TIME relationships

Dating Lessons I Learned From The Bachelorette Season Premiere

ABC's "The Bachelorette" - Season 10
In the premiere episode, 25 eligible men come from all over to try and win Andi's heart. Rick Rowell—ABC/Getty Images

Advice best swallowed with the help of cheap white wine

Monday night, five girlfriends gathered in the living room of my sixth-floor walk-up with the cheapest of white wines, for the rightest of reasons: to learn every love lesson The Bachelorette season premiere could possibly teach.

Nonbelievers might argue that it’s a poor idea to get dating advice from a television show that’s entirely based on the concept that it’s possible to find true love after serially dating 25 different visually alluring but vocationally ambiguous suitors in two months. To them I say, shut it and drink your Barefoot white zinfandel. Here are teachable moments, brought to you by Andi Dorfman and her band of merry men:

If you are ever wondering, “Should I get a haircut before this big date?” the answer is always yes. Always. I promise, you don’t look like an affable surfer guy. You look like the Geico caveman. Get a hold of your life.

ABC

Four bros (that’s almost 1/5 of contestants) came with long hair. Three were eliminated. An exception was made for the hairdresser not because his hair was edgy or sexy — it wasn’t, he had a mullet — but I think because he can keep the rest of the guys’ coifs in check for at least a few weeks. (We also never know when Andi is going to want to go ombré again.)

Still, as a general rule people tend to look better in person than they do in their photos. Andi’s matches looked underwhelming in their “Meet the Cast” headshots (ABC even had to add their shoe sizes — lots of 13s — to pique viewers’ interest), they were far cuter when they showed up “in person” at the rose ceremony. Even though, under reality-TV circumstances, “in person” actually means on an HDTV screen after being preened by a team of professional makeup artists, there’s still a lesson to be learned here. So stop dwelling on whether or not he’s photogenic, swipe right, and just meet that guy for coffee already.

If you’re going to use a pickup line, at least use a good pickup line. Even an urgent-care doctor couldn’t be saved after he said, “I think that you have a fever because you are looking pretty hot.” No.

Some people appreciate made-up words more than others. JJ says he is a pantsapreneur. He also called his journey on The Bachelorette a lovequest, which to the uninitiated means “a normal quest to find true love.” We would have dropped him. Andi let him stay. We think we’re right, and not just because it’s all about male short shorts, not pants, this season.

Never come to a first date empty handed. Even if your hand is filled with the gift of a stolen hotel lamp.

(This still is not a recommended gift.)

Talk of butt play does not make for a good first impression. Emil, who introduced himself as “anal with an m” shockingly did not stay around. And it wasn’t just because Andi doesn’t appreciate slant rhymes.

Be grateful that you’ve never had this conversation on a first date: “Tell me about your farm.” “It’s neat.”

When bringing up race, religion or politics, make sure you’re being sneaky about it. ABC isn’t know for being racially inclusive. So black suitor Marquel decided to go for the subtle, “I’m going to address race” route when he gave Andi a tub of cookies and instructed her over and over again to pay special attention to the black-and-white cookie. (Hope you enjoyed it, this will probably be the only racial “real talk” the entire season.)

What lessons did you learn?

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