The Bachelorette: Courtney is not the bad guy
Georgia is wrong about love. And maybe also a little bit right
Popular reality TV show The Bachelorette concludes tonight with the season finale, where bachelorette Georgia Love will choose the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with.
Here at Eternity, we are interested in what single Aussie Christians think about Georgia’s pursuit of love. We have selected a few themes and quotes from the show, and approached single Christian women and men to get their thoughts on the show, and on love.
“If we’re together, one of us is going to have to make a huge sacrifice.” – Georgia Love
Angela Cook, a priest in the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne, says, “I want to reply to Georgia’s comment with ‘Of course!!’”
“Relationships are about sacrifice. If you really love someone you are willing to give up things for their sake. In life and especially in relationships you really can’t have it all. Every ‘yes’ to something is a ‘no’ to something else. When you are committing to someone you will have to give up other things and other people to make it work.
“I think that’s key to a happy romantic relationship, working together, being willing to compromise on how to move forward.” – Angela Cook
“Also, I don’t know that living in a different state from your family actually constitutes a huge sacrifice. I love my family but have spent most of my adult life living in another state; my love for them isn’t diminished by distance.
“When I think about the sacrifices I have made in life, I think about the time I have spent putting God first, loving others rather than myself.
“I think that’s key to a happy romantic relationship, working together, being willing to compromise on how to move forward, whether that means career or location and being willing to love the other person sacrificially. Sure, Melbourne vs the Gold Coast is a sacrifice – it’s cold down here in Melbourne. But in the scheme of things, if you are committed to the other person, it can be worked out.”
“I believe that in any loving relationship sacrifices have to be made by both the man and the woman.” – Jack
Jack*, a 27-year old single man working in finance, says, “I disagree with this statement because I believe that in any loving relationship sacrifices have to be made by both the man and the woman.”
“However, in light of Georgia’s circumstances (wanting to move to Melbourne to be with her unwell mother), I think it’s the man’s responsibility to live up to his end of the sacrifice and actually move to Melbourne. In general terms, I believe that in any relationship, love is a two-way street, which means equal sacrifice.”
“I need to stop thinking with my head and just think with my heart.” – Georgia Love
Erica Hamence, a minister at St Barnabas Church at Broadway, says, “I’ve enjoyed what I’ve seen of this season’s Bachelorette, because Georgia seems like the sort of woman I’d be friends with. She likes puns and whiskey, for a start!
“Our hearts are fickle and deceitful at times, so to be at the mercy of our hearts alone will leave us (and the people we love) vulnerable to the inconstancy of our emotions.” – Erica Hamence
“And part of what I appreciate about Georgia’s approach to finding love is that she is recognising that what I guess you could call soft knowledge is important. She recognises that we are often acting from intuition as much as from reason.
“However, I do think that she need not, and should not, separate the two. We are made whole, inseparable beings, and when we love, we love with our whole selves (that’s why we’re called to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength), so I think making decisions based on both heart and head are important. Our hearts are fickle and deceitful at times, so to be at the mercy of our hearts alone will leave us (and the people we love) vulnerable to the inconstancy of our emotions.
“Whatever Georgia chooses tonight, I hope she does find a love that lasts.”
James, a 26-year-old engineer, says, “I partly agree with what she’s saying. The context of it is probably to do with over-analysing situations to the point where the decision becomes overwhelming. It’s like the old saying, ‘paralysis by analysis.’”
“From the outset, the person you meet isn’t going to possess all the qualities you’re looking for. I think you need to allow time for people to grow.” – James
“From dating in the church, I find there is a lot of ‘doesn’t feel right’ in decisions. Although I agree that things need to be thought out, I also think that you need to have a genuine go. From the outset, the person you meet isn’t going to possess all the qualities you’re looking for. I think you need to allow time for people to grow.
“Who’s to say the other person isn’t in the same position, thinking the same thing about me. The key is to keep core qualities and major on them. Not to get swept up in the minors.”
“I’ve realised I want to prioritise myself more than my career, and the thing that is missing is love and that is my No.1 focus now.” – Georgia Love
Sue Park, a teacher and theological student, says, “It appears that Georgia sees romantic love and career as two competing objects in life. A life lived in pursuit of self-fulfilment is a strong force, and may make for fun TV-viewing, but one that will not satisfy the longing for eternity.”
“…Career can suck the life out of you and even your ‘forever’ man will let you down sometimes!” – Sue Park
“God has programmed us to search for that one thing that will bring us into timeless completion, but it can only be found in Him. Not in career, and not in meeting your ‘forever’ man, because career can suck the life out of you and even your ‘forever’ man will let you down sometimes!
“I’ve seen what it’s like to be loved. Seeing how Dad has been with you [mum] has made me realise how important family is.” – Georgia Love
Teagan, a 29-year-old working in marketing, says, “As I’ve grown older, I too have realised the importance of family, and the desire to have my own has become increasingly strong. Like Georgia has seen her dad love her mum (especially through her health battles), when I date I too think about whether I can see that man being someone who will love me through whatever life may throw at me in the future.”
“Is he a man that I can see truly sticking by me through it all?” – Teagan
“If I get dementia one day, or become frail and unable to look after myself – is he a man that I can see truly sticking by me through it all? I’m definitely looking for a man who displays selflessness.”
“[Matty] also showed me that he cared about me and was willing to fight for me.” – Georgia Love
“I’m looking for a man who will be vulnerable and brave enough to take a risk for me.” – Teagan
Teagan also says, “As a 29-year-old, single woman who has dated my share of guys, I wholeheartedly agree with Georgia’s desire for a man who will fight for her. I’m looking for a man who will be vulnerable and brave enough to take a risk for me, and put his heart on the line to show that I am worth the fight. I know this can’t be easy for men to do, but innately I just feel that it’s the way it’s meant to be, and I have many other single female friends who have expressed this same desire. I can’t really explain where it comes from; I just know it’s there and it doesn’t feel right if it’s the other way around.
“I need answers from him. I’m sick of the ambiguity … I’m trying to decide who I’ll stand there with and start my forever, not my ‘maybe potentially’ forever.” – Georgia Love
Tania Harris, pastor, speaker and founder of GodConversations.com, says, “One of the great appeals of The Bachelorette is that it calls to our longing for the fairytale. In spite of a culture where one-night stands are the norm, The Bachelorette‘s popularity with TV audiences indicates that that longing, particularly amongst women, is still very much alive.”
“Courtney’s comments … are probably the wisest of the season.” – Tania Harris
“Courtney’s comments to Georgia shatter the fairytale and make him come off looking like the bad guy, but in truth, they are probably the wisest of the season.
“…love is best seen when the outfits haven’t been designed by a stylist.” – Tania Harris
“When my flatmate and I watched this scene play out (yes I have to confess, watching The Bachelorette is one of my guilty pleasures), we responded to it with the age-old question: ‘What does it mean to be in love anyway?’ We both agreed that on the show, the word is used mostly to mean chemistry – those euphoric feelings of infatuation that bring two people together. Of course those feelings are wonderful and valid in their own way since it’s unlikely we’d ever pair up without them, but love? That word is far too easily thrown around on a show that lasts a few weeks and is designed to entertain.
“the kind of love described by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13: kindness on the days when she falls sick; patience when the car breaks down; trust when she is no longer applauded; and, no keeping of wrongs when she disappoints.” – Tania Harris
“For love is best seen when the outfits haven’t been designed by a stylist, where the backdrop isn’t a harbour on a yacht or a cocktail party when champagne flows freely from Venetian glasses.
“Georgia hasn’t yet seen her suitors display the kind of love described by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13: kindness on the days when she falls sick; patience when the car breaks down,;trust when she is no longer applauded; and, no keeping of wrongs when she disappoints. Those wild declarations of passion and romance by … Jake? And Matty and Lee? are yet to be tested by the harsh reality of day to day living.
“Ultimately, true love must transcend our initial feelings and is only proven over time. Even as the bad guy in this fairytale, Courtney may understand something about the nature of love that we all need to be reminded of.”
*Jack’s name has been changed to protect his privacy.