Boca Raton seventh grade teacher tries her hand at reality dating on the TV show The Bachelor
The Bachelor reality dating show made history this season with the first single father trying to find love among 25 single women- one being Boca Raton middle school teacher Lauren Wanger.
Wanger, however, soon found out that reality dating may not always lead to love. The local teacher was not among the last two women vying for Bachelor Jason Mesnick’s heart, in what may have been the most dramatic final rose ceremony yet. Mesnick proposed to one woman, Melissa, at the ceremony. Six weeks later, he had a change of heart and asked the one he rejected, Molly, to give him a second chance.
Despite the dramatic season and not being chosen by the Bachelor, Wanger says appearing on the show was an experience unlike any other.
“It was a great experience, and I don’t regret it at all,” said Wanger, a seventh grade teacher at Don Estridge High Tech Middle School
Wanger auditioned for the reality dating show for a new adventure and the possibility of falling in love.
“I’ve always been a fan of the show, ever since the first season. When I became single and heard that they were casting, I thought why not try it out and see who I could meet. I knew it would be a win-win situation,” said Wanger.
While on the show, the Boca teacher said the cameras and living with 24 other women vying for one man was a challenging task.
“It took a couple of days to adjust to the unfamiliar setting with the cameras; but after awhile, I started opening up and forgot about the cameras,” said Wanger, adding, “All the ladies in the house got along pretty well. However, it was hard competing for attention. I don’t usually do that; I find a man that’s available. If I meet someone that is interested in someone else, I find someone else that is only interested in me. Jason had 25 women that he was kind of interested in and that was the hardest part of the show.”
But the show wasn’t only about competing for Jason’s heart, Wanger says she bonded with some of the other girls and also enjoyed going on dates with Jason. Some of the dates included shopping and appearing on the set of General Hospital.
However, Wanger didn’t receive a rose on the fourth rose ceremony. She attributes it to not having enough one-on-one time with Jason.
“I had no individual time with him, I had two group dates. I really didn’t get to know him and he didn’t get to really know me,” she said, adding, “I was surprised about not getting a rose, but at the same time was relieved. I was getting home sick.”
When she returned to Boca Raton and Don Estridge, her students and colleagues, who didn’t know the results of the show, were rooting for Wanger to become the next Mrs. Mesnick.
“I think the whole school was watching. Teachers would ask me what happened, and I would say, ‘I might be engaged; I might not.’ I kept them on the edge of their seat,” said Wanger.
However, the school community and viewers now know that Wanger was not chosen, and Wanger says she is not bitter about the outcome of the show.
“I wouldn’t want to stay if there wasn’t anything between us, and there wasn’t,” she said.
Wanger, however, adds that she was disappointed in the shocking finale.
“I had a feeling that Jason would do this, as rumors were flying during the Women Tell All reunion show. I have to say I was really disappointed in Jason for doing that and agreeing to break up with Melissa on national television. As for a future with Molly and Jason, I am unsure. With a small success rate of lasting love on this show, the odds are against them. Also, I don’t think they really started on the right foot with all the controversy surrounding them after the final episode,” said Wanger, adding, “I have less faith in the entire process now. I feel very badly for Melissa, and I don’t believe Jason is as ‘nice’ as he appears to be. But I am still glad I went on the show because I got to meet 24 great ladies that I know I will remain in touch with.”
As for finding love, Wanger says she has met someone since the show and is very happy with her love live.
“I tried dating on a reality show,” said Wanger. “However, it turns out that I found love the traditional way.”