real life

Take note, Sam Wood: Australia is the winning team at #truelove.

If Sam Wood doesn’t take the advice of the last two Bachelors, his ‘true love’ might be short-lived.

In 19 seasons of the U.S. version of The Bachelor, a show about finding true love, only two couples are still together now. That’s a success rate of just 10.5 per cent.

In Australia, with two (almost three) seasons under our belts, our success rate sits at a solid 100 per cent (#MATHS). Granted, one of these successful couples got off to an awkward, nationally-hated start *cough Blake and Louise cough* but two out of two isn’t too bad.

So when Sam Wood picks Lana his favourite girlfriend on Thursday night, all of our reality-TV-obsessed eyes will be on him. He says he’s still dating the girl he picks – he told The Daily Telegraph that they “call, facetime and text every day” – so we’re not expecting a conclusion as dramatic as last year’s Sam/Blake/Louise debacle, but it begs the question: can a strong relationship really be made from a reality competition?

do the bachelor couples stay together
Sam Wood with his top two picks, Snezana and Lana. Image via Channel 10.

If season one’s Anna Heinrich and Tim Robards are any indication, the answer is absolutely yes. It’s now been two years since Anna won the first season of The Bachelor Australia, and I think the reason they worked from the beginning is that Tim didn’t propose to her. He instead chose to give her a ring – not of the engagement variety – and asked if she’d be keen to keep dating him.

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Two years later, the public face they put out with Instagram photos, public appearances and TV stints seems to suggest that they’re a pretty strong couple.

In an Instagram post marking their two year anniversary this week, Tim wrote: “2 years ago today I told my beautiful girl @annaheinrich1 [she] had my heart… You still got it baby! You make everything simply…. Better! We have so much fun together and I want to thank everyone for supporting us. We love that we’ve been able to touch so many hearts as you have touched ours xox”

Anna shared a similar message: “Two years on… Happy anniversary @mrtimrobards You bring nothing but love and happiness to my life. #ILOVEYOU”

Two years on……. Happy anniversary @mrtimrobards You bring nothing but love and happiness to my life. #ILOVEYOU

A photo posted by ❤️ANNA HEINRICH❤️ (@annaheinrich1) on

The premise of The Bachelor is to pick a woman and propose to that person at the end of the season. But how do you propose to someone you’ve never even dated exclusively, while you’ve spent the last two months also professing your affection to a number of other girls?

Take Blake Garvey and Louise Pillidge, for example. Louise was the booted Bachelorette who came third, only to actually get Blake in the end when he dumped his winner, Sam Frost. Since then, the pair have been notoriously quiet. There were tabloid articles, rumours and paparazzi shots for the first month after their relationship went public, but since then there’s been nothing. In fact, unless you follow either/both of them on Instagram, you wouldn’t even know if they’re still alive, let alone together.

Blake and Louise, in one of their many Instagram selfies. Image via Instagram/LouisePillidge.

But they are. Louise has moved to Perth for Blake and they frequently get together for selfies to remind their 90,000 Instagram followers that they are in love.

Maybe their success – and Anna and Tim’s, for that matter – can be attributed to one thing: slowing down. To be thrust into a world where a new relationship is put on fast forward, coming back down to earth and entering ‘the real world’ is a tough, but necessary thing to do. No proposal, no rushing. Just getting to know each other, and going back to the basics of a new relationship.

Click through the gallery below for photos of Tim and Anna and Louise and Blake. Post continues after gallery.

If Sam Wood can learn anything from Australia’s very excellent success rate (and he should listen, because we’re obviously killing it) it’s to NOT propose this week. Offer a promise of an exclusive relationship, because monogamy is quite cool, and just enjoy each other’s company for awhile.

There’s no need to rush.

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