The Love Island title screen on a laptop screen and a daily planner on the lower left hand corner.

Why Are People Addicted to Dating Shows

By Mia Robinson
Web Content Contributor

Ever heard of the “Bachelor”? “Love Island”? “Are You The One”? One way or another you have probably heard of one of these shows whether you wanted to or not. Dating shows have a wide audience range all the way from middle school students to our grandparents. Not only do dating shows have a bunch of age groups that watch it, they also have a lot of spin off shows, high ratings and they have dedicated fans that follow the show like their lives depended on it. So why are people so in love with these shows?

After I watched the latest episode of “Bachelor in Paradise”, I began wondering why I took two hours out of my day every Monday and Tuesday to watch people “fall in love” on a beach. Personally, I watch it because of the drama and the guys seem too good to be true.

TV screen has the Bachelor in Paradise title screen. There is a coffee table with a stereo and a DVD stand.
This is what you see before the drama begins! Photo by Mia Robinson.

I decided to google some statistics on people that watch “The Bachelor”. According to an article by the Morning Consult, 67% of the adults they polled said they only watch dating shows for the drama between contestants. Even though that is a big reason on why these shows are big, that doesn’t explain why people are gravitated to them so much. There is a whole bunch of reality tv shows where the contestants have drama with one another, why watch “The Bachelor” over one of those when those are based on drama.

Two male contestants argue on the TV show "Bachelor in Paradise". Underneath the TV there is a table with a stereo and next to it there's a DVD stand.
A picture of my TV when John Paul Jones was fighting with Derek on “The Bachelor over a girl. “The Bachelor” has a lot of drama! Photo by Mia Robinson.

With this being said I decided to look at the famous British TV show “Love Island” statistics on why people tune into that show everyday for a month. According to an article by the Campaign the newest season opener broke the record of having 3.3 million viewers for their opening episode.

Even though this dating show is more targeted towards 16 to 24-year-olds, it brings in a lot of viewers that want to see how the contestants will find love in the villa. This show did so amazing in the UK that they even made a “Love Island USA” which premiered on July 9, 2019. Is this because we need another dating show to fill the air waves, or is it because of all the views they will know it’ll get.

The last show I am going to be talking about is “Are You The One” because personally I have never seen it, but I have heard a lot about it. This love show has a twist on it though. The newest season featured a cast who identify as sexually fluid. The decision to represent the LGBTQ + community was met with acclaim and brought more attention to the show. Of course it has drama, but it also gives every community the chance to see their dream love stories playout on a reality love TV show.

Maybe there is something in our brains that draws us to these types of shows, or maybe it is just the drama and love story we all secretly want in our lives.

Featured image by Mia Robinson.

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