Some things we should learn from Courtney.

on March 13, 2012 in Ze Bloggy Goodness with 23 comments by

I don’t really want to talk about The Bachelor… but I also do. It’s a hugely popular show and I think this season has many discussion points.

[If you’re not down with The Bach, then I won’t be offended if you leave us here. Have a great Tuesday!]

This whole Bachelor season has been a trainwreck and while it was hard to watch at times, the worst heartaches have been TOTALLY SELF INFLICTED and I think we have to look at that and inspect our own lives.

Y’all. The messes we can get ourselves into seem to be far more disastrous than the ones that are thrust upon us, don’t they?

There are some very valuable things we can glean from this season- namely from Courtney’s behavior. And I want to lay them out if for no other reason than to remind myself of what kind of woman I want to be.

[Caveat: I do not know these people. I only know what you know- what we see on TV. I am not making a judgement call on anyone as a person, just simply trying to observe documented behaviors and talk about them.] [That was literally the most official sentence I’ve ever written. In a post about The Bachelor. Good gracious.]

1. Manipulation only gets you so far and honestly, in the end, it leaves you feeling insecure.

  • If you saw the “After The Final Rose” last night, you saw this one in action. Courtney manipulated all season long, Ben [AND AMERICA!] figured it out, and she is the one left sad and insecure.

2. Feeling regret means “I wish I would have done that differently BECAUSE the results of my bad behavior were so not in my favor.” Feeling repentant means “I wish I would have done that differently because I was wrong.” There is a big difference. Big.

  • Courtney had the chance to make things right with lots of people – Ben, the other girls, you, me, etc. – and when she apologized, she always said, “I had no idea it would go like this.” Dear Courtney, you can’t make behavioral decisions without thinking about the results. You can’t.

3. Consequences are real and sometimes they can be severely expensive.

  • Whether this relationship will make it or not, only time will tell. But this may be one of those times that the consequences of bad behavior were costly. Really costly.

4. Being unkind to one person can affect your relationships with other people. Just because you aren’t mean to ME doesn’t mean it won’t hurt our relationship.

  • Courtney was always sugar sweet to Ben. It was the girls she was awful to on a regular basis. But in the end, EVERY relationship suffered.
5. The way Ben treated Linzi and the way Ben treated Courtney were seriously different – a visible difference between when a woman pursues a man and when a man pursues a woman.
  • Linzi couldn’t quit telling Ben how much she loved him. Ben couldn’t quit telling Courtney great things about her. My friend Cassie is forever challenging me to live like this- let the man pursue because it makes all the difference. And sheesh, seeing it happen last night, I was like, “Oh, yeah Cassie. I see exactly what you mean.” Because whoa. It was different.

6. Something really whackadoodle has happened to our culture because we [meaning me as well] sit down and watch people build relationships and get genuinely hurt for our viewing pleasure. 

For anyone who doesn’t watch The Bachelor, this post has probably made you gag and say, “Annie Downs takes her TV way to serious and I think she may have lost her marbles.” I don’t. I didn’t. I promise.

I think it just interesting enough that we should discuss.

. . . . .

Your thoughts?


  1. posted on Mar 13, 2012 at 6:16 AM  |  reply

    First time commenting! A few pennies (adding up to a few dollars) for my thoughts:

    1. Surprised at how seriously some viewers take this “reality” show for real. The producers typecast each character and portrayed Courtney as a “man-eater”, Cassie B as the “sweet southern girl”, etc. However, throughout the show I have seen Cassie B (or that persona) calling Courtney all kinds of awful names too and she gets away with it. Tells you how much the perspective of the viewers have been manipulated by the producers.

    2. When I watched WTA, I was appalled at the behaviour of many of the other women. It just doesn’t feel that they were gracious either. Then again, many of the behaviour on this show are alcohol fuelled.

    3. Everyone hates on Courtney for the skinny dipping incident, and Ben was part of it too, but everyone seems to be infatuated with him. Jamie still wants him, and Nikki tells him he is the best guy she has ever come across. Really? Some crazy double standards here.

    • Annie
      posted on Mar 13, 2012 at 8:49 AM  |  reply

      I totally agree on all fronts.

      Nikki’s comment made my jaw drop. I was like, “Ok, sister. You need to get out more.”

      Thanks for your comment! Hopefully these pennies won’t be your last- I love your thoughts!

  2. posted on Mar 13, 2012 at 8:27 AM  |  reply

    Also, how infuriating and heartbreaking was it to watch Lindzi’s reaction after Ben dumped her?! “I feel so bad…I wasn’t enough for you…”

    Oh, girl. It was awful (and incredibly reminiscent of my own dating years) to watch how her self worth was wrapped up in his response to her.

    • Annie
      posted on Mar 13, 2012 at 8:49 AM  |  reply

      Yes. That was awful. Really awful.

  3. merideth
    posted on Mar 13, 2012 at 8:44 AM  |  reply

    I don’t watch this show(yes, I know that is probably a crime). But, I completely agree with the things you are saying about how people act, and the problems that arise from it. We need to take time to look at ourselves, and others, and make changes where needed. It’s the only way to stop the pain we have all caused in this world.

    • Annie
      posted on Mar 13, 2012 at 8:49 AM  |  reply

      Amen to that.

  4. posted on Mar 13, 2012 at 11:01 AM  |  reply

    I am not a fan of the Bachelor, but on some level, I understand the appeal. I also love your friend Cassie for that advice. It’s tough to sit and wait (hello Psalm 27:14), but she’s right about being pursued and being patient. The first few lines of this post made me smile the most. I regularly pray that the Lord will help me to get out of my own way so He can can have His. Seriously, self-inflicted drama is the worst and most unnecessary. 🙂

    • Annie
      posted on Mar 13, 2012 at 10:27 PM  |  reply

      Amen to that, VIctoria!

  5. posted on Mar 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM  |  reply

    i see facebook comments about the bachelor all the time but don’t watch the show. i agree with cassie that being pursued is better than pursuing… it’s much more biblical and feminine. i am 44 so a bit out of the dating drama that accompanies the youth culture today. but i am raising three children (boy 9, girls 7,3) and the more i hear i certainly am starting to favor the old fashioned courting method. less feelings involved and less of your heart getting torn apart by rejection. geez, what is a mom to do? you have made me think that i need to start reading up on this before our children reach that next level.

    • Annie
      posted on Mar 13, 2012 at 10:27 PM  |  reply

      Yes yes yes. Cassie knows me well and knows my inclination to assert myself when I should hang back. I love that my friends boss me around like that. 🙂

  6. posted on Mar 13, 2012 at 12:37 PM  |  reply

    Ohhh, word to point 2! Courtney just ultimately didn’t get it. It irked me how many times she said some version of “Being on the show was really hard for me” throughout the season, as if that somehow excused her from being completely rude. Well, she signed up for it! She had little regard for anyone’s feelings but her own (and perhaps Ben’s, but at a point too late for it to matter). I don’t know how she could be so self-absorbed as to not consider the ramifications of her behavior down the line, as in how her actions to the girls would be portrayed on TV and how that would look to her family and to Ben if he chose her.

    I did feel bad for both of them when they were both crying on the After the Final Rose, but they made their bed. I think they’re both just broken people.

    And I’ve now written entirely too much about people I don’t even know. 🙂

    • Annie
      posted on Mar 13, 2012 at 10:27 PM  |  reply

      Right. I just wanted someone to say, “Sister, your actions have consequences.”

  7. posted on Mar 13, 2012 at 12:41 PM  |  reply

    As for your #6 point…
    I love your comparison. We should talk about the Hunger Games….but why is it that we are so fascinated watching other people make horrific choices and watch when their lives fall apart. (Karidashians?)

    It almost makes me sad that there is a part of me that finds this so interesting. However, I do think we can all learn something about our culture and ourselves.


    • Annie
      posted on Mar 13, 2012 at 10:23 PM  |  reply

      I wonder the same things, Larissa. Why do I enjoy watching that show? What is it that is so alluring? I’m certainly thinking/praying through it.

  8. Emily
    posted on Mar 13, 2012 at 12:54 PM  |  reply

    I didn’t watch this season b/c I wasn’t a Ben fan, but I’ve followed the antics from afar. Your points are all so well-taken. I particularly enjoyed your reference to the Hunger Games (YAY for March 23rd!) After reading them, I literally COULD NOT stop thinking about how America is so much like the people in the Capitol with our celebrity-craze, worst story on the first page mentality … very thought provoking. Thanks for sharing, Annie!

    • Annie
      posted on Mar 13, 2012 at 10:22 PM  |  reply

      Amen. It’s a scary thought. I don’t know if Suzanne Collins intended to make us quite so introspective, surely Ben and Courtney didn’t, but alas- it has happened. 🙂

  9. posted on Mar 13, 2012 at 10:10 PM  |  reply

    Oh man, I’m scared to even say it out loud – but here goes, since you mention the Colosseum effect, I think maybe you’ll not think me a total loon for spouting off like I’m about to: how is it possible that Christian culture accepts what is basically a 21st century Harem? This is the one show that drives me totally bonkers and gets me up on my soap box and makes me want to rip out my hair and yell, Church, can’t you see what they’re doing? They’re saying the smorgasbord culture we live in is good and right and you DO need to date the world to find “the one”. And by dating I mean…well…you’ve seen the show.

    OK, exhale. I just don’t get it. Why it’s OK. Why Christian women hold viewing parties for it. Why we hate human trafficking but don’t mind this dolled up, pimped out version, that sells people’s souls along with a whole bunch of their physical intimacy for publicity.

    Oh man, I’m so gonna regret hitting “submit” on this comment, but it’s late and you’re so real and this is the first time I’ve EVER heard anyone offer any helpful critique of this wretched show.

    Whew, done yet Lisa-Jo?

    Yea, I think so.

    Love me still please…

    • Annie
      posted on Mar 13, 2012 at 10:22 PM  |  reply

      Love you times a million.

      I think what you say is really true. How do we justify this to ourselves? I don’t know. But we do.

    • posted on Mar 14, 2012 at 7:40 AM  |  reply

      @Lisa-Jo@thegypsymama, amen! i don’t watch the show but am amazed at the number of christ followers that do. having watched about 15 minutes of a previous year i felt like i needed a shower to cleanse myself of the filth. our daughters are watching us and is this our dream for them? i think not.

  10. posted on Mar 14, 2012 at 2:06 AM  |  reply


    One of the titles of my imaginary books I’ll write one day is MAN! UP!! In a general sense guys have stopped pursuing girls because they don’t have to! The girls put everything they’ve got “out there” and they’re the ones texting, messaging (but likely not actually calling). This is a message I’ve shared with my teen boys over and over and OVER to Be The Man. And we’re blessed with a daughter whose never given a thought to chasing a guy; she has a standard in mind and….she’ll wait.

    And having just finished The Hunger Games series, I grinned ear to ear with that reference. I might mess this up (my memory, she ain’t the greatest), but before I read the series last week, I read a piece about Collins’ inspiration for the book(s). She was flipping channels one day, saw a glimpse of a reality show (I don’t recall if it was named), and then I THINK she flipped channels and saw real life war coverage somewhere. The two came together in her mind and *that* was where THG originated.

    So you were spot on (even if I got some of the details caflooey :).).

  11. posted on Mar 14, 2012 at 8:20 AM  |  reply

    Ok, I love this post, because just like you when things happened on the Bachlor I wanted to stop watching.
    But to be honest, I didn’t. I wanted to see what happened with everyone, to see who Ben would choose. I kept hopeing things would turn around somehow even though I didn’t suspect they would.

    I agree with all of your points on here.
    And just want to say that for me I know I could never do a show like the bachlor. To date a man while he dates at least 20 people at the same time…no way! I like your friend feel like a girl should be persued. And there’s no way that can really (because let’s face it with 20 women if you sit back you’re out) let that happen.
    I know I’ve made many a mistake in my relationships but that is one that I know I want to change! I’m not going to run after a man. He needs to seek me.

    Good post Annie!!!

  12. marybeth
    posted on Mar 14, 2012 at 10:27 AM  |  reply

    i love you annie. i miss you. now my comments..
    lisa jo i love what you are saying..i love passion and radical statements that make you think..and i probably would agree with you if we were chatting..
    but this show is a far cry from human trafficking..people volunteer beg borrow and rearrange their lives to participate in this and can walk away at any moment and usually receive fame or notoriety that causes little or no backlash to their lives and usually brings good things to their careers etc etc (because i am the weirdo that will often google the people that leave the show)..don’t think it’s a fair comparison at all.
    and..about what you said annie about watching their pain for our pleasure…mmmm..maybe? i still think that’s a personal stand point as well..seeing the genuine pain on Ben’s face (courtney is much harder to read in the way of sincerity) didn’t make me feel pleasure i felt sorry for him and i think you did too??
    i don’t know..much more to say on many levels and i agree and disagree with most everything that’s said in favor or against the show.. watching the after the final rose wasn’t much different than watchin the today show or oprah or any other human interest story..

  13. posted on Apr 10, 2012 at 11:00 AM  |  reply

    Someone mentioned courting. My husband and I courted. When we met I had a six month old little boy from a previous relationship. I was living at home, going to school full time, and working part time. I was also ACTIVELY involved in my local church which was were we met. We started hanging out as friends and my brother in law (also my pastor) drew him aside one day and had a chat with him. He asked Nathan what his intentions were. I had a baby and didn’t need someone who was just looking for a good time. Nathan did some thinking and we decided to court. We both worked with the youth group and were completely public with every aspect of our relationship. We got engaged two months after we started courting and got married two months later. 8 years later we’ve had serious ups and downs but we are so much closer to each other and to God. I’m so thankful that our first kiss was on our wedding day. Courting worked for us. But I do understand that others feel differently.

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