Dating may seem hard now, but before the days of Tinder, OKCupid, and Match.com, there was one simple solution to finding love: Reality TV.
Over the years we’ve seen thousands of singles make fools of themselves, as their ridiculous journeys are broadcasted straight into our living rooms. If you think you have a brilliant idea for an original new dating show, it’s likely been done. From working class hunks who pretend to be multi-millionares to mandatory lie detector tests to ensure potential dates are telling the truth and wining and dining your mom, dating on reality TV is all about the unthinkable. And as cheesy as they’ve been, the brave souls who go on these shows have provided us with some of the most addicting guilty pleasures ever.
Every now and then, celebrities get in on the fun, too. (And yes, we’ll take some credit for that.) Remember when Ray J was living every single man’s dream on For The Love of Ray J? Or that time a pubescent Zac Efron went through a strangers’ condom drawer on Room Raiders?
Whether you genuinely enjoy watching hopeless romantics getting dumped on TV or stripping down to find their perfect match, check out some of the most enjoyable dating shows from the past 20 years. If we’ve learned anything from the recent history of these dating shows, it’s that all is fair in love and war.