If you have been anywhere near the internet or have a Netflix subscription, I am going to take a guess that you have seen the show “The Ultimatum.”
Now, I admit that I am a consumer of mind-numbing reality shows. Especially ones that deal with love and relationships. I like to see what other people deal with and analyze how they respond.
I mean it makes sense. I am a relationship and dating coach. I like to call it “research,” just ask my skeptical husband (who won’t admit that he likes some of the shows, too).
The whole premise for “The Ultimatum” goes like this: five couples that have been dating for a long time come on the show with an ultimatum. One member of the couple tells the other that they either agree to get married or break up.
Now, that’s not all. The couples also go through a trial breakup where they actually agree to date another member of the show for a couple of weeks. All in the hopes that they will realize how much they love their original partner and will want to get married.
I admit that this show is not for happy couples. I mean, I don’t know any healthy couple that would gladly raise their hand to watch their partner date someone else in front of them. Even though the premise is not the most ethical, it sure does make for good TV.
Initially, I wasn’t going to give in and watch the show, but I caved after multiple friends told me I had to watch it. So in the name of “research,” I fired up the TV and finished the series in a matter of days.
After finishing, I was glad I watched the show. It actually taught me so much more about current relationships and modern-day struggles. Even though I acknowledge that there needs to be some created drama for good TV, I still think the show shares some important lessons.
So in today’s article, I am sharing the three most important lessons from the show. Lessons that I believe everyone should follow if they are looking for a meaningful connection. Things I would share with my clients and anyone ready for love.
Three Deal-Breaking Relationship Lessons from “The Ultimatum”
1. Never force someone into marrying you.
This should go without saying, but I was pretty shocked at how often this came up on the show. Yes, the whole premise is about wanting marriage right away, but some couples were more so than others. Or should I say, some women were more about forcing their partners into marriage. This is never ever a good idea.
All this does is set up an uneven power dynamic within the couple. The one forcing the marriage is acting as if they are in the driver’s seat and the other must do as they say. It is unhealthy to go into a marriage this way because this sets the stage for how the relationship will continue to play out. This also sets up the other person for a lifetime of resentment if they feel they had no choice into this life-changing decision.
I saw this with both April and Alexis on the show. They wanted a ring and a wedding and they wanted it now. Never mind the fact that they are both in their early 20s and still have so much to learn. Which brings me to my next point.
2. Being single in your 20s is the best decision you can make.
One thing that really stuck out to me from the show was just how young everyone was! I think the oldest person might have been like 26 years old or close to it. This honestly shocked me. I couldn’t really imagine how so many young people wanted marriage so quickly.
Just thinking back to my own 20s, the amount of personal growth I experienced in that decade was huge. Twenty-three-year-old me was definitely not the same person as 28-year-old me. I met my husband right before I turned 29 and got married at age 32. I am so grateful for my single years because I learned so much about myself.
And this is why I tell everyone I can that being single in your 20s is the best thing you can do. It’s such a pivotal decade where you are learning about yourself and who you want to be in the world. You are fresh off an ultra-scheduled life of school and thrown into society. I think if you get married right away, you are missing out on so many important lessons that this decade can show you. Learn as much as you can about yourself and your values, then find the person who matches that and enjoy your life with them.
3. Long-term relationships do not have to end in marriage.
Aside from the ages of the people on the show and the theme of forcing a marriage, there was another theme that was apparent. All of these couples have been dating for a couple years, most of them started in college or soon thereafter. Most of the women were saying that the reason they wanted to get married was because they had already been together for two years. This should not be your main reason to get married!
Listen, you can be dating someone for five years and still not be a good match long-term. So many people get comfortable in their relationships or dread going back into the dating scene that they just stay in their relationship unhappily. But honestly, an unfulfilling relationship is much lonelier than being single.
Length of relationship and readiness for marriage are not things that go together. Some people get married within months of meeting, other people stay together for 10 years and realize they don’t know their partner. That’s why I do the work I do—to help women prepare themselves for love and be confident in what they are looking for. So when their person does show up, they will have no doubt in their mind that they have met the one.
There you have it! The top three lessons from the show. Have you seen “The Ultimatum”? I’d love to hear what you thought about the show in the comments below.
And if you liked this article, let me know what show I can breakdown next.
Here’s to love, lessons, and reality shows!