ABC's "The Bachelor" has been rebuked by Christian analysts, who have described the show as "depressing and sad."
"The Bachelor" debuted in 2002 and has led to spin-off series "The Bachelorette" and "Bachelor Pad." The show has led to several marriages and divorces, prompting much criticism for its rate of failure and view of competing for love as well as overtly sexual situations.
Each week several women are chosen to go on a group date, while others receive one-on-one dates with the bachelor/bachelorette. One never knows who will receive the coveted individual dates or a rose, which guarantees another week-long stay.
Jerod Clark, project leader for Church Juice, has an entirely different view, however, and argues, "I'm not fully convinced the local church is doing a good job of providing a real interpretation of love, so people are turning to things like 'The Bachelor' instead."
However, some proponents have stated, "Church dating is gaining in popularity. An article on Adherents.com reads: "Churches have gotten in on the dating scene. They are making it easier for single to meet one another. This has made it much easier for singles that are looking for a soul mate."
"The Bachelor" does not necessarily claim to match soul mates but instead focuses on falling in love and, perhaps, falling in love with the idea of love. Even outside of churches, dating sites targeting Christian singles have gained popularity. ChristianMingle.com has the motto: "Find God's match for you."
LaTonya Taylor, "Campus Life" assistant editor told Christianity Today: "This can really affect the way we view relationships by causing us to become cynical. If you watch these shows you might get the impression that folks aren't out there finding real love. But they are."
Todd Hertz, assistant editor for Christianity Today also added: "These shows can make a Christian single think, 'Man, I'm the only one who has these values.' It can be depressing. It can also be sad when you see people who are living this way."