I’ve been watching Married at First Sight since the very first season that it debuted on television. This show captivated me because it put people and an unseemly situation; one that I know has to be completely uncomfortable and outside of anyone’s comfort zone. Just the mere thought of trusting “experts” to match you with your life partner and forging a commitment such as marriage sounds ridiculous. But then I thought about it. Arranged marriages have been happening for centuries. And they worked! So here are a few things that I’ve taken away from Married at First Sight.
The very first thing that I took away from Married at First Sight is making the main thing the main thing. Here’s what I mean. These people were interviewed intensely by these experts to find out what made them tick, what they needed in a mate, about their past and their upbringing. They divulged why past relationships didn’t work and what was most important to them. This is the basis of the connections that the experts made. It wasn’t about physical attractiveness or anything superficial. The experts knew how to match these people based upon keeping the main principles and things that connect us as humans as paramount. Each of the couples remarked that they knew exactly why they were put together. I think that this is very necessary in relationships nowadays because we get so caught up in appearances and things that really do not matter in the long run. When I think of my future mate, there’s only a handful of things that are non negotiable. By focusing on those main things I think we open ourselves up for greater possibilities in finding a match and it grounds us in our relationships.
The next thing that I learned from Married at First Sight is the importance of being open. I speak for myself when saying I’ve been hurt more times than I ever would like to have experienced. And I know that it takes a great level of vulnerability to make a connection with somebody especially within 6 weeks while you’re on TV being recorded for your life to be on display. This would make it increasingly difficult to be completely open. This is why the people on the show are so brave to me. To reveal yourself to another person is probably one of the most difficult things that anyone can do. Especially on the level that it takes to forge a deeper connection in a budding marriage. One of the things that bothered me so much in season 3 of Married at First Sight is the way that Ashley completely shut down on David. It seemed to me like she was not even giving him a fair shake or giving the relationship a chance to grow. In my last relationship I carried a lot of past baggage into it. its not that I wasn’t being vulnerable or open. I know that I revealed parts of myself to him that very few people have ever come to know. But if you are trying to connect with who you want to be your life partner and truly become one flesh together there’s no sense in even come into the relationship with any walls up. Here’s why I say that. The relationship itself and putting two people together functionally is hard enough. The difficult becomes compounded when your partner has to jump through hoops and tear down walls that you built out of fear. The thing that I admire the most about Tres and Vanessa is how open they were with each other to the possibility of being in love. I don’t think this experiment can work without two individuals coming together fearlessly with open minds and hearts.
Finally I learned how important it is to stay committed. There were many times throughout the season that I know I would have given up. For instance, in the very beginning Sam was very rude to Neil. She questioned his manhood, insulted him, and disqualified him before she even got a chance to know him. But he remained committed to the cause of trying to work through the issues that they had. And it worked. By the end of the season you saw how Sam began to open up and drop her defense mechanism and really grow to care for Neil. Watching their love story grow really encouraged me. It wasn’t one based on physical attraction or anything vain. It was two people who were committed to the cause and really wanted the relationship to work. I think that’s necessary in any relationship, especially one that is leading to marriage. Married at First Sight is a show that either you love or you hate. I absolutely love it because it takes people who probably would never even date each other and forces them to explore the possibility of living together for a lifetime. I saw myself in quite a few of the cast members and they each taught me lessons and gave me hope. Maybe one day you’ll see me on the show.