Stage 1: Condescension
Your partner sets a recording for the upcoming season, and you can’t believe the person you love and respect is interested in such mindless entertainment.
You say things like: “I didn’t know you were into something like that” and “I’m just a little surprised, I never would have guessed that about you.”
Deep down you feel a slight twinge of pride now that your intellectual superiority has been demonstrated. You decide to read a book – non-fiction, of course – while your partner watches the show, to further solidify your mount on your high horse.
Your partner accepts this in silence and takes no offense. They were once like you.
Stage 2: Snark
Every so often, the ridiculous nature of the show will penetrate your intellectual bubble and you’ll feel obliged to comment. Not that you’re paying attention or anything. You’re reading.
You say things like: “The producers obviously wrote that line for him,” and “I wonder how long the bachelorette and her suitor sat around while they set up the lighting and staging for this shot?”
You’re still not watching the show, but you do feel like it’s at least worth paying attention to the full rose ceremony at the end of the broadcast. This is a courtesy to your partner; you love them and want to be able to discuss the things that interest them.
Stage 3: Curiosity
Your pithy comments – now much more frequent – make your partner laugh and you notice they make similar observations. You find this strange. Why would they be so dismissive of something they enjoy so much?
You say things like: “Of course they’re going to keep the ‘Whaboom’ guy around for a few weeks, he’s there for comic relief” and “If I was her I’d send home every suitor who has listed a job that does not include employer-funded insurance.”
You finish less than half a page of your book during this episode, mostly while your partner fast forwards through commercials.
Stage 4: Conversion
You feel genuine sadness when your favorite contestant is sent home not long after telling the bachelorette he thinks he’s falling for her, but you still have a mental list of the top three suitors that you think would be perfect for Rachel.
You start to speculate about which contestants might star in the next season of “The Bachelor,” and nod approvingly when your partner sets a recording for “Bachelor in Paradise.” You seek out recaps on Vulture and Reddit. You consider reading spoilers on some less reputable websites but decide that this would be a betrayal of your partner’s trust.
You say things like: “I don’t think he’s here for the right reasons,” and your conversion is officially complete.