor'
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Men of Earth:

Chances are, at some point in your life, you've seen part of an episode of The Bachelor. The show is in its 14th season. How could you have avoided it? Like a million monkeys at a million typewriters eventually writing Shakespeare, some things are just inevitable, and watching The Bachelor is one of those things.

However much of The Bachelor you've seen--a whole season or just a whole five minutes-- chances are that you enjoyed it. Feel free to deny it. Claim that your (ex-)girlfriend forced you to watch by wiring your eyes open, A Clockwork Orange style. Claim you thought it was the beginning of a porno. That is your prerogative as a dude.

But just between you and me: The Bachelor is amazing, right? 25 gorgeous women doing just about anything to win over one lucky guy who's not all that special, or even rich. There's probably a reason he's still single, if you know what I mean. And let's be honest: those Bachelors are a good-looking bunch as a whole, but more than a few are 6's at best who survive with a little bit of charm, good haircuts, and great orthodontists. Charm isn't a prerequisite, either. This season's "prince" is a commercial pilot who says things like, "It's not about sex appeal, it's about heart appeal," and the ladies are still clawing all over each other to get into a hot tub (and a marriage) with him. What gives?

I'll tell you what gives. The Bachelor teaches us that, when subjected to the right stimuli, women become irrational, frivolous beings who are incapable of doing anything but falling helplessly in love with you. Just kidding. But there ARE several useful lessons you guys can learn about interacting with the opposite sex with whom you would like to have sex.

Simply follow these 5 easy dating lessons from The Bachelor, and you'll be on your way to brainwashing the babe of your dreams! Or, you know, just getting her to like you more.

1. Play the field, but be a one-woman guy at heart.
There's nothing wrong with exploring your options. It's necessary if you really want to find the right girl for you, and plus: it's sooo fun. But a woman will be put-off by the knowledge that she's just another fish in your boat, gasping for sweet water while you decide whether to throw her back for someone with sexier gills. Thanks to the built-in "be loved or be killed" spirit of their competition, the women on The Bachelor are so insecure and terrified at all times that they become frazzled shells of their former selves, yelling out "I LOVE YOU!" and crying uncontrollably at random times: their tattered brains' last attempts to keep the guy's interest at any cost. Women in the real world (the ones you want, anyway) will just dump you if you make them feel that insignificant. Obviously, neither scenario is ideal, and both could result in the need for a restraining order.

2. Do those crunches! (And lay off the Crunchy Munch.)
The women on The Bachelor are like flies to candle, if that candle gave off the smell of freshly-blasted pecs. But don't feel like you need to live up to an impossible eight-pack-abs standard. We're not (all) that shallow. However, giving off the appearance (the accurate appearance, ideally) that you take decent care of yourself will speak volumes to your health, values, and sense of personal control. Do not, however, wear a muscle tee, or offer to "let" a woman feel your stomach on the first date. (Unless you're The Situation.) A nice fitting jean and lack of stench will do just fine.

3. "Sweet nothings" are worth quite a sweet something.
The Bachelor and his ladies have no need for money during the show, but they do have another form of currency, more valuable than gold: flattery. And this currency is not just for the silly women on reality TV. No matter how strong, educated, independent, "I am woman, hear me blog about feminism!" your lady is, she still wants to hear about how special, beautiful, lovely, elegant, and sexy she is. Compliment her brain, too, of course. But that thing in front of the brain--oh yeah, the face--needs ample attention, as do all of her other lady-parts. Get creative, but keep it classy. And here's where a lot of guys trip up: make a compliment universally positive, but not universally applicable. For example:  "I like your boobs." = BAD. "Your forehead is so huge, I want to eat dinner off of it." = BAD. "You smell interesting." = BAD. You get the idea.

4. Be withholding, ambivalent, and secretive. With a splash of arrogant.
NOOOOOOT! Here's the part where you learn from The Bachelor what not to do: do not let a woman pour her heart out to you and then respond with a hug. Do not tell her that the next time you see each other, you will be deciding if she is good enough to continue dating you, NO PRESSURE! Do not respond to a question about your emotional investment with, "Let's talk about something else." Do not ask her to tell you about her relationship history and sex life and then get weird when she asks you the same questions. Do not silently stand in one place and wait for her to make every move. Confidence is good. Over-confidence is not. The confi-douche combo only works for the Bachelor because his women have no other options. Be as selective as you want when you and 25 women next land on a deserted island!

5. Give her flowers.
This one is so simple, it needs little explanation. Flowers = HAPPY LADY. But let's just say this: unlike The Bachelor, do NOT give her flowers as a symbol that you have graciously granted her another week in your illustrious presence. It may work on reality TV, but that's just not going to go over well in the real world.

For more dating tips, shamelessly tune into The Bachelor Monday nights at 8pm on ABC. Call it "research." Your lady will thank you.