Behind the Curtain: Chris Harrison
He 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.