Why every 20-something should watch Married At First Sight

Married At First Sight2

Married At First Sight

//New obsession alert: Married At First Sight//

Normally I keep my reality TV talk under wraps, but today I feel compelled to share my thoughts on one of my recent discoveries (and obsessions), the A&E matchmaking reality show Married At First Sight.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the premise, the show follows three couples through the social experiment of being, quite literally, married at first sight. It begins with four experts filtering through thousands of applicants. After conducting a number of interviews, family history profiles, personality and compatibility tests, they match three couples who by their standards are “scientifically perfect for one another.” The selected individuals then agree to meet their supposed soulmate in a blind arranged marriage.

Cray? Absolutely.

Are they on to something? Perhaps.

Let me premise by saying The Bachelor has been my guilty pleasure for years. And while I was at first skeptical (and still kinda am) about Married At First Sight, it’s nothing like The Bachelor, or really any other show of it’s genre. Dare I say I actually find this show educational?

I know. But let me explain. 

Unlike other reality dating shows, these couples are thrown back into their everyday lives almost instantly. No romantic getaways. No extravagant princess dates. Instead they’re forced to address the not-so-fun, but extremely necessary, things like figuring out where to live, integrating families, and combining finances. Oh right, and actually getting to know one another.

Watching their journeys unfold becomes particularly interesting as a viewer. Throughout the season we watch these couples deal with very common relationship issues and fight…a lot. But as the couples face challenges and road blocks we start to see why the experts may have been on to something when they matched them.

Of course couples fighting makes good TV, but honestly, it’s watching them resolve their issues that keeps me coming back.

Some people believe an indicator of a strong relationship is that you and your partner never fight. I would argue that a couple’s strength is actually built in your ability to fight well. Every couple has their issues, but not every couple handles them well. A strong relationship is one where both people can address their problems and work together to solve them. I find this is rooted in true compatibility. And that is what the experts on Married At First Sight try to provide – a glimpse into what being truly compatible looks like.

In our 20s, whether we like it or not, we’re in the beginning stages of our soulmate search. As we become fully-formed humans we start to crave that deep partnership with someone worthy of eventually sharing a life with. Someone who you can compliment, and who compliments you.

At our age I think it’s time we cut the Nicholas Sparks bullshit romance and start educating ourselves on how and why real relationships work. Which is why it’s refreshing to see examples of relationships that are messy and imperfect. I think it’s even better to see the role compatibility plays in how a real-life couples addresses real-life problems.

So is it crazy to admit that I actually relate to the participants on this show? Like myself, many of them don’t have their lives all figured out. Like myself, their lives are messy and imperfect. And like myself, they want more than anything to share their messy lives with someone who can handle it. Sure, marrying a stranger is a dramatic solution, but would you pass up the chance to meet someone who experts say is your ideal compatible match? Someone who they say can handle your mess? Hell, even clean it up?

Need a minute to think about it? Yea, me too.

Married at First Sight Gif

 

In the meantime, watch the show with me. New episodes every Tuesday at 9/8C.  

 

 

1 Comment

  • Sunita

    one half of my family lives in India and arranged marriages are still very common there. when I talk with my cousins about this, they actually kind of like it. at least in my family parents pay a lot of attention to compatibility f.e. it took a really long time to find a husband for my oldest cousin (she’s in her 30s) because she is really smart and educated and her parents tried to find a man for her who can measure up intellectually and is interested in similar things. they are happy now but i don’t think that the goal of these matches are love but simply compatibility. my boyfriend and i have very different interests and hobbies and are in many aspects opposite. you are absolutely right that fighting is important for a relationship. in the first year my boyfriend and i fought a lot. people say the first year is the best but with us it was the absolute messiest. we are now in our fourth relationship year and i think that it’s the best we’ve ever been because we already had all these ugly fights and we got through it and grew so much stronger as a couple. so you definitely have a point there. still i’m not sure if a show like that can produce real love but who knows! i may start to watch it 🙂

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