Bachelor wants people to propose on TV, but only if they’re sure their partner will say yes

ABC is offering couples a chance to propose on national TV as part of The Bachelor, if a couple wants to start their life together on a show that mostly produces failed relationships and broken engagements. Even better, this will happen during the season that brings back Brad Womack, whose first appearance on the show ended with him rejecting both women.

For Marry Me Monday promotion, ABC says, “Brad Womack is still looking for his significant other, but if you’ve already found yours we have the perfect proposal opportunity for you! Tell us how and why you want to propose to your significant other and you could have the chance to pop the question during an upcoming episode of ABC’S THE BACHELOR!”

Applications are due Dec. 27, and ABC says that only those “involved in a long-term, committed relationship which you realistically envision will lead to marriage or a civil union in the near future” may apply, which certainly leaves open the possibility that a same-sex couple could apply and win.

Without a hint of recognition of how ironic this is, the second sentence in the rules insists, in all caps and bold: “DO NOT SUBMIT AN APPLICATION IF YOU ARE NOT CONFIDENT THAT YOUR PARTNER SHARES YOUR VIEWS ABOUT THE FUTURE AND NATURE OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP.”

This disclaimer just highlights the absurdity of the whole proposal tradition, which doesn’t emphasize equality in the relationship but instead imagines a lifelong relationship should start with one person making a critically important decision without consulting the other one first. How about deciding to get married together?

And of course, it’s totally unimaginable that one could watch a televised proposal between people who are not confident about how their potential partner feels about the future and nature of a relationship formed on a reality show best known for not forming successful relationships.

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