I can tell just from watching a few episodes and having met you briefly that you’ve got a handle on what’s happening.
But from one former Bachelor to another, I can tell you that being in isolation and hoping to find the woman of your dreams among a cast of 20 strangers hand-picked for you is a pretty strange and surreal experience, to say the least. There’s only a handful of people in the country who can truly understand it, and the fact that you can’t ring your dad or your best mate means you’re really on your own navigating it.
It’s impossible to prepare for the experience, but you should remember that the rules, for want of a better word, are going to be different.
Relationships are fast-tracked and the amount of deep conversations you’re having with people after knowing them for a few hours is so sped up. Something you might not talk about until around the one-year mark in normal time is suddenly being discussed by the third week in the show. It’s a bit of a strange sensation, but you have to do it. The clock is ticking, and you can’t leave any stone unturned because you don’t want to make a mistake.
In my experience, being on a date nearly every day with a different woman for months is not your typical dating experience. It’s really intense, and there’s extra pressure than there would be in the real world, so it’s crucial to trust yourself and back yourself no matter what.
There are going to be things you can’t control, so you need to be able to adapt and think on your feet. Keep perspective, remember why you’re there and always communicate what you’re feeling.
Every time things get hard, you’ve got to remind yourself that you’ve given up an enormous amount to be there and put yourself out there. If you suspect people creating drama or are there for the wrong reasons, you have to act on it. Those people are only going to hinder the process for you and block you from spending time with the wonderful women who are there for you.
I knew fairly early on that Snez was the one for me, but at the same time there are amazing women there that you don’t want to hurt, and it can become really tough; that was what I struggled with the most. All you can do is manage the situation as sensitively as you can, and not forget why you’re there.
At the moment, you’re in this strange period of being one of the only people in the world that knows who it is you’ve found love with. You’re getting to know each other without the cameras, and you can help each other through a very unique situation.
My advice is to use this time wisely to get to know that person really well and try not to read too much — the media attention is a shock, and you can easily get sucked into that vortex.
Once the finale airs, you’ll have a whole set of other challenges.
For months, it’ll be impossible to get a coffee without a dozen people asking you for selfies, people asking if you are really still together, and a bus with your face plastered on it might drive by as you’re standing on the footpath. But I promise the experience is worth it. After all, who cares about a few selfies when in return, you get the love of your life? And in my case, three beautiful daughters!
So embrace it and run your own race. Because when you find your person, you know.
And if your future turns out anything like mine, you’ll have a beautiful thing to look back on and show the kids one day.
This article originally appeared on Rendezview and was reproduced with permission
Sam Wood is a former Bachelor and the founder of 28 by Sam Wood.