Set to break hearts
IF YOU believe some of the stories, Tim Robards might be the one your mother warned you about. Since the 30- year- old Sydney- based chiropractor and part- time model was named the leading man of Australia’s first version of the reality- TV search for love, the claims have flown thick and fast.
But on the eve of Channel Ten’s The Bachelor Australia experiment, Robards says he is not a player, nor a fame- hungry man- about- town who broke up with his girlfriend to join the show.
And he insists he is genuine in using The Bachelor to find love and a relationship akin to that of his parents, who have chalked up more than three decades of marriage.
“My mum and dad have just had their 33rd wedding anniversary. I’d love to have that. To have that love and someone to share all they have ... just heightens the big moments of your life,” he says.
Taking the claims head- on, Robards says, “like any guy, I’ve dated different girls”.
“I’ve never been a person who just goes out and picks up and that’s it.
“I have always been searching for a girl I can fall in love with and have something serious with.
“However, if people interpret that, that is something I can’t do much about.”
He said it wasn’t true that he broke up with his exgirlfriend to go on the show. “The show came along after we broke up,” he said. “Possibly through the show, people will get a better understanding of who I am and not just what they read or hear.”
The first people he went to when approached to become The Bachelor were his parents.
“They are the ones I go to when I am in a position where I’m wrestling with something big,” he says.
“And this is one of the biggest things I have done in my life.
“They gave me the confi dence I could do this, because you are opening yourself up to judgment. I am a very open person with my clients and friends, but being open to all of Australia is a whole new level of openness.
“Dad asked how I wanted to be perceived and presented. I said as long as I can be down- to- earth, intelligent and honest, because that’s who I am, I was ready to take this on as a search for love.
“I had met with producers and they convinced me they wanted to create a show about two people falling in love. The result was my parents telling me ‘ just to be true to yourself’.”
Robards has discovered anew during shooting that break- ups are never easy to do.
With 25 girls put up as potential matches for him to choose from, and him forced to choose one to leave the show each week, he says he has come to know even more about himself.
“With every relationship I have had – and there have been some beautiful relationships – you find out more about yourself and what your own values are,” he says.
“It’s the same in the show, but there’s just less time to do it.
“Where normally on a date there’d be fluffy, light conversation, you have to get into the nitty- gritty quickly as to what makes these girls tick, what their values are, what things have happened in their life to make them who they are.
“There’s not a lot of time to make that connection, but I think maturity drives you closer to knowing what you are looking for.”
Farewelling a woman each week has become increasingly tough.
“In real life, I don’t think I’ve ever had an easy break- up. It doesn’t matter who initiates it, goodbyes are hard,” he says.
“On the show, the first few goodbyes were awkward, but OK, because you’re not that invested.
“But as you get further in, you form feelings that go beyond friendship.” He hopes, ultimately, to find love. “I’m big on omens, and this show felt like an omen I needed to go with. I thought it would be something I would regret if I didn’t do it,” Robards says.
“Yes, you get judged, people will talk about you, but I think there are a lot of positives that could come out of it.”
He might be open about his search, but ahead of the show, he has no plans to kiss and tell.
“Have I kissed anyone yet? You’ll have to wait and see,” he laughs. THE BACHELOR AUSTRALIA TDT, Sunday and Monday, 7.30pm