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If you’re like me, you’re falling fresh off the reality-television-guilty-pleasure high known as The Bachelor. Last night’s finale ended in the most dramatic rose ceremony in the history of Chris Harrison’s 17-season career as a terribly unsuccessful matchmaker. Seriously, the only other professions where you can keep your job with that kind of success rate is meteorology and, perhaps, the American presidency.

But enough about politics. Let’s get back to reality. Sean said sayonara to Lindsay and her Minnie Mouse voice last night. She said sayonara back, took off her shiny silver heels (that matched her shiny silver mermaid dress), and marched away from those voodoo totem poles and into a waiting Mitsubishi SUV. (I guess sequestration is affecting ABC, too.)

Sean let out a few tears and then turned around and proposed to Catherine, who was wearing a shiny gold mermaid dress and suffering through a slightย major face-twitching episode. He gave her an amazing rock provided by his good friend Neil Lane (“Hey! Neil Lane!”), and they rode off together on an elephant into the Thailand sunset.

sean and catherine

I hate to admit what I’m about to say because I consider myself a realist. I don’t get swept up in Hollywood romance and I refuse to fall for ABC’s editing prowess aimed to suck viewers in. Still, I have to say that — pause — I think Sean and Catherine might actually work out.

Fact: They’re a really, really good looking couple. She’s simply gorgeous. And he is a handsome bloke, if you like that all-American, muscles-all-over-his-body-and-no-shirt-on-most-days kind of look. They will make beautiful babies.

Fact: Sean’s dad is just about the sweetest man I’ve ever seen on television. When he welcomed those girls into his family, I actually cried. And he’s been praying for Sean’s wife all these years? Oh dear. That one got me good. What a sweetie!

Fact: The overwhelming majority of relationships that start on The Bachelor end in a fury of flames, debris, and a desperate quest for fame. It’s not pretty and it’s completely predictable.

But one reason that I believe that Sean and Catherine might actually make it is that they’re the first couple from The Bachelor to bring faith into the equation. They’re the first couple to even acknowledge that God is involved, that he leads us. Admittedly, I wish they talked about it more, though I’m hoping those conversations simply fell to the ABC editing room floor at the hands of ratings-crazed producers. And that’s fine. But you could still tell that Sean is a Christian. I mean, if you’ve been watching The Bible on the History Channel, you realize lots of Bible folks didn’t wear their shirts either. Stop judging! And though I didn’t see Catherine talk too much on air about faith, I can only assume that Sean wouldn’t pick a gal who didn’t exhibit strong faith in God, to mirror his own.

There’s only so much I can gather from a few really long episodes of a reality show. As my friend and I had to remind ourselves when things got heated during our viewing party last night, we don’t actually know Sean and Catherine. We are aware of the little tidbits of their lives that were taped over an intense six-week period, and then edited to induce shock, awe and drama. But what I can speak to is how relationships work in the real world — far, far away from reality TV.

Here’s my question for you today: Is it possible to truly know someone if you get to know them in a bubble? Because let’s get real — The Bachelor hardly provides a realistic environment for dating. No one I know gets to know that special someone in a competitive setting on group dates doing extreme sports and traveling to exotic faraway lands. It’s a nightmare and a fairy tale all at once. (Just ask Tierra.)

When the contestants brought Sean home to meet their families, even just for one dinner, things changed. It actually served as a breaking point for one contestant, as her brother didn’t approve of Sean. (Don’t worry. She’s the new Bachelorette, which may prove to be just as boring as Andrew Baldwin’s season. Who is Andrew Baldwin? Exactly.) After Sean met the ladies’ families, he whittled it down to two finalists and invited them to meet his family. Although his family was surprisingly gracious (especially his sweet dad!), his mom was torn and I’m sure it affected Sean and his decision. And, again, this was only after one dinner!

I believe that in real life a healthy dating relationship doesn’t happen in a bubble. It happens in public, surrounded by family, friends, colleagues, mentors and pastors. It happens in the middle of your hectic life of work, deadlines, events, chores, errands, financial obligations, and cleaning the toilet. And there’s something healthy about that.

So as much as I think Sean and Catherine will get hitched and may just make it, I wonder how much they actually know about each other right now. Do you think they’ll look at each other in a few months, long after the rose deliveries from Chris Harrison have forever ceased, and wonder how they ever ended up with someone so completely wrong for them?

sean and catherine 2

I wonder. Do you?

~Ruth