The contestants of The Bachelor decide to go on the show for so many reasons (whether they're the "right" ones or not), but the end goal for most of them is the same: To fall in love with the leading man and live happily ever after, following a possibly televised, very expensive wedding. But being the 2016 Bachelor winner comes with a lot more than that — responsibilities, tons of pressure, and challenges that people in traditional relationships have never had to face. Whoever Ben Higgins decides to propose to at the end of this season may end up with that final rose, but her life will also change in so many huge ways. Don't worry, there's no spoilers ahead!
After watching the show for so many years, there's a pattern to it once filming is over and the happy couple is allowed to take their relationship public. Sometimes, the bond between these two people who met in such an unconventional way grows because of the experience and they spend a lifetime together, or it collapses under the stress of finding love on reality TV. And then there are certain things that always happen, no matter how long the engagement lasts after the cameras leave.
Bachelor winner, whoever you are, get ready for the ride of a lifetime. And in the meantime, prepare for this:
1. An Insane Engagement Ring
Courtesy of Neil Lane, of course. Although getting ready to wear a massive diamond on your finger has to be one of the best things to prepare yourself for ever... unless you're like me and tend to lose just about everything.
2. Months Of Secrecy
Obviously, the show is filmed way in advance of the actual airing, so the lady Ben is currently engaged to has had to survive Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's without spilling the beans that she's the winner... and that's just so far. Homegirl has a long three months ahead of her of keeping those lips zipped. And don't be like Kaitlyn and spoil the ending on Snapchat!
3. Tons Of New Friends
Rarely does a Bachelor contestant leave without a brand new squad of lifetime friends. This has to be one of the best perks of the show... besides all the travel and free booze, of course.
4. And Tons Of Press
After The Final Rose is just the beginning. There's always that next day Good Morning America appearance, various talk show visits, interviews... and that happens pretty frequently for at least a month after the finale airs. I can't decide if that sounds more exciting or exhausting. But either way, she should consider herself booked until further notice.
5. A Possible Dancing With The Stars Invite
FYI, it's probably not going to be for the Bach winner, but for Ben. And if he decides to follow in Chris Soules' footsteps, that means months of a long distance relationship and not a lot of free time to spend together.
6. A Major Move
The chances of Ben choosing a woman who's from Denver like he is are slim, so unless he plans on relocating, his winner will probably be packing up her stuff to move to a totally new place in the near future. There's always a chance of compromise, though!
7. Nonstop Questions & Relationship Rumors
Not only will her friends, family, and random people from her past who appear out of the woodwork start hounding her for info, but she probably won't be able to go anywhere without people asking her when the wedding is, or if they've picked a date. And if Shawn Booth and Kaitlyn Bristowe, post Bachelorette are any indiction, there will be breakup and pregnancy rumors floating around on a weekly basis.
8. The Most Adorable Husband Ever
Let's face it: Ben is the best, even if he does look like Peter Brady. Whoever he picks is a lucky lady, and I hope that at the end of this, he and his new fiancée find nothing but happiness... and maybe a spinoff.
Image: Craig Sjodin/ABC