Chris Harrison: I Don’t “Sleep Around” — It’s “Exhausting”

Truth rating: 10
Chris Harrison GQ

By Daniel Gates

Chris Harrison GQ

(Art Streiber/GQ)

Chris Harrison opens up about his divorce and his frustrations with dating in the new GQ, also revealing how he believes “The Bachelor” has helped to “evolve the modern man.”

The host and his ex-wife Gwen began dating when he was 18 years old, splitting in 2012. “Once I got divorced,” he tells the magazine, “there was this knee-jerk reaction to get back in the action and date. I think there’s something wrong in that. I’m incredibly, stunningly happy. What gave me angst was relationships.”

Why couldn’t the longtime couple make it work? “As we started to grow apart and hit hard times, we just weren’t equipped to handle it, unfortunately,” he explains. “We’ve always been great friends, and in the end that’s helped us remain amicable.”

There’s been chatter about making Harrison the next “Bachelor” star at some point. When GQ wonders about the possibility of Gwen starring on “The Bachelorette,” Harrison says, “Now, there’s an idea. There’s a part of me, the producer side, that knows it would be epic television, good or bad. It could be like the Hindenburg — the greatest disaster ever — but even then that would be great TV.”

Dating has not been fun or fruitful for Harrison. He says he played around some after his divorce, “but that got old fast. I would love to say I’m that guy who sleeps around, but I’m just not. That’s not my thing. I tried. I’m not good at it. It’s exhausting.”

He’s also realized that he’s a dinosaur when it comes to dating rituals. Harrison can’t understand why dates would rather meet him at the restaurant than have him pick them up from their homes, and he’s astounded by the amount of texting involved. When he tries to stop the endless stream of texts by calling, women won’t answer the phone, even though he knows they’re there because they’ve been texting.

After 19 seasons of “The Bachelor” and numerous editions of “The Bachelorette,” Harrison thinks the show has made a cultural impact on how men and women interact. “It’s a passive-aggressive way to really talk about your own feelings of, like, ‘I really don’t like what he’s doing’ or ‘I really like the way he does that.’ That’s what this show does,” says Harrison. “It literally just gives everyone a chance to sit around and talk.”

He also believes it’s helped to create a different kind of romantic man. “I don’t know if we can take full credit,” he tells GQ, “but I do think we have helped evolve the modern man, to teach him how a woman wants to be treated. I think we have helped men and women kind of get to know each other and break down that wall where we never used to communicate. Things that needed to be said and no one ever really wanted to talk about. Guys want to talk about feelings, too, sometimes. Guys want to be reassured, too — even the manliest of men.” What do you think of what Harrison has to say?

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