Credit: ABC

Some people claim you can't learn anything real from the wacky reality TV setup of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, but we beg to differ. There are plenty of very valuable lessons to be gleaned from watching season upon season of failed dates and (occasionally) successful engagements.

So here are some of the dos and don'ts — let's be honest, mostly don'ts — we've taken away from our biggest reality obsession.

Dos

Have a handy backstory. It always helps to have a good sob story. Oh, wait, maybe that's just if you want the cameras to pay attention...

Have a "thing." Everyone has a thing, so you should too. You're the Christian. You're the athlete. You're the single parent. Whatever. Own it. How else will anyone remember you?

Be careful what you call their kids. Hint: Don't pull a Kalon McMahon and refer to a single parent's beloved baby as "baggage."

Be cheesy! If these shows have taught us anything, it's that everyone loves a love poem.

Don'ts

Don't drink too much on the first date. You probably won't get a rose second date if you're too plastered to tell your date your name.

Don't lie. Sure, Bentley may have acted all sweet to Ashley so he could stay on TV longer (that's gotta be it, right?), but in the end he just looked like a douche, and in real life there's just no excuse for pretending to be into someone when you're not.

Don't wear a mask. Gimmicks are even worse IRL than on TV. *cough* Ashley Hebert's masked man. *cough*

Don't have a thang on the side. The number of people who show up to this show still having a S.O. back home is pretty discouraging. Don't be that person.