The dating world has been taken to a whole new level. FOX is letting America pick a bride and groom in the new series "Married by America" and a 3rd "Bachelor" will premiere in a few weeks on ABC. The amount of reality shows is startling, but viewership isn't slowing down. Twenty-one-year-old Amanda Bivins says, "This is the first season I started watching and they've sucked me in and I hate it. I can't get away from them!"
While millions tune in, millions also dream of finding that special someone away from the camera's eye. Americans continue to try out online dating services like match.com. Marriage Counselor Richard Wettstone says, "It presents a problem because people can fabricate whatever they want on the Internet and it's difficult to know what you're dealing with." Wettstone has been counseling families and couple for 30 years. Within the past few years he's seen more of his clients trying online dating. But not everyone agrees with it. Student Will Kay says, "If you want to go out and meet somebody, just do it. Why do it over the internet?" But Valley resident Michael Seth says, "I was married long before online dating came into being, but I see nothing wrong with it."
Online dating remains an option in the world of relationships. And at this point, so does the approach of a romance in the spotlight. Student Willis Weber says, "I wouldn't necessarily say it takes it to a whole new level. If anything it kind of degrades it and takes away sanctity from it. Takes away the sacredness of it." Wettstone disagrees. He says, "I don't know if it's ruining the sanctity of marriage because people who meet on those shows could have everything anybody in a regular marriage would have. Marriage through a church and a covenant relationship."
Wettstone says marriage hasn't changed much over the years in that it still takes a lot of work to make a healthy marriage last. He continues, "My advice is to watch the shows as entertainment and not reality and with the online dating deal, just be really careful."
But the thought of true love is still one of America's guiltiest pleasures. The FOX "Married by America" series made it premiere Monday, March 3rd at 8pm and ABC's new "Bachelor" will premiere March 26th.