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11 Lessons For Parents and Teens From 'Bachelor in Paradise'

Photograph by Instagram

True confession time: I only watch "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" for one reason. Not because I’m a hopeless romantic (which I am), and not because I think any of this is real (it’s not). But season after season, I feel compelled to come back to it. I feel the need to watch.

I think you know where this is going: "Bachelor in Paradise"

And I'm so damn excited it's back and will no doubt be the highlight of my summer.

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For those of you who don’t know about the delicious hot mess that is "Bachelor in Paradise," let me break it down for you: your favorite rejects from "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" (you know they ones I’m talking about, the ones who left in an ambulance/ flurry of tears/ straight jacket) all head off to a gorgeous island paradise to—what else?—find love.

While I think of it all as my guilty pleasure, I'm here to tell you it's also educational, with countless lessons that apply to parents or their kids at varying ages. Here are 11 things you learn from a bunch of uber-attractive twenty-somethings with perfect hair who frolic on a beach all day.

1. Never go on a reality show to find your spouse

This one's pretty obvious: It will not work out. It just won’t. Now, yes, there are the Trista Rehns of the world who managed to find love, but those are the exceptions to the rule. For every hunky fireman Ryan that Trista married, there are a thousand Jake Pavelkas and around a million Chads.

Married on reality TV. Not really married in real life.

2. Keep your clothes on

Sure, they shoot "Bachelor in Paradise" on a tropical island in the middle of a heat wave so that the contesants sweat so much that they just have to take all of their clothes off. But in real life, there’s no such excuse. Sure, maybe you’re on a date in a place that’s really, really hot. But unless you are on a date that takes place on the equator, don’t take your clothes off.

3. Don’t drink too much

Again, in Paradise, it’s hotter than Hades, so the contestants are thirsty. Like, really, really thirsty. And water is not exactly on the menu. But in real life, you can find a glass of water. I promise. I have faith in you, you can do it. Alternate glasses of water with your alcohol.

4. Don’t give someone a handjob in the hot tub right after meeting them

This one seems self-explanatory.

5. Don’t have sex in the ocean right after meeting them

Also self-explanatory. Having sex five minutes after meeting someone? It's just weird, don't do that.

6. Which brings me back to rule No. 1: Never go on a reality show to find love

I know I already said this, but it really just can’t be said enough. Don’t do it. Just don’t.

7. Don’t get married on reality TV

Take Marcus and Lacy, for example. Married on reality TV. Not really married in real life.

t’s pretty simple: find someone who’s a nice person, a good person, and isn’t secretly (or overtly) a dick.

8. Don’t date a Chad

You know the type. He’s handsome, has a great body and an even greater smile. He might be sort of a dick, but when he’s with you, he’s the sweetest guy you’ve ever met. You must just be imagining the part about him sometimes being a total jerk. You MUST be. After all, he’s nice to you! Here’s the thing: if a guy seems like he’s a dick to everyone else besides you, guess what? He’s just a dick. There’s no such thing as “but he’s really nice to me ...” Nice guys are nice to everyone.

9. Don’t date a Robby

A Robby is a guy who’s cute and appears to be nice, but he’s really not. It’s just a mirage. It looks like a duck and sounds like a duck, but it’s really just an overly-manicured Chad who broke up with his girlfriend three seconds before dating you.

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10. Do date a Luke

It’s pretty simple: find someone who’s a nice person, a good person, and isn’t secretly (or overtly) a dick. This person will have friends and family. He will not complain about being misunderstood by all of his peers. You will have drama-free dates. You will have a drama-free life. (Trust me, you want that.)

11. And finally, I’m not sure I can say this one enough, NEVER GO ON A REALITY SHOW TO FIND LOVE

Sure, it may seem like a good idea at the time, but it’s not. It’s just not. Just ask any of these people.

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