Behind the Curtain: Chris Harrison

Chris-HarrisonHe has a new clothing line, the Chris Harrison Collection by Da Vinci. He recently launched a revolutionary new online dating app that just might change the online dating game forever. He’s hosted seventeen seasons of The Bachelor (season 18 premieres tonight!) and nine seasons of The Bachelorette…and it just so happens, he’s newly single himself. So who better to go “Behind the Curtain” with to get his unique perspective on the most hot-button questions when it comes to dating and relationships….than Chris Harrison?


The Single Woman: Okay, let’s talk about your new dating app, “At First Sight.” Obviously you believe in online dating…so how does this differ from other online dating sites? People seem to have all sorts of horror stories about online dating, but your tagline for this app is “We wanted to fix online dating.” Tell us how this app does that!

Chris Harrison: Mike Fleiss (the creator of The Bachelor) and I had been talking about the natural transition of getting into online dating. The more we looked into what was out there the more we realized just how antiquated it really was. The profile pictures, the bios, and questions. We realized we would never cast our show like that so how could anyone possibly date like that? So we have taken what we have learned in over a decade of working on The Bachelor and have put that into our dating app “At First Sight.” One of the main things that sets this site apart is the video profile. The user doesn’t just upload any old video though. The people on our site answer questions that will help you really get to know somebody long before that first date. What we’ve done with our site and the way we approach finding chemistry is taken away that first awkward date where you show up and find out that person looks nothing like their profile. Using “At First Sight” you’ll see, hear, and get to know the person long before you have that first date.  You can honestly and easily find chemistry with people.

TheSW: Now that you’ve found yourself a “Bachelor” (pun intended)…what’s being back on the dating scene like? I feel like the rules of dating have changed tremendously just in the past 5-10 years. What are your thoughts?

CH: Sure the technology and the times have changed but I don’t think the “rules” have changed all that much. I think when you cut through all the technical stuff it still comes down to the same simple things it always has and probably always will. Honestly it’s why I think our Bachelor franchise is so successful and has lasted so long. The show is very simple: It’s about the one thing that everybody wants and that’s love and companionship. How people go about finding it may change with the times but what we’re looking for certainly doesn’t.

TheSW: I think you must have such a unique perspective on dating and single life, having hosted THE definitive dating show for so long…what would you say are the top three things you’ve learned about love, dating, and relationships through The Bachelor/Bachelorette?

CH: I have learned quite a bit hosting this show but I also think a lot of wisdom comes with age and experience, and unfortunately I have all of those now. I always find it difficult to put together lists or rules on dating because one, it makes you seem like an expert and two, I worry it simplifies something that is so deep and complex. With that said here are a couple very broad brush things that have stood out over the years…

People need to figure out who they are, what they want and where they are in their lives before they can ever be happy with someone else.  It sounds simple but how can you possibly be looking for something when you really don’t know what you want?

I’ve noticed over the years people rarely date or go for people out of their usual comfort zone. Just about every bachelor and bachelorette we’ve had on our show thanks us for forcing them to date and get to know people they normally wouldn’t have gone for. Expand your horizons and don’t be so close-minded!

TheSW: What do you think are common mistakes ladies make in the early stages of dating that could be avoided? I know a lot of ladies feel like they need to play “hard to get.” Is this true? Do you think being “too available” is the kiss of death for relationships?

CH: I think the toughest thing about trying to discuss love is there are no set “rules.” What works for one person just won’t work for everybody. In fact, what helps you find chemistry or love with one person may not work on the next relationship. I understand that women feel they need to play “hard to get.” I think for many men that works, but you have to know your audience. This is something you have to take on a case-by-case basis.  To make it more complicated, there are varying degrees of playing “hard to get.” My advice is listen and be very cognizant of the effect your words and actions have on someone. The same goes for making yourself “too available.” Sure, there’s a wide spectrum here that ranges from never being available to “Hey, you’re creeping me out!” You have to adapt your “game” to each new relationship.  But if you had to pin me down and force me to give a simple answer, I would suggest playing a little hard to get works.

TheSW: Hot button relationship questions the ladies love hearing the male perspective on…

Who do you think should be the one to initiate the date – the man or the woman? Do men like it when a woman asks them out, or does it take away the “thrill of the chase?”

CH: Obviously we have to generalize here so there will be exceptions to these rules, but I think you have to let the guy initiate the first date. Now that doesn’t mean the woman can’t encourage. But I think the man should step in and take the reigns on the first date. Call it the thrill of the chase or cave man instincts, but I do think there is something to this.

TheSW: Can men and women ever be “just friends”?

CH: I know it may sound crazy but yes, I do believe men and women can just be friends. I think it’s much easier the older you get.  With age comes wisdom, experience, and perspective and I think as we grow we realize a wonderful friend is worth their weight in gold.  Depending on the situation it can be complicated, but I certainly believe it can and does happen because I truly believe I have that now in my life.

TheSW: If a man texts but never calls, does that mean he’s “just not that into you”? How does technology change the game in dating?

CH: Technology is a fantastic thing but I have to say I think at times technology sucks and has ruined dating and relationships on so many levels. Texting is easy and so useful in keeping in touch when you normally wouldn’t have been able to but it’s absolutely abused in dating these days. I don’t see how or why a women would ever go out with a man who asks them out via text. It shows so many bad things about that guy from his manners to his lack of confidence and most importantly, lack of respect for you. If a man can’t take the time to pick up the phone then is he really worth your time? I could go on for hours about how much I really despise texting in relationships, but then again I could probably go on for hours about why it’s great, too. Just be careful and don’t forget there’s nothing better and more personal than actually talking and hearing each other’s voices.

TheSW: Do men ever really get intimidated by women? Or is this just an excuse?

CH: Of course men can be intimidated by a woman. The key is finding out why they are intimidated. If it’s just a man being a little shy then that can be endearing. But if it comes from a lack of confidence or from insecurities then that’s something you should be a little wary of and look into a little further.

TheSW: It seems like for a lot of guys, when the relationship is done, they just fall off the face of the earth instead of giving the woman an explanation. Why do you think that is? And should a woman just let it go, or ask for closure?

CH: This is really the million dollar question, isn’t it? How do you break up and when do you really need to break up? I know that millions of men could ask the same question about women that have just disappeared without an explanation just like guys have. This issue is definitely not gender-specific. In my opinion, you have to take each relationship separately and treat it accordingly. I know that’s a non-answer but every relationship really is different and it’s even different to the two people that are in it. If you get blown off and if you truly feel disrespected then by all means feel free to reach out. But just know that it’s probably going to be awkward and most of the time you’re not going to get the “closure” you’re looking for.

TheSW: Any final words of encouragement for the single ladies out there?

CH: I hear all the time, “There are no good men out there.” The funny thing is, that’s often said by men about women as well. The truth is there are good people out there, and no, ladies all the good ones aren’t gay! Just the really good attractive ones are, sorry. In all seriousness, there are great people out there but I think there’s way too much emphasis put on you to find that special someone. Our whole lives now are set up electronically to test how “liked” we are and who’s texting, tweeting, or snapping. I think there’s way too much pressure on single people these days and sometimes taking a step back, unplugging for a little while and gaining some real perspective on what’s important to you is not only a good thing, it’s a necessary thing. Relaxing with a good book and a pint of ice cream ain’t always that bad! As is the case with most things in life, the more desperately you search and fight for something the tougher it becomes to obtain.  Yes, I think you have to make an effort and put yourself out there but there’s a fine line between making an effort and becoming obsessive about it.  Oh, and when you do go out, put your damn phone down! The perfect guy will be in front of you, not on Twitter or Instagram!

Follow Chris on Twitter at @ChrisBHarrison, and tune in to the premiere of The Bachelor tonight on ABC at 8/7 CT!

And sound off in the comments below! Do you agree with Chris’s advice? Who would you like to see me interview for a future “Behind the Curtain”? And what are some of your most BURNING questions about the opposite sex?


About “Behind the Curtain” – The Single Woman’s “Behind the Curtain” series goes where no woman has gone before – inside the male mind – to reveal the answers to some of the most compelling and relevant relationship questions by some of pop culture’s most compelling and relevant figures.

21 Responses to “ Behind the Curtain: Chris Harrison ”

  1. January 5, 2014

    After being a widow for 6 years,I am trying to get out there but things have changed so much over the years. I find my first
    time reading your article enjoyqble and can’t wait to read more Way To Go!!


  2. Jennifer
    January 5, 2014

    VERY well put interview’!!!! I completely agree with the older we get, the more wisdom we gain, and that is not something you can teach a twenty something year old. I’ve had to learn just what Chris said, there are no rules or timelines. I almost lost a great man because I felt we needed to be at a certain place by the 3 month mark, the 6 month mark…. After a short break I stepped back, he stepped up and we compliment each other well. I don’t know if he is “the one” but I feel very lucky, happy, and content with where we are.
    Thanks for a good interview!!

  3. Victoria
    January 5, 2014

    Could you tell my why if your in a relationship for a long time how it’s is so easy to just forget the other person? They’re are so many memories, and a friendship built up, but mostly the memories so easily forgotten ?? How do you forget? Why when you asked ?’s they get mad, but you deserve an answer, the answer is “not Happy” but this is the first you hear about this. You thought it was completely something else. That’s just an excuse, and boy do they have a lot of them!! You thought this person would never hurt you. When they do it’s like a pain in your heart that goes to your stomach. You have always defended this person and stood bye him through the good and the bad, you never would do anything to hurt them!! But they have hurt you, they don’t want to talk about things and never had. Some people give up so easily, they don’t want to try, they think there is something better out there. Now you are alone, a good person who is honest and loyal, but you can’t seem to forget, you have tried very hard, it’s scary, your afraid to get hurt once again. You put your heart out there and someone is there to break it all the time, and you wonder why this keeps happening to you?? Because your a good person. You hear all the sayings “There is a reason for everything”, time heals all. That never helps. So you stay home, because all your friends have families, we go out once in a while. I wish there was a shot to help you forget things that hurt you.

    • Amy
      January 6, 2014

      Wow Victoria you just described the confusion I’m in right now perfectly. I guess its nice to know other people go through the same thing. Let’s hope it gets better someday, we deserve someone that appreciates how good we are to them & that is also good to us…

    • Deborah
      January 6, 2014

      I agree with both y’all. I’ve been single for acc divorced for a year after a5 year marriage. His affair and “dear Jane” letter hurt me more than the rape, and every other loss and assault I’ve experienced. You open up your heart giving everything while your serial cheating ex goes on without a blink acting like his life with me never existed. I pray one day I can forgive and for the breathtaking pain to go away.

    • mary ann
      January 7, 2014

      i know it will get better. :0 maybe not now but we wont be on that same position forever. there will come a time that we will be happy again 🙂

    • Rhonda
      January 21, 2014

      For those hurting, questioning & still a bit hopeful. This book has helped me tremendously.

    • January 21, 2014

      I know just how you feel. I thought I had the perfect marriage. On May 11th of 2010 we would have been married 25 years. I got a valentines card that said how much he loved me and could not wait to renew our vows. Then he got caught and moved in with his girlfriend in march 2010, said he had not been happy for over ten years? huh are you kidding me. Of course he went around telling everyone what a terrible wife I was. He did not break my heart, he shattered my world. He has not even spoke to his one and only daughter in almost 4 years. He has no other kids! And the witch he cheated with
      knew he was married and work with him. I just don’t understand. I never in my life thought I would be in this at my age. Sometimes I just want to give up. Now fighting for every penny living from month to month and he is living high off the hog! They sat KARMA? I KNOW I NEED TO FORGIVE AND FORGET BUT HOW DO YOU DO IT?

  4. erin
    January 5, 2014

    wow .. this was awesome .. loved it .. thanks for all the advice , chris .. and this was a great interview mandy 🙂

  5. Shelly
    January 6, 2014

    Everything I have read is very informative… Loved it …. Thank you much:) looking forward to signing up to your online dating site

  6. Tope
    January 6, 2014

    Hi victoria,I understand where you are coming from.The truth is humans are not perfect,I have hard few relationships and break ups in my life and have learnt that in ALL relationships,don’t expect too much from people.That is, in your heart,when relating with people,leave a space for dissapointments,hurt,etc,because it will come.Am not saying pray for it but as you relate with people,fortify your heart with the truth that you are not perfect and the person your relating with is not perfect either.When you don’t expect too much from people,when they do more than you expect,your happier.When they do what you don’t expect,you find it easier to just get over it.Personally this is what I learnt as I grew with the few exeriences I have had.people can just turn their backs on you and you wonder’after all we have been through together?can he just walk away?is it so easy to get over what we have shared?My darl,there is no need crying over spilled milk.I learnt this,and when I had my last break up,I didn’t cry like I did during the previous ones.I left a place in my heart,fortified to adapt to the unexpected because I told myself,I am not relating with GOD but human(are prune to doing the unexpected).I give you an advice I gave myself because I know myself better now and I know what I want and deserve.Do you believe in yourself?you are a wonder baby.pursue your career,do something new that will affect your world positively.There is so much in the inside of you than you have ever imagined,build you isnt marriage that will make you fulfilled in life,its affecting your world,putting smiles on people’s faces.Discover yourself,know who you are and the type of man you deserve and make yourself who that type of man would want.You are a creation of great value,your world is waiting for you to manifest.Don’t brood over the past,it will weigh you down,besides you can’t mend it.Guess what?the guy your hurting for is not even thinking about you,why demoralize yourself and waste your energy over the past.You need to heal and brush yourself up to find,recognise and think straight when the right person comes along.Don’t forget,you are WONDERFULLY MADE baby!

  7. Pam
    January 6, 2014

    Hello Mandy,
    Talking about closure, I think it’s immature to just ‘fade away’ without explanation. It hurts to keep one in the dark as to why they have been broken up with. Interesting interview all the same. Happy new year.

  8. January 7, 2014

    I just wanted to thank you for presenting an excellent perspective on the dating scene now. I am recently divorced after 22 yr marriage and honestly feel clueless in dating world! Thank you Chris for shining a light on reality and giving valid advice. Gives me courage and motivation to go after more and to be brave enough to allow my heart to be exposed. And too bad I don’t live in your town!!

  9. Mary
    January 9, 2014

    WOW at a lot of the previous responses…You all ‘hit the nail on the head’…The thing is that I am older (60) so there isn’t a helluva lot of time for me to start over. I’ve recently started a new job which has helped me tremendously. OK, now…the ‘man I’ve been seeing for the past 6 years’…#1, he is married and has small children (I know a taboo to start with but I’m being honest and open here)…#2, he is 19 years younger than me…#3, We’ve had many good times, not too many bad times, but when the times were bad, it was always said by him ‘I love you BUT I’ve gotta think of my kids etc’…He has ‘walked away from me several times…I’ve sworn to ‘make him pay’ BUT I can’t do that cause that’s not how I am…Before I met him, and as I saw him, I was ‘living with my ex for 34 years in an extremely physically, mentally, emotionally & financially abusive’ common-law marriage (my ex is the father of my 2 grown sons)…I finally decided to leave my ex in 2010….My current bf ‘took me out of there’….so I guess in a way I feel that I OWE HIM because of this…I’m very confused as I DO love him with all I’ve got…but sometimes it just seems like the harder I try its just not good enough….I’m not feeling sorry for myself here as many friends have told me to ‘let him go’…’you deserve better’ and they are probably right…I just can’t seem to do this….Any advice any of you are able to give will be greatly appreciated…. Thanks 🙂

    • Kelly
      January 26, 2014

      My dear Mary, you have no idea what God has in store for you . You could live another ten days or 30 years, but if you really believe that your time is running out why waste it settling for a relationship that will only cause you and others ( his wife and kids) more pain? It sounds like you just got out of a hurtful relationship , why then commit yourself to another one? I encourage you to find happiness within yourself and your family! It sounds like two great things came out of a very painful time your life, your sons! Set an example for them and for other women like you, whom have gone thru similar circumstances. Search within yourself to find the strength that you need. Be the woman you want to be, and happiness will come . The choice is yours

      Sending you much love

  10. Robin
    January 21, 2014

    I don’t know about anyone else but I just heard a whole bunch of non-answers for every question. his response was basically “every relationship is different” for every question.

  11. Kathleen
    January 22, 2014

    What a fabulous interview and I could not agree more on the subject of texting and dating! I am passionate believer in the “old school” style…have some confidence and pick up the phone! I am looking forward to investigating your new dating app.

  12. Regina
    January 22, 2014

    I’m praying for all of you. It brings me sadness to read the pain you are all feeling at the hands of men who have wronged you in many ways. I know its not easy, but forgiveness is the key to making your lives whole again. Jumping from relationship to relationship is only going to keep you in the same cycle of hurt and disappointment. I am a Christian and a believer in Jesus Christ. What helped me understand sin and changed my life was the story of David in Psalms 51. David had an affair with a married woman, Bethsheba, and from that affair she became pregnant. David tried to cover up the affair by having her husband killed. David went on to marry Bethsheba to try and further cover up his sins. David realized his sins could not be covered up from Gods eyes and so David went to God with a humble heart to seek forgiveness. The verse that changed my life was Psalms 51:4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. …….Here we see David showing that its God we sin against and not each other. When we hold on to the pain and anger from the sins others have done, we are essentially owning their sin. Understand its God they sinned against and its only God who can redeem them. Was it wrong and did it affect you?…yes it did and there’s no question it hurts you, but that’s where our command to forgive comes in, not so they are off the hook, but so you release them to put ownership into place and let God take care of what is His to work in. Don’t keep owning the pain and the hurt, it isn’t yours. Let it go, forgive so that you may live free in peace and then real love will come in. True love is about loving with a forgiving heart. When you learn true love, the kind that only comes from the Father, then you will no longer be apt to place others on a pedestal where they will surely fall. True love is loving without expectations. True love is forgiving before the person knows they even need it. True love is the grace that was given when we as sinners didn’t deserve it. If God can love you, “the sinner”, then who are we to not extend that love to others. I pray you all find True love……Amen

  13. January 22, 2014

    I agree with Chris wholeheartedly, and as someone who has tried almost all the online dating sites over the past several years, I think a video is brilliant. Love what he said about letting the man pursue. Ladies, let your man be a man. Too much masculine energy out there in today’s woman.

  14. Ngoni
    February 1, 2014

    Thank you Mandy and Chris for the interview and advice!

  15. Ngoni
    February 19, 2018

    To Chris Harrison: I hope you get a chance to read this. First, and foremost, Jesus loves you. Romans 8:38-39. He loves you with a deep and fervent love. That is why He died for your sins. Divorce is one of them. See, God hates divorce. He wants people to stay together. He is saddened by your and many other people’s divorces. I hope that you and Gwen will get back together. I pray you both will. You’ve invested 18 years. Please don’t throw it all away. Even if it was one year or one day, don’t throw it away. It will be worth it in the end! Take care and God bless you.

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Something wonderful is on the horizon
Turn Toward the Sun CoverLife doesn’t always look the way we want it to look. In Mandy’s upcoming book, Turn Toward the Sun: Releasing What If and Embracing What Is, you’ll find encouragement to live in the moment, sit with your experiences, and trust God with the unknown.
Preorder from Baker Book House for 40% off and free shipping!*
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*US shipping only