Can you love 2 people at once? Bachelorette Style.

Bachelor lauren and jojo

It’s baaaaaa-aaaaack!  The Bachelorette premiers this Monday night and with it the hopes and dreams of many people to find that special someone.  And I’m sure some weird occupations will rear their ugly head but will they beat Dog Lover, Donated tissue Specialist (carrying a cooler), Chicken Enthusiast, or Pantsapreneur?  Check out some funny lists over the years:  HERE, HERE, AND HERE.  There might not be a Bachelorette that has the vast and widespread support that JoJo does.  I think she found a special spot in America’s heart after being so horribly duped.  (How is Ben still America’s sweetheart?  He did a dastardly deed telling 2 women he loved them).

You know how the old proverb goes:

Hell hath no fury like a woman told on live TV in front of millions of people “I love someone more than you.” 

Bachelor Ben hugging lauren and jojo

Is this possible?  Can you love 2 people at once?  I wondered this when the trainwreck happened last season.  It was actually before the last episode.  The seeds of travesty were planted when Ben told 2 women he loved them.  Even if this were possible, it is the worst idea ever.  Worse ideas than the Blackberry, New Coke, Subprime mortgages and Blu-blockers put together!  So can you be in love with 2 people at once?

We need to define our terms.  What does the term people mean?  Just kidding, what does the term “love” really mean?

Is love a feeling, an action, a commitment, an ethereal romantic notion, or a farce?

Love is a choice.  It is not without feelings but it is bigger, deeper, and more profound.  It is a commitment.  And when we are talking about loving our spouse, it is reserved for one person.  Can you be “in love” with 2 people at once?  Yeah sure.  You can have strong feelings of attraction, chemistry, and desire with 2 people at the same time.  This is difficult to accomplish in real life because it is difficult to build up to these feelings with 2 people at the same time.  The Bachelor doesn’t just give it space, it encourages it.  The “out of sight, out of mind” mentality that each contestant needs to employ to make the reality show work allows the heart to focus on whoever is in front of it at that moment.  But this does not mean you can “love” (the verb) 2 people at once.

99% of arranged marriages do not end in divorce.  Over 50% of “free-will” marriages end in divorce.  How is this?  I would think it would be the opposite.  Of course a big factor is the culture that the marriage happens in, but even where divorce is permitted and the spouses feel like they have an alternative, the stay-together rate of arranged marriages smashes free-will by a long shot.  Proposal:  Let’s have arranged marriages in the U.S.  But who would get to arrange it?  Parents?  Most parents don’t like their kids’ spouse anyways.  No, in our hyper-individualistic society, this would never work.  I’m only mostly kidding.  One thing this shows is that you can choose to love someone.

Bachelor olivia come at me bro

So to recap:

Can you be “in love” with 2 people at once?  Yes.  Difficult but yes.

Can you “love” 2 people at once?  No.

Here’s why:

You can have feelings of love towards more than one person romantically.  If you’re talking about real love, then no.  Because love is an action.  You can say anything you want but love will be determined by your actions.  And you can’t love 2 people like that.  Because it is putting them first.  Before yourself.  Before anyone else (BAE).  That’s the very definition of love—having someone who is your highest priority.  How can you have 2 romantic interests both being your highest priority?  One will always be the one that you “love” as a verb.  If you try and love 2 people like that, it doesn’t work.  Reality has rules against it.  It implodes.  Your heart is torn in two.  (see last season of The Bachelor)  There is confusion, pain, brokenness, and devastation.

NEXT WEEK:   Can you fall in love with the wrong person?



captain america

Did I ever mention I love movies?  They are one of the most powerful means of communication.  Stories are king.  And movies with good stories usually do really well at the box office.  I wanted to apply a processing method called the 3-D view by a social media guru named Walt Mueller who you can find at

Discover, Discern, and Decide.  This week we will cover “Discover”.  Next week “Discern” and the rest of the method.

Here goes a review of Captain America:  Civil War.

captain america 3 half faces

PLOT RECAP:  This movie is very difficult to review without spoilers but I’ll do my best not to give away anything major.  A long movie but it didn’t drag.  The world decides that the Avengers are too powerful to operate on their own so they want to govern them by a commission.  The superheroes are faced with the dilemma: submit to a 117-country United Nations committee oversight or continue as an independent operation but outside (and in violation of) the law.  Some want to go with the UN, some want to continue calling the shots.  It is filled with lots of fun, new characters, funny one-liners and lots of great action.

Discover:  What did it say? (listing some themes or thoughts)

  1. Fight for what you believe in. Every character had convictions and acted on them.  Some in a surprising manner.  It was a challenge to figure out what’s right and what’s wrong.
  2. Vengeance.  It was encouraged as an acceptable option, for most of the movie.  There is a moment when it would seem to suggest that forgiveness is even more powerful than revenge, and more difficult.  “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” –Buddha
  3. There is a monster within each of us…the darkness within. We are all capable of very bad things.  Even really “good” characters did some really evil things.
  4. Loyalty. But loyalty to what?  Friends?  Principles?  Is Captain America loyal to a fault?  There were several changes in loyalty.  When Captain America went into his deep sleep everything was a lot clearer. Everything was black and white. Right and wrong. Good and evil.  Now the modern-day world is a lot more complicated–so many more “gray” areas.
  5. The tension of freedom (ability to do as we choose) vs. security (another entity “restricting” personal freedoms for the greater whole).
  6. Suspicion of any authority.  The resistance to trust important decisions to a higher authority.
  7. Loss of loved ones is devastating. All of the main characters had some type of loss of loved ones.  They all dealt with it in different ways, most trying to avenge (haha pun intended!) the loss.  But one of the most poignant moments in the movie is when someone decides to break the cycle.

Some great quotes:

“An empire that is destroyed by its enemies will rise again. But an empire that crumbles from within will never again stand.”  (very similar to Mark 3:25//Matthew 12:25 A house divided against itself cannot stand)

“We may not be perfect, but the safest hands are still our own.”

“Compromise where you can, but where you can’t, don’t.”

DECIDE what to do with it?  WATCH IT.  It’s a great way to kick off the summer with an action flick.  Light-hearted but a little dark, and discussion provoking.

FINAL RATING:  18.5 out of 20.  Excellent!

Who’s side would you be on?  Why?



Don’t watch movies like a baby

I sometimes watch movies like a baby, just taking everything in and not thinking about it one bit.  I love movies but am not very discerning.  I don’t mind bad ones.  I’m easy to please.  I’m not talking about questionable content, I’m talking about ones with a predictable plot, no compelling story, and no character development.  Last week one of my best friends Dave and I watched Point Break.  Not the original cult favorite but the remake. We felt like we owed it to Johnny Utah and Bodhi.  I mean, who spells Bodi with an “h”?  except Patrick Swayze.  This one was terrible.  More like Point Bust.  Or Point Broken. It had some breathtaking scenery and adventure cinematography but it wasn’t a movie.  Confusing plot.  No characters.  No logical progression.  Extra bonus trivia for those of you over the age of 35 (most who loved the original): “Bodhi,” in Sanskrit, is short for “being of wisdom.”  It can also mean “enlightenment” or “awakening” pertaining to the Buddhist faith.  In Hawaii, “Keanu” means “cool mountain breeze.”

How did we decide on that movie?  Well, we didn’t trust our usual guide:  (RT) Maybe we should have.  RT has 2 scores for each movie—a critic score and an audience score.  It also has an app partner for iPhone called Flixster.  This is a good app that has solid movie info, ratings, and trailers.  Here are a couple things to watch out for on RT as you use it: When a movie has a

HIGH CRITIC/LOW AUDIENCE rating.  Beware!  This means that it appealed to those movie critics but not to the average joe like you and me.  Usual busts.

LOW CRITIC/HIGH AUDIENCE rating.  Yes!  These are usually fun flicks that don’t take themselves too seriously.

HIGH CRITIC/HIGH AUDIENCE rating.  Of course these are the sure fire winners.  Zootopia, 10 Cloverfield Lane, The Jungle Book, Star Wars Episode 7, Revenant, Spotlight, The Big Short, just to name a few of the most current ones.

The movie nominees for best picture and best actor/actress are often incredible movies and worth a look.  Two other places for movie ratings and info are Imdb and metacritic but I don’t use them very often at all.

Copyright: damedeeso / 123RF Stock Photo


2 most important questions in processing and discussing a movie (to keep you from watching it like a baby):

  1. What did it say?
  2. Is it true?


Here is a list of some more questions to help process and experience media.  Two people who are experts in this arena are Drew Trotter and Walt Mueller.  I am indebted to them for much of this material.

OTHER QUESTIONS TO EVALUATE MEDIA (music, movies, ads, TV, etc.)

-What is the music’s main topic and theme?

-Does the music offer suggestions on how to think, talk, act, or live?

-What does the music say about the way the world is? Does it say anything about the way the world ought to be?

-What is your gut reaction to it?

-Is there right and wrong? What is right and what is wrong as taught in the music?

-How is God portrayed? What does it say about God?

-Is there something suggested (self, sex, money, power, etc.) to bring value to your life?  Maybe even in place of God?

-What does it say about how to treat others?

-What does it say is the source of happiness and satisfaction in life?

-Who or what is glorified in the music?

-What does this video tell its watchers to find their identity in?

-What does it say about where peace and hope are found?

-Is the music hopeful or hopeless?

-What should we do with it?

-What was your favorite scene/part/song?  Why?  What do you think was the writer’s, producer’s, composer’s, author’s, etc. favorite part?  Why?

-What was this movie’s message/summary in one sentence or less?  (what was it trying to communicate?) Why do you think it said this?  Do you agree with it?  Is it true?

-What part/character do you most identify with?  Why?


What questions would you add?  How do you process/experience movies and media?


Do you eat or dissect media? 3 more questions to ask during movies

Media watching -- dogs with food on TV

Last week we started on the journey of how to process media.  I offered 2 questions that have been very helpful to me.  CLICK HERE for those questions.  Another critical element for me has been my attitude.  How do I approach TV, movies, music, etc.?  When I employ a positive, critical, discerning, teachable attitude, I find I learn exponentially more from that piece of media.  When I learn more I experience more.  When I experience more I learn more.  There is something redeeming to be found in almost everything.  It’s like listening to speakers or learning from professors.  Whether the speaker or professor is good or bad, we can learn.  Even from a terrible speaker we can learn what not to do, or how we don’t want to present.

Now this doesn’t mean we should watch anything and everything.  Certain things have no positive value and can actually hurt us.  Certain elements of media can have disproportionate effects on us.  We each are wired a little different.  Some of us have special sensitivities to specific elements (violence, crime, language, sex, etc.) and we should limit our intake of media that include them.  Some media’s redemptive value is limited because of how dark they are.  The difficult part is to figure out which these are.  (I probably err on taking in too much…OK definitely err on that side!)  There are some great websites that give info and ratings and include the exact content and why it got its ratings.  Here are some of them: Common Sense Media  Kids in Mind Movie ratings  Plugged In   Parent previews

What is the biggest mistake we can make while watching TV?  It’s one that I make regularly.  (but a little less than I used to)  It is taking everything in with no engagement and not involvement and no evaluation.  It is using TV as an escape, to numb the mind.  When I find myself “deserving” to watch a good chunk I am looking to the TV for something it cannot provide.  I also find it way easier to watch questionable stuff when I am looking for comfort and mindless entertainment.  Now this is not to say that TV can’t be recreational or relaxing.  There is a subtle difference but it’s a big one.

3 more questions that can help in processing a movie or show or entertainment:

  1. What was your favorite scene/part/song? Why?  What do you think was the writer’s, producer’s, composer’s, author’s, etc. favorite part?  Why?
  2. What was this movie’s message/summary in one sentence or less? (what was it trying to communicate?) Why do you think it said this?  Do you agree with it?
  3. What part/character do you most identify with? Why?


Do you have any questions that have been helpful as you watch?



2 QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN WE WATCH A MOVIE (or The Bachelor or really anything)

eyes pic 5 -- kid with glasses on

I am a movie buff.  I love watching movies, in the theater or at home.  I am easily impressed.  After college I moved to Virginia Beach and knew 3 local people total.  So I would go to the high school football game on Friday night (for my job with Young Life) and then after see if any high school guys wanted to hang out.  Usually they didn’t because I was new and starting a new chapter at a new school.  So then, alone, I would go to Blockbuster and rent several movies for the weekend.  Later that year I received a Blockbuster Gold Card in the mail.  Cue the choir singing.  You can’t buy it.  You can’t request it.  You can only earn it.  By doing what you might ask?  Renting 100 movies in one calendar year.  Yes, you heard that right.  100 movies.  That’s 2 a week…EVERY WEEK!  If you miss a week, then you have to rent 4 the next week.  The perks were great:  every movie I rented I got another free, no rewinding fees (haha), 4 hour movie reserve privileges, and much, much more.  I know for those of you under 25 this doesn’t make sense but that was the grind.  We had to travel to a store to rent a physical movie.  And for those of you over 25 you’re wondering if I had any type of life.  Don’t worry.  I didn’t.  I was a recluse.  And became a big fan of movies.  But I watched them all the wrong way.

With all my recent posts about The Bachelor and love and soulmates, I thought it might be good to talk about How should we watch The Bachelor?  Or movies?  Or videos?  Or really any media?

What do we do with it?     Swallow it whole.

What should we do with it?   Eat the fish.  Spit out the bones. (first heard from Tim Elmore)

If I’m honest, most of the time I want to watch TV to escape or relax or zone out and I simply ingest it all.  I swallow it all down with little consideration for its message or legitimacy or effects. What should I be doing?  Let me offer these 2 questions that have revolutionized my movie and TV watching:

1.  What did that say?

2.  Is that true?

For question number 1, we want to ask what messages did this movie/TV show/video/etc. communicate?  Was it subtle or explicit?  Was it intentional or by happenstance?  Then for question number 2:  are these messages true?  There are lots of other questions to ask and ways to evaluate and process media but these two are simple, easy to remember and have helped me become a more responsible steward for what I take in.  Another question that follows is:  SO WHAT?  What does this mean for my life and the world?

These are fun questions to discuss over a cookie skillet after an action movie.  You should see college dudes get asked this question.  It’s beautiful.  They squirm a little bit, have a look of confusion, mumble for a minute and then usually come up with something insightful.

For those of you who are people of the Christian faith, these quotations have been helpful to me:

“We must listen to God’s Word and God’s World.”  –John Stott

“We must read the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other.”  –Karl Barth

I would update Barth’s to the Bible in one hand (first) and then our iPad in the other (after).  Through the process of writing this post I was challenged and convicted about my media ingestion habits.  Usually I just mindlessly take it all in.  I’ve discovered this is my default.  What’s yours?  How do you watch TV?  How do you watch movies?  What are your media habits?

Next week:  Are you making a life-changing mistake while you watch TV?