The Bachelorette: Who's There "For the Right Reasons"? What Does That Even Mean?
The Bachelorette: Who's There "For the Right Reasons"? What Does That Even Mean?
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
If you've ever watched a dating reality show, especially the high profile, marriage-goal-oriented ones--think multiple singles competing for the love of one seemingly perfect mate, like Joe Millionaire, Farmer Wants a Wife, and (of course) The Bachelor/The Bachelorette--the phrase has likely become a familiar, though still ambiguous, part of your vocabulary: "(s)he's not there for the right reasons." It's the all-encompassing term for any specious behavior on behalf of a contestant who appears to harbor ulterior motives, however slight, other than falling head-over-heels, puppies-and-picket-fences, babies-and-bathtowels in love with the star of the show.  

And if the phrase gets spoken aloud about you--if another contestant accuses you of not "being there for the right reasons," especially to the person whose love for which you're competing... have your bags packed, buddy, because it's also the kiss of death for the next elimination ceremony, or at least soon after.

Which brings me to the reality dating show at hand: The Bachelorette, with our spunky little maple leaf, Jillian Harris. On and off the show, there's been lots of talk of which of the 13 remaining men are (and are not) "there for the right reasons"...but very little of it seems to have been brought to Jillian's attention... yet. So, at least for now, everyone in question remains in the game.

The "there for the right reasons" debate started early in Episode 1 with country crooner Wes, whom the other guys accused of being on the show to promote his music career. Then, last night, hothead David also accused Juan of being a phony with a long list of "wrong reasons" for being on the show. And the teasers for Episode 4 and beyond promise more blow-ups over the issue of at-home girlfriends, which implies that some of these men are just full-fledged liars (maybe even actors) looking for exposure wherever they can get it.

Now, after Episode 3, the question is still a hot topic among the men: now that it's clear Wes is bent on busting out that guitar at every possible opportunity, is he using the power of his music solely for romance, or just for publicity? Does his (what would be a very natural desire) to sell a few extra albums negate what could be legitimate feelings for Jillian? Does he need to retire the tunes to prove his devotion to the integrity of their relationship?

Wait... did I just say "integrity of their relationship"? Because sorry, that doesn't exist. This is a reality show.  A reality show that happens over the course of weeks, and is supposed to end in a rest-of-our-lives proposal. A proposal from one of thirty men, who each get, max, a few hours per week of alone time with Jillian.

Wait... did I just say "alone time"? Because it's not. The cameras are always there. And, who knows, maybe ten or twenty, minimum, production assistants are always there. And we're always there, in a way.  That is the point. A certain level of realism has to be thrown out the window in order to successfully produce a reality show--a paradox we're all seemingly comfortable with until that abandoned level of realism seems to correspond exactly to the chance that someone could want to be on this show for purely amorous reasons.

If you're looking for everlasting love, all you've got to do is look at the track record of the Bachelor/Bachelorette to know that it's about a lot more (or less?) than love. If all you're looking for is "that person," save yourself the public embarrassment and get on eHarmony. To knowingly sign up for a reality dating show for any other reason than love--for fun, for adventure (as Jillian herself has repeatedly claimed to have done), for publicity, or for the chance to become the next Bachelor/Bachelorette (as promos for this season suggest one of the men has done)--isn't really "being there for the wrong reasons." It's being there for realistic ones. And it doesn't mean you're not also there for the "right" reason: to possibly find a partner while you're at it, despite the massive longshot.

I'm not trying to say anyone who signs up just looking for love is a complete fool, but they do have the odds stacked highly against them, and have very little chance of getting much out of the experience, if that's all they want. So it is possible--and just plain smarter--that some of these guys are on The Bachelorette looking for both romance and exposure, and would jump at the chance to continue a fame ride as the next Bachelor, if given the shot.

I think it's about time we all give the "for the right reasons" thing a rest. After all, thrill-seeking Jillain hasn't been on either The Bachelor or The Bachelorette just "for the right reasons," if the "right reasons" are just love and marriage. So why should she expect her suitors to be?

More of The Bachelorette:
Read the latest recap: The Bachelorette Episode 3 (Page 1/3)
'Bachelorette' Jillian on 'Regis and Kelly': "I Kind of Dug My Own Grave in Front of These Guys"

Play BuddyTV Bachelorette Fantasy TV, Win $150 to!
The Bachelorette Episode 2 Recap (Page 1/3)
The Bachelorette: This Girl Just Wants to Have Fun
The Bachelorette: Does Wes Hayden Have a Girlfriend?
The Bachelorette: Rivals, Drama, and Nudity
The Bachelorette: Is Wes Hayden Really Looking for Love?

-Meghan Carlson, BuddyTV Staff Writer

Image courtesy of ABC