Bachelor Star (and Single Dad) Dumps Fiancee - On TV!

Filed under: Celeb Parents

Any divorced parent will tell you that dating is hard when you have kids; you have to make careful choices about who you go out with and when you bring that person home to meet the tots. And you had better not make any mistakes when you get serious with a new love, because your kids are in the mix now, too.

Breaking up is always hard to do, but it's harder with children. Add television cameras to that and you've got a recipe for disaster, as The Bachelor star and single dad Jason Mesnick found out last night, when he dumped his fiancée, Melissa Rycroft, on national television.

That's right: On national television. "That was part of the deal," Mesnick told PEOPLE. "I signed up for it in my contract. Your relationship is -- good and bad -- in front of everybody."

For the most part, reality television has singled out moms as the villains (Kate Gosselin), the brats (Alex McCord) and the opportunists (Dina Lohan). No more.

Mesnick, 32, ended his run on ABC's The Bachelor by proposing to Rycroft, who, of course, said yes. But after the show ended and the cameras were off, Mesnick started to have doubts. "After we got back into the real world, all of a sudden, we had less to talk about and I didn't know why. I started thinking wow, what's happening? Why aren't we communicating the way we did when the show was going on?"

Just a guess here, Jason, but maybe because you're a dad and she's new to the kid thing? Or maybe because the cameras were what fed that "love" feeling? Or maybe just because reality television isn't real?

Mesnick is sorry for his actions, although he's still blaming his contract with ABC ("I'm not proud of what I had to do," he says, which is kind of a lame apology, really). But there's also this: Mesnick hadn't mentioned his concerns about the relationship to Rycroft during the six week break between the show's end and their public break up. That's bad enough, of course -- if he wanted to marry her, you'd think he could talk to her -- but that's not the end.

Mesnick dumped Rycroft for the Bachelor's runner up, 24-year-old Molly Malaney. On television! Without any warning! Smooth! Also a good "life lesson" for his three-year-old son. Not. (Our friends at MomLogic have the DL on what "Bachelorette" Trista Sutter thinks of all this.)

So is Mesnick a big jerk, or a victim of his contract? Or both? Dating after divorce can be hard, and signing up for a reality dating show is a poor choice for someone with a kid. Mesnick should have thought harder about what he was getting into, and what he was hoping to get out of it. And Molly Malaney might want to think twice about what she's getting into, as well.

Is parenting and reality TV a bad mix? Or is this just a fluke?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.