Bob D'Amico/ABC/Getty Images
Samantha Highfill
January 08, 2018 at 01:50 PM EST

On the surface, The Bachelorette might seem like a shallow show where one woman is presented with 25+ men in the hopes that, through over-the-top one-on-one dates and painfully awkward group dates, she will find true love. But at its core, The Bachelorette is so much more than that. It’s a shallow show where one woman is presented with 25+ men in the hopes that, through over-the-top one-on-one dates and painfully awkward group dates, she will find true love AND SOMETIMES IT WORKS.

But let’s not focus on the end result. After all, it’s the (dramatic) journey that matters most on The Bachelorette, and as viewers, we’ve spent 15 years watching those journeys. We’ve watched as the Bachelorette made bad choices. We’ve watched as the Bachelorette made the occasional good choice. And along the way, we’ve learned a few things…

Always pick the fireman with a love of poetry.

At this point, 15 years after the show’s 2003 premiere, Trista and Ryan are the most successful couple in Bachelor/Bachelorette history, so if we’ve learned anything, it’s that you should definitely pick the super fit, cute guy who’s not scared to show his sensitive side. (Although, perhaps draw the line at the guy who’s so sensitive he sobs over balcony railings like it’s his job.)

Don’t be fooled by a romantic dance in the middle of a street.

Real life is not a fairytale, guys. You don’t just get to find some super hot man named Roberto who asks you to dance in the middle of the street and is literally perfect in every way (except he sweats too much). Ask Ali. It doesn’t work in the real world.

Sometimes, your second pick is really your first pick, even though he’s your second pick.

Remember how heartbroken Desiree was when Brooks went home? She’d lost her chance at true love! Her world was ending! Oh wait, Chris was still there! So … she chose Chris. And guess what? They’re still together. Sometimes, you really shouldn’t listen to your heart.

Nick Viall is not the answer.

All I’m saying is that both Andi and Kaitlyn decided to go in a different direction… and I’m not even going to talk about his stint as the Bachelor.

Things work better when a woman is in charge.

Out of 13 seasons of The Bachelorette, six couples are still together. Out of 21 seasons of The Bachelor, two couples are still together. Any questions?

When you want privacy, turn off your mics.

Most of us will never be on reality television, but for those of you that will be, please remember to turn off your body microphones if you decide to take a man back to your hotel suite and hang a “do not disturb” sign on the door. Do it for the viewers. Do it for yourself. DO IT FOR YOUR PARENTS.

HE HAS A GIRLFRIEND.

Whether we’re talking about Wes Hayden from Jillian’s season or Justin Rego from Ali’s season, there will always be a guy that secretly has a girlfriend, or at the very least, has some girl who’s currently sitting on her couch back in his hometown eating from a pint of ice cream and wondering why that guy she recently started talking to stopped responding to her DMs.

Never trust a man who loves deli meats more than he loves you.

I’m looking at you, Chad.

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