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I Spent Over $100 On Episodes Of "The Bachelor" And I Have No Regrets

I love love.

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It started with Kaitlyn's season.

ABC

I was a latecomer to the franchise, but after watching Season 20 of The Bachelor (Ben Higgins, what a dreamboat!), I was a convert to the Show that Launched a Thousand Podcasts.

This was Season 11 of The Bachelorette. At the time, I was unhappily single. And while I didn't see myself in tiny, bubbly, terrified-of-birds Kaitlyn (for one thing, I follow several bird-appreciation accounts on Instagram) there was something comforting in watching a group of people so relentless in their pursuit of love (or Instagram followers, but I try not to ruin the magic). My best friend and I watched together as Kaitlyn conquered her fear of rejection (every Bachelor and Bachelorette's stated fear) and also birds (kind of) to find her one true love.

The Bachelor-verse told me it was okay — it was right — to want a relationship as much as I did. It wasn't pathetic, it was noble! It was okay to pursue love as doggedly as I did the other things I wanted in life.

It's been over a year since I purchased my first Bachelor franchise episode$1.99 for 90 minutes of pure, escapist bliss? What a bargain! — and since then, I've spent over $100 on episodes.

ABC / Via giphy.com

And you know what? It has been, for me, the greatest investment in self-care I have made...maybe ever.

The comfort I got from The Bachelor didn't diminish when I started dating someone; my boyfriend and I watch it together (and honestly, the only reason I haven't spend $200 on episodes is because he buys them sometimes, too).

We've watched Emily Maynard and Andi Dorfman and Jake Pavelka (ugh) and Ben Flajnik and Ashley Herbert and Sean Lowe. And we're not even as snarky as you would expect two cynical New Yorkers to be. We love love! We want happy endings for these perennially contoured women and toned men, licensed realtors all. They're not like us, but...in a way, they are exactly like us.

I know, I know; confessing that The Bachelor is your guilty pleasure is old hat. There's a book whose title is literally Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America's Favorite Guilty Pleasure (I have only read an excerpt, which I thoroughly enjoyed).

ABC / Via giphy.com

But I don't feel guilty about my devotion to The Bachelor. I don't even feel guilty about the amount of money I've spent on individual episodes. It's formulaic (yes, they really do say "here for the right reasons" that much), it's problematic (in myriad ways), it's not even remotely prestigious or enriching.

But for me, it's like the television equivalent of a glass of warm milk. Or a joint and a massage. Or (insert your comfort food of choice here).

Whether it's the unabashed sappiness, the unrelenting predictability, the schadenfreude that comes from witnessing 20-odd hot people getting dumped, or some combination thereof, The Bachelor is the best anxiety relief $1.99 can buy.

And because I purchased them, they're in my Amazon Video library forever. So any time I need a little refresher on, say, Ashley Herbert's Journey to Love — it's right there waiting for me.

Get episodes of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette from Amazon for $1.99.

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Allison Krausman