10 Dating Shows with Underwhelming Success Rates

Reality television is a great way to unwind and escape the day’s burdens. Contrary to scripted movies and television shows, reality shows provide watchers with endless amounts of authentic comedy, drama, and romance. A popular subcategory of reality television shows is dating shows. Whether the prize is money, fame, or love, viewers worldwide can’t get enough.

The relationships among dating show contestants feel genuine to viewers because the contestants seem relatable and authentic, as opposed to actors and actresses. These shows depict whirlwind romances and fun-filled travels that viewers envy. However, the relationships formed between dating show contestants may not be made to last. Dating shows that promise contestants a romantic, happily ever after may have a lower success rate than you might expect. So don’t change the channel while we go through ten dating shows with underwhelming success rates!

Related: Top 10 Truly Terrible Television Series

10 The Bachelor: Less Than 4% Success Rate

The Bachelor has inspired countless spinoffs and dating shows that follow a similar format. On The Bachelor, a group of women compete for the bachelor’s affection, with the ultimate goal of an engagement ring. The show features exotic destinations, juicy drama, and romantic moments that ultimately lead to the bachelor sometimes choosing a fiancée. Unfortunately, this romantic fantasy does not last for long.

USA Today reported that the number of couples from The Bachelor that are still together is only a small percentage of the couples from the show’s lifespan. The article states, “As of 2022, only five couples from the Bachelor franchise are still with their final picks,” and that “with 26 bachelors in total, that makes the success rate less than 4%.”

This dismal success rate for a dating show series that has been on the air since 2002 is mind-blowing. It may also make some hopeless romantics reevaluate their dreams of being on The Bachelor.[1]

9 The Bachelorette: 22% Success Rate

Like its predecessor, The Bachelorette stars a group of men who compete for the bachelorette’s heart, with only one contestant’s proposal being accepted by the bachelorette at the end. This spinoff show premiered in 2003 after the widespread success of The Bachelor and quickly became a hit. Being on the receiving end of multiple men’s affections while going on glamorous dates is many women’s dreams come true!

However, while The Bachelorette’s success rate is much higher than The Bachelor, the percentage of couples still together from the show is less than a quarter of the couples that resulted from the show. As stated in a USA Today article, “The overall success rate for The Bachelorette is, therefore, slightly higher than its male counterpart, clocking in at 22%.” While Bachelorettes have had better luck with happily ever afters than the bachelors, both dating shows seem to come up short in terms of the shows’ promise of finding true love.[2]

8 Love Is Blind: 12.5% Success Rate

Love Is Blind markets itself as a social experiment that follows men and women as they date each other, with one catch: They don’t see each other face-to-face unless they get engaged. If they choose to get married, they are treated to a couples’ retreat at a beautiful resort, joined by the other Love Is Blind couples. The show’s creators wanted to show viewers that love is truly blind—however, the show’s long-term results may say otherwise.

As stated by The Cut, after two seasons, eight engagements came to fruition. However, “Overall, four out of 16 engagements (one-fourth) resulted in marriages, and two of those four marriages (one-half) are ending in divorce. In other words, only 12.5 percent of engagements on Love Is Blind have resulted in marriages lasting longer than one year.”

Despite the lack of success outside of the show, viewers can’t get enough of the journey that each Love Is Blind contestant follows.[3]

7 Too Hot to Handle: 14% Success Rate

Who isn’t intrigued by the premise of Too Hot to Handle? Each season features groups of attractive commitment-phobes who must form genuine relationships as opposed to strictly physical ones. The contestants enjoy a paradise resort but are forbidden from any sexual or physical contact with their fellow contestants. With humorous moments and interesting penalties, many viewers were intrigued by the idea that people who are afraid of settling down might be able to change their ways.

Unfortunately, the success rate of Too Hot to Handle is less than ideal. A Daily Mail article reports on research conducted on dating shows, stating, “Netflix’s Too Hot to Handle was ranked the No. 1 ‘least successful dating show’ with 14 per cent of couples from its three seasons still together.”

So, for all of the readers in “situation-ships,” it may be harder to change someone hesitant to commit than Too Hot to Handle may depict! [4]

6 Married at First Sight (Australia): 6% Success Rate

If you had the chance to meet your soulmate but had to marry the person on sight, would you take it? That is the premise of the popular reality television series Married at First Sight. In addition to having a wedding on the same night they meet, the couples must then live together as a married couple for the remainder of the show and then choose whether they want to stay married or get divorced.

While the show originated in America, its widespread success led to spinoff shows in other countries. Unfortunately, not all countries’ versions of Married at First Sight could provide contestants a happily ever after. As stated by the Daily Mail, “The last nine seasons have seen 82 couples matched. Six per cent are still together, and just two per cent are legally married.”

Thus, as romantic as the premise of Married at First Sight is, its minimal success rate in Australia may suggest to Australian viewers not to put too much stock in marrying someone at first sight.[5]

5 Love Island (US): 15% Success Rate

Love Island is a go-to for many dating show lovers. Set on a stunning island villa, contestants must couple up each week; those who can’t find someone to couple up with risk being voted off the island. At the end of each season, a winning couple is chosen. The British television show also inspired spinoff Love Island shows in other countries.

This led to the airing of Love Island (US), and viewers were excited to watch an American version of the popular dating show. However, the success rate of the American spinoff is nothing to brag about. The Daily Mail states, “15 per cent of couples from Love Island U.S. are still together after leaving the villa.”

As much as Americans make fun of British reality shows, the Brits might know something Americans don’t![6]

4 Temptation Island: Less Than 1% Success Rate

With a controversial premise, Temptation Island piqued the interest of many viewers. As described by Netflix, “four couples at a pivotal point in their relationships test their bond by living with a group of singles of the opposite sex. Isolated from one another, the couples will decide whether to return to their lives together, chart a new path alone, or leave the island with a new lover.”

The stress of following couples who are at risk of infidelity kept the show’s audience hooked; however, the success rate of this television show is nothing to write home about. Out of its first four seasons, Parade researched how many of the Temptation Island couples are still together, with disappointing numbers. Out of four seasons and hundreds of contestants, only three couples have lasted after completing the show; that brings its success rate down to less than 1%! Furthermore, Parade states, “Just as with season two, it appears none of the couples from Temptation Island Season 4 are still together.”

Thus, many aren’t too shocked to learn about the low success rate of Temptation Island, given the show was centered around resisting the temptation to cheat on your partner. However, the tantalizing drama and beautiful scenery keep audiences engaged, helping the show maintain its popularity.[7]

3 Are You the One?: 3.3% Success Rate

Hopeless romantics dream of finding their soulmate. Fortunately for them, the dating show Are You the One? promises contestants the chance to try to find their “perfect match.” Business Insider states, “The show’s produced a few perfect matches over its seven seasons, though most of the couples are no longer together.” According to the article, only one couple who was paired as a “perfect match” are still together.

Of the contestants who found romance with each other after the show, only four are still together. With 150 contestants and five successful relationships, Are You the One? has an unfortunate success rate of about 3.3%. While Are You the One? may not be the best source for finding your soulmate, it keeps the dating show’s viewers on the edge of their seats to figure out who the perfect matches are.[8]

2 Perfect Match: 4.5% Success Rate

Coincidentally, the dating show Perfect Match is not at all related to Are You the One? even though both shows address the idea of finding your “perfect match.” As TIME Magazine describes, Perfect Match features “stars of nine of Netflix’s other reality shows, selecting a combination of fan favorites and villains.”

While there is only one season, the results of this dating show contradict its name. Of the 22 contestants on Perfect Match, “just five remaining couples fought it out by proving they were meant to be.” While the show produced five happy couples at the end, only one successful relationship blossomed from Perfect Match, making the success rate approximately 4.5%. Even the show’s winning couple split up shortly after the show ended!

While almost all the couples that resulted from the show did not end in a “perfect match,” viewers enjoyed watching a crossover of their favorite Netflix reality show stars, boosting the show’s popularity.[9]

1 90 Day Fiance Gives Reality Show Viewers Hope With A 75% Success Rate

While most reality shows feature contestants of similar cultures, 90 Day Fiancé explores couples that come from different cultures or countries. As stated by The Atlantic, “The show follows real-life couples pursuing a K-1 visa—the “fiancé visa”—which allows a U.S. citizen’s foreign partner to enter the U.S. legally, but only for 90 days, the deadline by which they must get married.”

Fortunately for the show’s participants, 90 Day Fiancé has one of the highest success rates among dating shows. According to one of the show’s producers, the show’s success rate among couples is above 75%, stating that “couples who have appeared on 90 Day Fiancé fare ‘well above’ the 50-50 divorce rate.”

So, while the show’s success rate earns it a letter grade of a C, 90 Day Fiancé provides hopeless romantics a ray of hope that reality show romances can find success in the real world![10]

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