Okay, okay! I admit that I watched a lot more of Married at First Sight than I had originally intended. And by “a lot more” I mean every episode this season. After all my misgivings about manufactured drama, I suddenly realized that there was a lot to learn about relationships from this show. Yes, I’m as surprised as you are!
Sex is not a relationship. When was the last time you really lusted after someone and yet had nothing to talk about? Watching Monet and Vaughan, this seemed to be the case. These two jumped on the physical side of marriage but then realized that was all their relationship was based upon. In fact, delaying that physical gratification (as Steve Harvey recommends in his book Think Like a Man but Act Like a Lady) could have served them really well.
Relationships are work. (And you both need to be on-board.) I loved how Cortney and Jason immediately got out a calendar so they could figure out how to sync their crazy schedules. I also loved how they were both willing to move a few things around (including a new home) to be able to spend time together. Jamie and Doug were also willing to put in the time and effort to cultivate a good relationship and their mutual decision to stay together was a wonderful testament to that work. They also saw the necessity of a new home to start off right.
You don’t always know what you need. Again, Monet and Vaughan are classic examples of this. They both basically got what they asked for (with the exception of Monet’s cooking skills-or lack thereof) but soon discovered they might not know themselves as well as they thought. It might even be that they weren’t ready for relationships in the first place.
You can’t always rely on first impressions. Monet and Vaughan were immediately attracted to each other but built up their expectations based on that initial meeting. Jamie was not attracted to Doug (although he looked as though he had hit the jackpot). Both sides really outlined the need to get to know someone better and to make that a priority.
Fear of being hurt should always be eclipsed by a willingness to try, anyway. Jamie and Doug as well as Cortney and Jason all alluded to fears of being hurt over the course of the season. None of them, however, let that keep them from pushing forward toward a most satisfactory conclusion.
A relationship isn’t just about you. I hate to pick on poor Vaughan but he really illustrated this point well. His concessions to the relationship were moving into Monet’s apartment and going to brunch but he seemed to expect certain things in return. That did not sit well with Monet. Then look at the pairs of Cortney and Jason or Jamie and Doug: All four tried to do things with the other person’s happiness in mind and their relationships blossomed instead of being caught up in an endless loop of expectations for themselves.
Maybe a team of professionals isn’t such a batty way to find a spouse. No one can dispute the importance of similar value systems and beliefs as well as a “pre-screening” team to weed out the unsuitable dates. (Provided, of course, the area the pros are searching is a little wider than that of the show.)
Married at First Sight has already been picked up for a second season. Will you be watching? Or perhaps auditioning?