If you’re considering a romantic getaway, why not take inspiration from dating show destinations where the most successful Realty TV relationships began?
These shows have teams of people scouting the most beautiful and adventurous places around to make a love connection. Why not piggyback off their work? But, before you dive in, let’s take a look at where the producers of the most romantic dating shows have gotten cupid to land a bullseye best.
The Most Successful Dating Shows for Long-Term Relationships
Revealed by ExpressVPN, the success rates of reality dating shows are graded as a factor of long-lasting couples and connections made vs. those that fizzled out. All while accounting for the show’s shelf life. From the research, they came up with a “long-lasting love” score that pinpoints the likelihood of a solid relationship forming on the show.
Here are the top five most successful reality shows, along with their love score, according to the study:
- The Bachelorette (ABC) – 83%
- Farmer Wants a Wife (Australia, Channel 7) – 72%
- Married at First Sight (Lifetime) – 71%
- Temptation Island (USA Network) – 65%
- Are You the One? (Paramount+) – 47%
The findings mirror reality in at least one way. While most shows are formatted like dating apps where you can easily swipe right for more options, those that stray from this template are more likely to lead to happy marriages.
Shows with more outrageous gimmicks, such as Love is Blind, Love Island, MILF Manor, Too Hot to Handle, and Ex on the Beach, still have success. But less of it.
Top Romantic Destinations Featured on Dating Shows for Lasting Love
For the most part, game show weddings don’t work out. Even so, real love has been able to grow on account of a few of these programs. So, we traced back the exact dating show destinations where a few of the most long-lasting unions from the most successful shows came to be.
Antigua and Barbuda: The Perfect Caribbean Backdrop for The Bachelorette
Couple: Desiree Hartsock and Chris Siegfried (Season 9, 2013)
White-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and intimate, secluded coves perfect for romance and relaxation. Antigua and Barbuda isn’t called the Romance Capital of the Caribbean for nothing. Southwest of Puerto Rico, in the Caribbean, Chris and Desiree had their final date here, on the small island of Barbuda, a sailor’s wonderland, filled with pink sandy beaches, bird sanctuaries, and a killer zip line. Meanwhile, on a catamaran tour, Desiree was about to confess her love to another guy, named Brooks, but he wasn’t feeling it. Today, Desiree and Chris live in Portland, Oregon with their two children.
Stay: The final episodes of this season were filmed at the St. James’s Club & Villas, The Verandah Resort & Spa and Galley Bay Resort & Spa.
New South Wales: Love Grows on Farmer Wants a Wife (Australia)
Couples: Chris Newsome and Kim Tierney, Season 1 (2017) / Andrew Guthrie and Jessica Nathan, Season 11 (2021) / Matt Young and Olivia Benec, Season 13 (2023)
Is it fair to put the marriage skills of farmers up against the people on Temptation Island? That’s subjective, but one thing is for sure: Farmers who come from the outback of this southeastern state of Australia seem to know how to go on TV and not just find love, but keep it. Chris and Kim from season one courted, got married, and still live there to this day. Due west of Sydney and north of Melbourne, it’s a sprawling countryside where you can stargaze, hot air balloon, sandboard, volunteer on a farm, explore the aboriginal culture, or go on a safari for wildlife.
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands: A Honeymoon that Lasted on Married at First Sight
Couple: Jamie Otis-Hehner and Doug Hehner (Season 1, 2014)
Married at First sight puts pairs on their first date…on a honeymoon, and afterward gives them an eight-week trial run of marriage. Jamie and Doug infamously started off cold, but after a few hours of laying out on the beach and swimming with sea lions, things start to warm up. Especially when a jellyfish stung Doug and Jamie’s interest in nursing came out. Now, they’ve got kids. Kayaking, food tours, zip lining, and plenty of romantic dining options await.
Stay: We couldn’t find the exact hotel Jamie and Doug stayed at on their honeymoon. But, if we had to choose the most romantic, it would be the Ritz-Carlton.
Ambergris Caye, Belize: The Perfect Tropical Backdrop for Temptation Island
Couple: Andy Luke and Shannon Roghair (Season 1, 2001)
On Temptation Island, couples are flown to impossibly beautiful locations, separated, and then tempted to stray by several single suitors. And even though that may sound like the worst vacation ever, the tropical beaches of Ambergris, Caye were the perfect setting for season one lovebirds Andy Luke and Shannon Roghair. They’ve been together since getting married on the reunion episode. Though the largest island that is a part of Belize, most people explore the diving, snorkeling, and water sports available on this tiny island by golf cart.
Stay: The original Temptation Island home, called the Blue Dolphin, is available for just under $6500 per week, or one of these luxury resorts.
New Orleans: Finding Love in the Heart of Louisiana on Are You the One?
Couple: Clinton Maxim and Uche Nwosu (Season 6, 2017)
On this show, a dating algorithm matches 11 guys and 11 girls. They are then put in a house to see if sparks are made. Even though Clinton and Uche weren’t matched by the computer, they both felt the connection throughout this series, which was filmed in New Orleans in 2017. They married in 2021. While New Orleans tourism is fueled by alcohol and parties, it’s possible to find the romance among its gorgeous 19th century streets, outstanding cuisine and culture, and kayaking on the bayou.
Essential Tips for Planning Your Own Reality TV-Inspired Romantic Getaway
Picking the right paradise for you is only part of the journey. Here are a few more tips to help you get the most out of your romantic expedition.
Why Surprises Enhance Romantic Escapes and Boost Relationships
Surprises stimulate dopamine, increasing feelings of pleasure, attachment, and memory. It also shows thoughtfulness and effort, reinforcing how much you care about your partner’s happiness. Schedule a surprise activity or a mystery destination, book a spa day, leave love notes, buy a gift, hire a photographer. There are many ways to use the element of surprise to spark a connection.
Booking With a Travel Agent for Smooth Sailing
Everyone uses the internet to book their flights and hotels these days. But if you’re not going to an all-inclusive, watch how fast an otherwise intimate escape turns into a meltdown when something goes wrong. Travel agents and other travel professionals will be able to better help you alleviate unforeseen stresses. Plus, they can help you book special moments.
A Re-entry Plan Makes for a Stress-Free Return from Your Romantic Jaunt
What’s the point of a lover’s retreat if you come back to complete chaos? Ease back in. Give yourself a day at home, if possible, before jumping back into reality. That might mean picking up the kids from grandma’s the next day or taking an extra Monday off work. You can also use the element of surprise to make the vacation come down less depressing.
Dating Show Destinations: Make the Connection
Reality TV may not be the best place to look for love, but their settings are perfect for sparking it. Whether you’re rekindling an old flame or igniting a new romance, let these TV-tested love locations guide you. Your dream romantic story shouldn’t just be something you watch on TV—go out and live it.
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