Online Dating and Reality TV Relationship Shows - What's All The Hype About?

A energetic interview today on The Wellness Show - 2GB with Dr. Feelgood and Larry Emdur talking about online dating and reality TV relationship shows!

TRANSCRIPT:

Larry:

Okay, Dr. Sally, you been watching those dating shows? Recording them? 

Dr. Sally:

Well, actually no. 

Gale:

I must confess, I have not been watching them either. But I think, you know, they have become such an increase in popularity because we are finding it difficult to meet people these days. So, you know, everyone wants to live vicariously through these dating shows. You know, thinking that perhaps their happily ever after may just come from a set up on a reality show.

 Dr. Sally:

Ah, come on, no way. You know why they like to watch it? Because they like to see people that are worse off than them. People who don’t get the date.

 Larry:

I caught that Kiss Bang Love the other night. And it is where one woman gets to kiss 12 guys or vice versa.  And my first thought was, " I hope no one is going to get a cold sore.

All right. Dating shows have become the hottest thing on Australian tele. The Bachelor, Bachelorette of course, A Farmer Wants a Wife, Married at First Sight, as well as this one Kiss Bang Love. Now it seems we cannot get enough of them. And it is not just here by the way. These things are huge television all over the world.

So why is it that dating and romance is on everybody's minds, and quite a few people's lips as it turns out? Melissa Ferrari is a psycho therapist and a relationship couch, and joins us now. Melissa, good morning to you.

Melissa Ferrari:

Good morning Larry. How are you?

Larry:

Really well, really well. Why are people so attracted to these shows now?

Melissa Ferrari:

Because everybody wants to be in love.

Larry:

Oh. And we are thinking we are watching these shows and we are seeing real love?

Melissa Ferrari:

You know, I think watching these reality shows... I think that people do compare their lives to them. And we watch to see where we are doing well, or where we are doing not well in comparison to what we see on the TV screen. It is very easy to watch and think, "Oh yeah. My life is better than theirs." Or, " My life is not."

But I think what it does when you are watching them is hope. When you think about the meaning of hope, it is a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen. And we like hope. We like hope because it brings newness and novelty. And so, I think that’s why people watch. Because it is a little bit exciting.

Dr. Sally:

But Melissa, it is a competition on the tele. And surely we are not in competition with heaps of other people in red ballgowns and getting roses. Oh, I do watch it. Oh my God.

Gale:

Competition in really life, I think, is far less glamorous.

Larry:

Yeah. And Sal adds herself as a viewer.

Melissa Ferrari:

But nonetheless, in real life it is still very exciting. The whole world of dating and meeting someone new is very exciting. You know, the brain loves things that get your adrenaline going. You know, things like dopamine, estrogen, and all the serotonin, and oxytocin.

Dr. Sally:

We love oxytocin.

Melissa Ferrari:

We do. And all those hormones that create it... to you know procreate, be with somebody, be in a pair bond.

Gale:

Do you think Melissa that that is why there has been such a huge increase in popularity on dating sites like eHarmony, and then apps like Tinder, and that kind of thing?

Melissa Ferrari:

Yes I do. I think people like to be able to swipe to different people. There is a lot of swiping done. And I think that that is because the brain, as I said earlier the brain really loves novelty. It likes newness. That what’s really important when you are dating is that that is working from the more primitive... the lower parts of the brain, when we are trying to meet somebody and it requires a little bit of a higher thinking. And a little bit more of just discerning who you are going to meet. And that is why I think dating... it really needs to be taken seriously if you are looking for something long-term.

Larry:

Ah remember the stories the grandparents used to tell about how they met at the dance? And there were guys on one side and girls on the other.

Dr. Sally:

And a dance card.

Gale:

With a dance card. I am sorry, my dance card is full.

Larry:

And then you just sit there and swipe. Sorry, my Tinder inbox is full.

Using a dating service, Melissa I suppose, was once seen as something to be ashamed of. There was a little bit of negativity around it. But now it is the absolute norm isn't it.

Melissa Ferrari:

It is. I think it is the practicality. I think it is efficient. People are really busy nowadays with time poor and so, it really is a smart way to date. Gone are the days when you just stand in the pub in your high heels and hope for the best.

Dr. Sally:

Oh, no one is going to meet anyone descent in a pub are they these days?

 Larry:

Hey, hang on.

Gale:

Hang on.

Larry:

Hang on. Apart from Princess Mary and Fredrick.

Dr. Sally:

But still, that is more than 10 years ago that that happened. Like these days it is...

Larry:

Oh, they might have met before Tinder. Is that what you mean?

Dr. Sally:

Melissa, can ask you that... safety. You know, at the pub you could have an ex-murder or not. Is it any safer on line, do you reckon?

Melissa Ferrari:

Well, I think it can be safe if you are someone that consciously takes care of yourself when you approach it. You know, I think giving no detail, I mean that is pretty obvious. But I would go so far as to say not giving your phone number. Like, take someone's number and call them and block your number when you call them. Now I know that that looks like you are being suspicious and everything. But I think it is a lot safer than people having your details; phone numbers, addresses, and all that kind of stuff. So I think it can be quite unsafe. It can be even predatory at times. And so, you do need to be careful and have your wits about you.

Larry:

What about some of those profile pictures? I know these people... because I am surrounded... I have got young people around me all the time who are on Tinder. Not because I am on the net. But some of the stories are, in fact a constant story, that the photos do not look the same. Melissa? So the profile photos, the stuff you are seeing, you might not be getting a full and accurate picture of the person you are about to go and have coffee with.

Melissa Ferrari:

No. And you know, we always say put your best foot forward of course. And so, those profile pictures... you know, we create glamour shots and all of that sort of thing that people do. And so, I really say to people, " you know, be aware that they may not look like their picture." We need to bring some reality in but, probably, they are not going to turn up at the date having been at the hairdressers and have all their makeup done like all their glamour shots.

Gale:

Like we do. Ha-ha-ha.

Melissa Ferrari:

That is right. So, you really just have to have your wits about you and be aware that while it looks like reality, sometimes it is very much unreal. And you have to go into it very prepared for that.

Gale:

No ballgowns and red roses right? It is a jungle out there.

Melissa Ferrari:

No, it is. You know, it is a jungle out there. It is a jungle, but also there are some fabulous success stories. And what I find with the success stories are people that have done it very mindfully and carefully, and they have really screened the person that they are dating. And, you know, really set back and hung back, and not just gone with that really primitive lust. You have really got to bring up into higher brain thinking.

Larry:

Melissa, if we just pop back to those TV shows for a moment. What sort of people do you think are queuing up to be on those shows? Because being in television myself, you hear the stories about the production of these things and they get ques for days and days. They get thousands of... tens of thousands of people wanting to be on these shows. What sort of person is that?

Melissa Ferrari:

Oh, I think some people of coarse want to be famous, that can be obvious. I think some people really do want to work with perceived experts that can help them. You know, people on these shows are genuinely trying to help them find somebody. And again I think it comes back to hope. It is like, give it a go, you never know what might happen. If someone has got the guts to do it, hope can take them very far to get them on the show.

Larry:

All right Melissa. Great to talk to you this morning. Thank you very much for joining us. We appreciate your time Melissa Ferrari. And let us know on 131873. Would you go on one of those shows? Or what do you think of those show?

Gale: 

Happily married, happily married.

Larry:

Yeah but, you can still have some thoughts on that. All right, let us know, 131873. 

For more tips and information about love, relationships and happiness visit my Facebook page Key To Love  for those looking to find a life partner and are looking for some coaching.  Love, Life, Relationships & Transformation is my other Facebook page for parents and those in relationships already who like some daily inspiration. Also information about couple therapy and how it can help your relationships.