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Contestants were portrayed as urbane and glamorous and often more concerned with money and mobility than marriage and tradition.The show made international headlines in its first six months when a 20-year-old female contestant, Ma Nuo, famously declared that, when it came to dating, she would rather “cry in a BMW” than smile on a bicycle.For more than a decade now, reality dating shows like franchise, which refers to its fans as “Bachelor Nation,” encompasses some of the longest-running U. dating shows and has consistently produced some of the most-watched television across female viewers of all ages..The show isn’t serialized, but instead features multiple bachelors per 90-minute episode.I do value my independence, where I tool around my city and write in coffee shops.I indulge and imagine myself as literary and cultured and try to project these things to others.And the easiest dodge would be to say that, even before it’s filtered through TV producers, the story of any relationship is an unreliable narrative, ultimately boiling down to two conflicting accounts.The experience is an essential part of being an ex, albeit on a mass-media scale: Your former partner constructs his or her own story about you to tell other people and potential partners—without you.

I’d seen David before on a talk show whose bare-bones set resembled something you’d see on an American public-access channel.It’s not worth worrying and trying to “set the record straight,” if I even believed such a thing were possible. What really bothered me was that, despite my attempts to rationalize it otherwise, this wasn’t an unrecognizable version of myself.But as my embarrassment diminished at being broadcast to millions wearing a less-than-flattering hat, I still couldn’t shake the feeling of uncanniness. I am, after all, an American woman with American values.Then, last winter, my college ex-boyfriend, David, appeared as a contestant on a popular Chinese dating show called He’s been living in Beijing for the past six years, having moved there the summer after our college graduation and our break-up.We keep in occasional contact, so I knew David had already been on TV a couple times before.