The Reality of Dating Shows

match made in heavenMatch Made in Heaven

The Bachelor

Millionaire Matchmaker

Married at 1st Sight

There are numerous reality dating shows on the air right now.  But just how REAL are they?

Not very.

I am often asked if I operate like or if I am personally like the Millionaire Matchmaker.  The answer is no.    Patti Stanger is a reality star.  Almost everything that you see is orchestrated and edited by PRODUCERS, those in charge of the show.  They are always coming up with new ways to match, new first dates for the clients to go on, etc.  That is all orchestrated for television.

Real matchmaking clients do not want to be matched at a ‘mixer’ where they are on display and have to talk to a room full of the opposite sex.  Men that come for matchmaking are usually not that attention-seeking.  They do not want that type of setup.  They are nice, decent, quiet guys that want to find Ms. Right – not be on television or display (even in front of the women).

Who do you think will come for an open ‘casting call’ like the ones on Patti’s show?  People who want to be on television.  Most are actors on the side and want to be seen by millions of people.  There is nothing wrong with that.  But that also makes the pool that she has to choose from very different from average people.

And add in the fact that you ARE on television with millions of people watching.  How would you act?  Wouldn’t you want to be picked by the bachelor?  Even if you have no attraction to him?  Just because it is a competition?  (some of these shows are actually classified by the networks as a GAME SHOW).  YES!  I think in REAL LIFE, most of those ladies wouldn’t even WANT to go out with the millionaire/bachelor.  But because there is a camera in your face and bright lights, you are smiling and hoping that you will be picked.   You want to be the WINNER.  I think some of those ladies have no intention of really dating Patti’s client.  They get their ten seconds of fame and hope a producer discovers them.  Or at least they get to say they were on TV.

Can you really find love on the air?

I don’t really think so.  I think it is hard enough to really connect with a person, let alone when there is a producer telling you where to stand and what to say.  How can you be your authenic self when someone else is orchestrating some of your actions?  And you know the other person’s motives may not be pure?  You are both behaving well for the cameras and making sure your best side is portrayed/shown.  That is not reality.

The season finale of Match Made in Heaven aired this week.  It was heartbreaking and confusing to see what the bachelor said to one of the women.  He said he loved her and would hate to see her with someone else.  It sounded like he was choosing her.  Then he dropped the bomb.  He said his heart was with someone else.  She was flabbergasted.  As were we.

I laugh at shows like this.  The Bachelor/Bachelorette style ‘reality’ show (and I use the term reality loosely), is crazy to see.  A man is pretending to like SEVERAL women at the same time.  In every episode he is kissing and touching one of them, sometimes more than one in the same day.  He is constantly telling each one, as well as the audience watching, that he is falling in love with her.  Why do women support these shows?  I hope it is because they know it is FICTION.  You would NEVER allow a man to date you and several other ladies at the same time, especially right in your face.  So I hope seeing him do that on the Big Screen is just a huge laugh.

You have to know that the ladies are playing along and just acting.  I sincerely hope so!  Each of them allows the producers to tell them what to say.  More than once they can be heard saying the standard line: “I’m really falling for him!”

I do understand why people watch.  It is like a mystery, where you are trying to figure out who he really does like.  Except it may not be any of them.  And in the end you are rewarded with the final answer.  Which girl did he REALLY like?  If anyone?

And people love to see drama – the fights, the crying, the crazies.

These shows survive because you watch.

But no, it is not reality.  Matchmakers do not usually match in the public eye.  It is a private, discrete, one-on-one process.  And first dates are usually not jumping out of a plane or a boxing lesson with a retired boxing champion.  And a man does not choose a bride by rushing through over-the-top dates orchestrated by TV people who want to sell commercial space and win the ratings sweep.

That is just entertainment.

Kiki Strickland is a matchmaker & dating coach in Washington, DC (DC-VA-MD) who has worked with singles since 2006.  Let her know what your favorite reality dating show is and why at


Still looking for The One? Contact me today!
Kiki Strickland
Matchmaker & Dating Coach
“Country’s Top Matchmaker!” – EBONY Magazine

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