Dating For Eternity
12:30 pm, January 7th | by Sarah Devlin
Despite being inured by now to the dismal success rate of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, I still found myself unprepared for just how bleak the end of The Mormon Bachelor season would prove to be. Courtney had told me that the show was a lean operation: in contrast to the jet-setting and resorts that feature so prominently on The Bachelor/ette, frequently leading to dates consisting solely of commentary on the beauty of the scenery (followed by retiring to the jacuzzi), on The Mormon Bachelor the girls paid for their first dates and the camera operator worked for free.
There were a few sponsors at the top of each episode; a wedding photography studio, a “stripling warrior knife” that Chris ostentatiously used to pry open a bottle of “fake champagne” on a date, explaining that he was relieved not to have to use his teeth. But even when I saw the ad for Amber Creek Counseling at the beginning of the finale, I still didn’t expect the final episodes of The Mormon Bachelor to feature Chris and Courtney in couples’ therapy.
Brad the therapist had an unctuous voice and seemed not to understand that Courtney and Chris had only been on three dates. Brad was there to address a problem common in couples, he said, in that they failed to make their partners their “primary source of attachment.” He noted that Courtney and Chris appeared to be on different pages.
“Whatever’s gonna happen is gonna happen,” said Courtney reluctantly, sitting next to Chris on the leather couch.
“I want to keep her in my life,” said Chris.
So what went wrong?
“I really enjoy Chris, he’s a great guy,” Courtney said on the phone.
“I mean the end of all of it…I didn’t expect that, I really didn’t and it’s sad, it sucks to be put in that position and have such high hopes and to have to turn around and let Chris down because I know Chris likes me a lot. And at one point we were talking about how we would make it work…I don’t like hurting people, so that was really hard for me.”
She elaborated on her personal blog:
[Chris] came to Arizona to visit me and meet my family. I was and we both were taking this seriously…But while he was here something wasn’t matching up for me. I still can’t put my finger on it. He is a great guy, motivated, temple worthy, goal oriented, wants a family, loves kids, all these things that are on my list but something was missing… He had no idea what I was going to say — I didn’t know how to say it.
It killed me, I felt terrible but had to do what I knew was right in my heart.
I prayed for things to be different, I wanted it so badly to work but the pieces weren’t matching up.
I believe that Courtney was genuine in her intentions when signing up for the show, but after seeing how the season turned out I wondered if it was politeness or a desire not to offend that made her agree to go through with the dates once the bachelors were swapped. For all their faults, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette both cast each season with the only the leads in mind. Though The Mormon Bachelor gave everyone the option to decline to date Chris, it must have been hard for the girls who stayed on to switch gears, and it started the season on a note of rejection.
Chris, for his part, appeared unaware that he was being dumped. As he and Courtney left the marriage counselor’s offices, he lingered in the foyer, glancing over at her hopefully, looking like an overgrown boy in shorts and flip-flops. He held her hand but her purse was already on her shoulder. He wondered aloud what the next step might be for them.
“Yeah. We’ll see what happens,” she said, nicely but noncommittally. He walked her to her car and they hugged goodbye.
“Do you want to make a good relationship even better?” The Amber Creek ad was back on the screen.