BACHELOR LIVE - "The View"'s Michelle Collins, Alison Williams and Bachelor Ben along with a surprise guest will appear as panelists on ABC's after-show "Bachelor Live" on MONDAY, JANUARY 25 (10:02 - 11:00 p.m. EST), following "The Bachelor." (ABC/Rick Rowell)

Don’t Fear the First Date

I’m fortunate to have experienced more than my fair share of first dates during my time on ABC’s The Bachelor. In a very short time, I had to emotionally process interactions with 30 amazing women. It was exhilarating and bewildering to say the least. The character of these brave women overwhelmed me, and through the process I met my beautiful former fiancé. Needless to say, this exciting experience also stressed me out along the way.

Whenever I reflect on all those first dates, I get anxious and sweaty all over again.

A first date is emotionally charged whether it occurs on national television or at a neighborhood coffeeshop. The pressure of putting yourself out there with someone new can really get to you. You create a character in your mind based on the limited information you receive. And it’s hard to ask yourself, “Is this the kind of person I would at least enjoy spending time with?”

If you’re serious about finding a life partner, you have to analyze if they are “marriage material” before you even meet for that first cup of coffee. We consider what life would be like with this person, and we try to picture the end result: walking hand in hand off into the sunset… or something like that.

Sometimes we have too much information to build this dream life. We live in a digital world where you can learn a large amount of information about a person before you even meet them. A large percentage of initial communication occurs through a dating app or website. This digital world makes it hard to truly meet someone without having preconceived notions.

The Bachelor created a scenario where I had little to no information about the women I met. It’s pretty old school, but it’s one of the best things about the way relationships start on show in my opinion. I was able to give everyone the same opportunity at a genuine connection, because I didn’t know details about their lives from social media or even mutual friends. I got to dig into our conversations and learn about each woman the old-fashioned way.

Don’t get me wrong; I love the digital world and its access to information. I have nothing against online dating and actually tried it myself before going on the show. It’s easy to make an argument for the safety and security of beginning a date armed with background information.

But in the context of love, I believe Facebook stalking or Googling can take some of the magic out of things.

I encourage you to start your next journey to find love with an open heart and an open mind. Make an effort to meet someone in the most organic way possible. Then challenge yourself to do as little research as your conscience will allow before your first date. You can fully get to know your new love interest through genuine conversation and an open mind.

Maybe it’s my Midwestern roots, but I believe that starting a relationship this way gives you the best chance at getting to know someone without distractions and societal pressures. It’s not the only way to make a genuine connection, of course. But if you haven’t found love yet, what’s the harm in trying? Maybe it will be the beginning of something really special.

By Ben Higgins with Mitch Reinholt

How did you meet your most recent significant other?

*Image courtesy of ABC/Rick Rowell

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  • Reply
    July 24, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    Tinder #romance

    • Reply
      Debbie Cowart
      August 17, 2017 at 7:40 pm

      I’ve been married for 35 years, dated for nine months and we met at church. He was 27 and 1 was 21. We have two beautiful daughters and three wonderful grandsons. Ben you will find you a godly women that will make you so happy in Colorado.

  • Reply
    July 24, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    I have been married for just over a year. I dated my husband for almost 8 years before we married. We met through a mutual friend while out at a bar and hit it off right away. I was freshly 21 and after a few dates I pretty much knew he was “the one,” not only was there physical attraction but our core values matched up, we were so different yet so alike all at the same time. Before finding my husband I only ever dated people because I met them through a mutual friend, through church, school, or work, so I get being pretty old school.

  • Reply
    July 24, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    Very nice! Thank you for this. It’s good to hear someone else feels this way!

  • Reply
    July 25, 2017 at 12:02 am

    Just what I needed to read tonight. Thanks for your words!

  • Reply
    July 25, 2017 at 6:24 am

    I met my husband on a blind date in nashvillle where I went off of only two photos of what he looked like. No information from anyone else and our first date was FOUR hours long!! The main thing that I think helped (other than knowing nothing about him) was going in with low expectations. Not thinking of the future relying on tonight so you’re pleasantly surprised when it goes well and you’re wanting a second date! Just my two cents. I love having a blind date story because it feels old school and magical. We’ll be married a year next month!

    • Reply
      Ben Higgins
      August 1, 2017 at 4:21 pm

      Congrats (early) on your anniversary!

  • Reply
    July 25, 2017 at 8:41 am

    I couldn’t agree more! I have finally given up on online dating – for many reasons. I still have hope that God will orchestrate us to meet organically through similar passions, activities and hobbies. One challenge I always find, is that everyone’s eyes are glued to their phones busy swiping instead of looking to up to see the person standing in front of them. How do you meet organically when everyone is consumed with technology and themselves? #stillhopeful #stilllooking #singleinmenver

  • Reply
    July 25, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    I’m still single, but I think there is something to be said about meeting someone organically and not online. Everyone is “perfect” in their online profile, right?! Haha! I believe that there is someone for everyone, and God will produce that person in His time, not mine.

  • Reply
    August 14, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    I think when two people meet we can tell right away how they makes us feel and whether their vibe is compatible with ours. It’s not so much what someone looks like or what they do for a living that determines if they’re potential dating material. Go back to the basics with an open mind and letting go of expectations. I met my best friend online when I was 16 and till this day we correspond and we talk about our lives, we’re funny, carefree, intense, serious at times, sing country music, we’re companions, we lift one another, etc. He’s very open and non-judgmental. I feel comfortable being totally me.
    You’ll find Someone who ‘gets’ you. Who ‘sees’ you for you. I’d even say that this person will be someone who knows you better than you know yourself. You will know.
    “The minute I heard my first love story,
    I started looking for you, not knowing
    how blind that was.
    Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere,
    they’re in each other all along.”

  • Reply
    Shelby Tallon
    August 17, 2017 at 8:43 am

    I consider myself extremely blessed as my husband and I first met each other in kindergarten! We grew up going to the same elementary, middle and high school and through the years we were classmates turned close friends. That close friendship turned to romance when we were 17 years old and the rest is history! We dated for 10 years and just got married this past March 🙂 I love the idea of meeting someone in an organic way, as that’s how it happened for me. I know my situation is very unique but I just pray for my single friends that they would remain open to the people they meet in every day life rather than get too wrapped up in social media and facebook stalking (It’s hard, I get that!!)… Ben, you are so awesome. I really enjoy getting to know you more on you and Ashley’s podcast. It’s so fun to listen to and keep shining your light for Jesus in the world!! It’s so beautiful to watch. Blessings,

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    September 6, 2017 at 10:15 am


    The first date of my life is a remembering day and will carry these sweet memories whole day long.

    After reading this post, all my memories come back again,

    Thanks for writing such amazing post.

  • Reply
    October 1, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    I was lucky to meet my [now] ex in college, during a time when ‘research’ didn’t really produce much (back when Facebook required a college email address to sign up)!
    So when we first hung out, it was nice that we knew a little about one another–enough to catch up, but still nothing deep, so that allowed our relationship to grow.

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