If These Numbers Are Right, Nick Viall Is Not Going To Find His Forever Wife On This Season Of The Bachelor

Photo: Ray Tamarra/Getty
Nick Viall is back as The Bachelor. The fourth time may be the charm for Viall who has spent the past two years on national television trying to be a bachelor no more. He’s 36 and is still considered such a hot commodity that women should be stampeding over each other for a shot to be his wife. Viall’s age is not a huge deal for me. If you’re single and want to be married you should be able to pursue that at any legal age. But there is something to be said about age when it comes to the Bachelor franchise. Thanks to this handy chart compiled by Bustle, we can clearly see that the age range of female Bachelor contestants, 15 year difference, is smaller than that of the male contestants of the Bachelorette, an 18 year difference. The oldest contestant on the Bachelorette is 41. For the Bachelor, it’s only 36.
Photo: Courtesy of Bustle
The average age of Viall’s 30 contestants on the upcoming season is 26. The youngest contestants are 23 years old and the oldest are 31. I find this fascinating because there is a direct correlation between age difference and divorce rates. Based on age alone, Viall is at least 18% more likely to get a divorce (if he marries one of the 31-year-olds. If he marries one of the 23-year-olds, he’s looking at 40% more likely) than if he gets with someone closer to his own age. I don’t throw a lot of weight behind statistics when it comes to love, and I completely support adults dating other adults all over the age map. However, it seems like a coupling franchise set on sticking to a limiting age bracket would consider this when casting for a bachelor on the older end of the spectrum. So is The Bachelor concept actually the worst in matchmaking in history? Most likely. There is still a huge lack of racial diversity in casting and everyone is so straight, but that’s another post for another day. Is the show invested in a completely different formula of compatibility — one that relies on women’s youthfulness and belief in antiquated tradition as the sole indicator of eligibility? Part of the reason I’m completely fine with huge age gaps in relationships is that I firmly support adults being adults. I believe that even within our complex, paternalistic, sexist culture, people have a right to work with, against, or completely outside of that system in their romantic relationships (as long as it’s safe, sane, and consensual). With something as personal as dating, the possibilities are endless; and for many people it takes quite a bit of trial and error to figure it out. But how are Bachelors and Bachelorettes supposed explore all of these options when the parameters set before them are so narrow?

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