Relationship lessons 'Married at First Sight' has taught us

Like don’t call your partner “frigid.”

By Jessica Chandra
Married at First Sight Australia 2017

Married at First Sight claims to be the ultimate relationship experiment – actually it calls itself “Australia’s most controversial social experiment.” It’s also the perfect recipe for TV drama – for what other reason would people throw themselves in the deep end and marry complete strangers, handpicked for them from preferences they’ve listed on an application form?

This year’s season on Channel Nine, which beefed up from four couples to 10, has been equal parts addictive and frustrating. And as the producers continue to throw a whole bunch of things at the couples for the sake of testing their relationships – also known as ~drama~ – we’re making note of key relationship lessons we’ve learnt from the show.

Don’t limit yourself to someone from one nationality or culture.

Poor Deb. All she wanted was to marry a nice Polynesian man. Then she got to her wedding and found out she’d been paired with John, a nice man who was unfortunately not Polynesian. She had tunnel vision about marrying a Polynesian right from the start, which meant everything John did seemed to grate on her. The poor man – he tried his best, but it was never good enough because he wasn’t Polynesian.

Don’t marry someone who lives in another state unless you’re willing to compromise.

Or in Anthony’s words, don’t fall in love with a horseman if you’re not a horsewoman. This hurts our hearts, because we really want Sean and Susan to work out. But as he won’t give up his life on the farm, and Susan doesn’t want to leave her life behind to live remotely, they’ve slowed down their relationship, and contemplated being friends instead.

We’re not sure how Sean and Susan will work things out, but what we can take away from this is that you should save yourself the heartache if you know you’re not willing to budge on something as important as where you live.

Communicate with your partner.

Cheryl and Andrew’s second attempt at love on this show hasn’t been smooth-sailing, but we have to give credit to Cheryl for feeling a spark with Andrew, and wanting to explore it – these days, when it comes to relationships, people don’t go for what they want enough. And Andrew went along with the idea of trying this whole thing with someone else, even after he’d been scarred because the first bride he was paired with ran away.

But there have been issues with Cheryl and Andrew’s relationship, mainly in relation to their lack of communication. At the most recent commitment ceremony, Andrew talked about how he didn’t think Cheryl was into their relationship at all. This was news to Cheryl, who actually chose to stay in their relationship, even though he’d awkwardly written ‘Leave’ on his card.

So, TALK to your partner. This may come as a shock but people can’t read minds (yet). If you talk to your partner in private, you’ll save yourself from embarrassment at a commitment ceremony in front of all your friends – a situation we often find ourselves in, obviously…

Don’t call your partner ‘frigid.’

Especially in front of your friends! One of the main issues in Anthony and Nadia’s relationship is their lack of intimacy, which Anthony put down to Nadia being “frigid.” Nadia took it better than a lot of us would have – she laughed it off, and said he was “frigid” to a point as well. But seriously: save this chat for behind closed doors.

Don’t talk sh*t about your partner if you want things to work out.

Andrew obviously doesn’t see a future with Cheryl, which is why he had no problems talking about her behind his back when the girls and guys were separated for their respective girls’ night and boys’ night. He said the only things they talked about were her hair extensions and the Kardashians, and implied that whenever they chatted, he looked at her chest more than her eyes.

At least one good thing came out of this: the whole country got to see what kind of stand-up men Sean and Simon are. They were the only two who didn’t condone Andrew’s behaviour, while the other guys lapped it all up, and thought it was the funniest thing in the world.

Don’t marry a stranger at first sight.

Real-life marriage is a commitment beyond a television show. Unless you are the most open-minded person in the world, don’t do it. Yes, modern dating culture is confusing and a bit shit, but at least you can choose who you want to date, or can be very happy single.