Calling Dr. Phil

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Where is Dr. Phil McGraw when you need him? One place I know that he’s not and that is on the set of the Bachelor and the Bachelorette programs. If he were, he would shoot them his wake up call question, &uot;What are you thinking when they give and accept engagement rings, and then he would probably try to explain to

them the difference between sudden infatuation and true love.

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The Bachelorette came to a conclusion on Wednesday, Feb. 19th when Trista from California chose Ryan, a fireman from Colorado professing true and everlasting love. About that same time The Bachelor, Aaron from Missouri, who once professed the same kind of love to Helene from New Jersey, his choice on the program that aired

in November 2002, was now saying that he has fallen out of love with her. What a crock.

I think that these shows would be more successful as far as true love were concerned if the main goal wasn’t based on receiving

or giving an engagement ring from The Bachelor and to The Bachelorette

The way I see it, this is putting the cart before the horse and I think that Dr. Phil would agree with me that a long relationship should take place after the program stops airing and then if the couple feels that they know each other well enough to still want to be together on a permanent basis, then the engagement ring can follow. Being anxious for a proposal in the way that these couples have done on each show reminds me of the other question Dr. Phil asks singles who are rushing to find a husband or wife, &uot;Do you want to be married or do you want to be happily married?

Dr. Phil said that there are five questions that every person in a relationship should ask themselves before they decide to get married: (1) Why do you want to get married? (2) Are you moving away from something or to something? (3) What are your expectations? (4) Do you really know yourself and do you really know your partner?

(5) What is the cost to me to be in this relationship?

He said that if the cost is your self-respect, then the price is too high or risky.

I see a lot of self respect being lost on these shows when the one single contestant begins dating the other 24 eligible singles. A lot of touching, feeling and tongue kissing goes on. Trista actually admitted that she spent at least one night with the two contestants she had to choose from even she tried to convey that nothing went on.

She would have been taking a risk if she had with the possibility of a sexually transmitted disease. However, on The Bachelor and Bachelorettes

TV shows, casting director Lacey Pemderton said that all contestants have physicals before they are allowed to appear on the show.

On &uot;The Bachelor&uot; when it was down to the wire with only Brooke and Helene during that last bachelor show in November and Aaron had to choose between the two, he had plenty to say to the TV audience about how much he really loved Helene. He spoke constantly about how beautiful she was

and some of his statements were, &uot;I’m going to make this work. Finally being able to tell her how I feel is a relief. This is for real. There are so many things that I like about Helene. It’s hard to find anything wrong with her.&uot;

He also told Brooke the runner-up that he couldn’t

honestly look at her and tell her that he had made the right decision-and he still gave Helene a ring.

Maybe one reason for falling out of love with her was the long distance relationship. He flew to New Jersey to see her occasionally from his home in Missouri because she couldn’t move at the time because of her teaching career. He also wasn’t willing to move to New Jersey where she is either. Now Trista, The Bachelorette is going to be doing the same thing with Ryan, but she said that their relationship is different and that their love would survive regardless.

All I have to say is I hope that I’m around in the next two years because of all the other things that can go wrong in a relationship, they need to be able to get to know each other better being together..

The Bachelor is also saying, &uot;Our relationship is something that can’t be resolved right now. Life is too short to live it miserably. She’s gorgeous, it’s a shame that we are not going to be able to make it work. I don’t want to prolong the inevitable.

Helene said that he misled her and told her the bad news just an hour prior to flying home after a visit with her.

Trista and Ryan seem to be pretty much in love now and Ryan wants to get married right away. However, Trista said that she wants a long engagement. She also said that she wished that she could split herself down the middle so that she could be with both of them. After all, she had most of America misled that she was going to pick Charlie because she seemed to be more attracted with him from a physical standpoint from what seemed to be more kissing and cuddling and said that one reason she didn’t pick him is that she knew he wasn’t in love with her. However, Ryan was.

Therefore, my advice to Ryan is not to rush into anything because when you have your first big argument, you don’t want to be rushing to Charlie’s hometown with your hose in hand to put out even a bigger fire between him and Trista.

Dr. Phil McGraw, relationship specialist and marriage counselor, airs at 10 a.m. on Channel 13, Monday-Friday. Recent shows have been entitled &uot;When Men Cheat,&uot; &uot;The Right Way to Argue,&uot; &uot;How To Communicate With Your Partner,&uot; &uot;Single Women Dating Married Men.&uot;

Evelyn Wall is a staff writer a regular column for the News-Herald.