A Love that Lasts

O.K. I admit it. I was one of the 40 million Americans who was glued to the tube to watch the reality television show, Joe Millionaire. In case you missed it, Joe Millionaire was a relationship program that allowed a single man to meet 24 single women and select the one who he felt was his match. Over a period of seven weeks Joe dated the women in awkward groups of fives and eventually whittled the pack down to two. The twist that made Joe Millionaire so irresistible to me and probably the 40 million, is that the 24 single women were told that Joe, who’s real name was Evan Marriott, recently inherited $50 million dollars. In actuality, Joe was a construction worker who earned less the $20,000.

There are some questionable aspects about Joe Millionaire. The deception factor gave the television program a sleazy flavor. It was built on a lie. None of us want to be lied to or led on. When we meet someone we want him or her to be genuine. Also it is not hard to believe that the 24 young women may have been attracted to the money more than the man. After all, they were recruited under premise that they had the chance to date and perhaps marry a millionaire. Then there is the issue of group dating at a break-neck pace. One must ask the question, can a person make an accurate and sound dating decision under the pressure of rolling television camera and millions of on-lookers?

Despite the negatives, Joe Millionaire underscored the reality that love is alive and a wonderful thing. Most people want to be loved and the quest for love should never be snuffed out or discounted. Searches for love in the 21st century will be not mirror the search for love that came out of the turn of the century. People change. Times change.

Much to my amazement, the bachelor of Joe Millionaire reached back on some old-fashioned values in his selection of his ideal woman. His selection was staggering. Some of America’s most beautiful women of all races were vying for his attention. These women also threw themselves at him and at times on him. Yet he chose the woman who was distant and paid him the least amount of attention- Zora. There are lessons on love about what men really want from women, let me share them.

Men want woman who has some mystery about her. Zora did not pour out all of her personal information on their dates. She was not oozing with data and facts. That made her a challenge for him. Sometimes, less is more.

Men want women who are modest in their appearance. In one episode of Joe Millionaire the bachelor and bachelorettes were together in a hot tub dressed in bathing suits. Zora did not want to reveal her body kept a t-shirt on during this outing.

Men want women who are chaste in their behavior. The bachelorettes were constantly in the bachelor’s face, or rubbing him or touching him. A few of the women who made it to the final rounds exchanged long kisses with him. None of those engaged in the affections were selected.

Men want women who do not follow the crowd. A woman who is an individual is prized. Zora refused to join in the late night discussions about the dates with Joe where intimate details were shared regularly. She did not turn their time together into public news. The group mentality can destroy relationships.

There were lessons to be learned here. I hope the 40 million learned something.

Dr. Sheron C. Patterson is the senior pastor of the St. Paul United Methodist Church located in the heart of Dallas, Texas. Dr. Patterson is a nationally recognized Christian relationship expert and author of The Love Clinic: How to Heal Relationships in a Christian Spirit

Her sage advice has been broadcast via Black Entertainment Television (BET) and Jet Magazine. On a weekly basis, believers in 40 cities hear her “Love Doctor” broadcast on the syndicated ABC radio format REJOICE. Locally she co-hosts “Inspirations Across the Metroplex” on KRNB 105.7 FM’s gospel music/relationship radio program on Sunday morning.

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