To me, dating is one of the scariest words in the dictionary. I am somewhat of an introvert, so the thought of sitting down for dinner with someone I hardly know feels uncomfortable, awkward, and less than appealing. Rather than putting myself through that, I decided to take a different approach to finding love…television!
Before going on “The Bachelor,” I was just your typical 20-something girl. I was focused on my career, hanging out with friends and living the single life. I dreaded the thought of going on a first date, so for me, it was just easier to fly solo. I had two serious, long-term boyfriends through high school and college, so I knew I enjoyed being in a relationship, but I didn’t enjoy the process of finding the right partner.
Well…fast forward a few years, when a unique opportunity fell in to my lap.
I went to a “Bachelor” casting call with a friend, purely as a side kick for support. I had never watched nor did I have any intentions of going on a silly dating show…or so I thought. With a little pressure from my friend and a Cosmopolitan later, I was trying out for a “chance at love.” I believe the only reason I was chosen for the show was because I went in to the casting call with absolutely no expectations. Because of that, it was easy for me to relax and just be myself. If only I could do that on an ordinary first date, right?
When I decided to take on this opportunity, I certainly was not thinking I would find the man of my dreams; it was more about the adventure. Of course, I was open to the idea of dating this handsome, caring, genuine, absolutely perfect guy, but never in a million years did I think I would find my husband on a TV show!
After the first night of filming, I asked myself, “Molly…what have you gotten yourself in to?”
If I thought first dates were uncomfortable, what about a first date with seven other girls, five cameras and 15 million viewers? Talk about awkward!
As I got to know Jason better off camera, I realized the on-camera stuff was just a necessary step to get to the end result. It’s like when you have a great conversation with someone over the phone, yet you feel uncomfortable and nervous when you physically get together for a date. That’s all part of the dating process, right?
Though I was doing the dating thing in a very public manner, the most reassuring part was knowing that Jason was going through it with me. I wasn’t doing it alone, and I certainly wasn’t the only one who felt it was a little weird. Jason was by my side the whole time, and made the uncomfortable stuff feel comfortable. He made this TV dating experience seem fun, natural, and normal.
From then on, I stepped out of my safe place and never looked back. I wanted to give this relationship a real chance, so if the awkward dates were part of that, I was going for it. After a minor change in heart, Jason and I were finally able to date in the “real world” and become a couple. Not long after, we forgot about how we met and just focused on how happy we were together. Jason and I got married six months ago, and the rest is history!
Never wanting to go on a first date and step out of my comfort zone got me nowhere in the name of love. When I finally did, I found my soul mate. I knew he was the one because he made our unconventional path feel normal and, most importantly, comfortable.
Whether you’re seeking love on TV, the Internet, or simply being set up by a friend, I say be open minded. Love will flourish – no matter how it begins – when you least expect it.