We’re three weeks into the Seven Year Switch and we’ve got a lot of conflicting feels.
It’s sad. It’s addictive. It hits a little too close to home. And weirdly enough, the ‘experiment’ actually seems to be…working. *shudders*
Although technically we’re only in day two of this very scientific and not-at-all-for-entertainment-purposes experiment, the couples have started to seriously open up about the issues within their relationships. And sex, or a serious lack of it, seems to be a major cause for concern. And the solution is, obviously, talking about it excessively on national television.
Jason, who is married to Michelle and a father to two children, told experimental partner Cassie, “Our relationship is pretty much void of intimacy.”
“We have, honestly, the relationship of an 80-year-old couple where it’s like, ‘Hello, kiss, goodbye, kiss.’”
He continued, “It’s like kissing my mum. As creepy as that sounds. Like, I just can’t tell you how much I miss kissing. Like, I just so madly miss being kissed. I could probably count the amount of times I’ve had sex in four years on two hands. Easily. There’s kids in there, obviously. But at the moment, we haven’t had sex in 17 months.”
Jason was keen to remind Cassie that his lack of sex life is NOT his fault. “She’s not even remotely interested. In fact, she has said, ‘If I didn’t have sex again for the rest of my life, I would be happy," he told Cassie.
“To be honest, I’m so used to not having sex I’m just the king of not doing it now.”
But Jason and Michelle aren't the only couple struggling with a lack of intimacy.
Last week, Brad told Jackie that he and Tallena haven't had sex in 11 months.
“I’d like Tallena to be just a little more open,” he said. “I want her to be more open to me. I want her to be more sexually active. That’s another big one. We haven’t had sex in 11 months.”
“But what guy would you know that would stick around for that long?” Brad continued. “We don’t kiss passionately. It’s like she’s my best friend. That’s how I see it, it’s just like she’s my best friend.”
Jackie was kind of judgey about it.
At the other end of the spectrum is Jackie's partner, Tim, who last night admitted to cheating in previous relationships.
The revelation came when Tallena shared that "most of her boyfriends have cheated" on her. She then asked Tim whether he had ever cheated on a partner. Tim laughed awkwardly before spitting out "no."
Like when 'no' means 'yes' and 'social experiment' means 'exploitative reality TV'.
This guy said it best:
Tim doesn't know if he's cheated or not before which is code for yes I have several times #SevenYearSwitch
— Dylan Matthews (@DylanMatthews91) March 29, 2016
Tallena specifically asked whether Tim was seeing anyone else when he started dating Jackie. He replied, "I don't think I was dating anyone else - I think I was just usually having one night stands - like root and boot."
Root and boot has to be the most disgusting phrases I have ever heard uttered on television.
Meanwhile, the relationships developing between the experimental partners are looking as though they'll cause some controversy in the weeks to come. Michelle and Ryan get along really well - a little too well.
After a day out on a boat in the harbour, Michelle said “Ryan and I had a wonderful time. It was beautiful. It was really beautiful."
“Old Michelle probably showed up — getting in her bikini and jumping off the boat. It was great to let go. Having fun, I suppose. For the first time in a long time. It’s great.”
Perhaps the most tragic moment of the series so far came not longer after, when Michelle said of her relationship with Jason, “I feel like I’m a bit of a lost cause I think.”
“Like, maybe I’m too far gone. I think the thing that scares me the most, honestly, is that I don’t miss him."
“Ryan’s missing Cass — he’s missing her so much. And I’m not missing Jason," she admitted.
This is seriously soul-crushing stuff. Poor Jason.
Tallena and Tim's flirtatious behaviour is also pretty unsettling. When Tim speaks Tallena's face usually looks like some version of this:
The very-scientific-and-not-at-all-for-entertainment-purposes activity designed for Tim and Tallena was a sensual massage. "It doesn't have to be sexual," said a woman named Shan, who appeared on set for the sole purpose of telling the participants to give each other a massage.
While said massage was going on, Tallena's fiance Brad was reflecting on their relationship. “There’s no kissing, there’s no sex. They take a big toll. A big toll," he said.
Brad and Jackie then went ballroom dancing, which apparently, is something Tallena has always wanted to do with Brad - a reality the producers likely wouldn't let Brad forget.
“I love dancing but it was with the wrong person,” he said. “I should’ve taken Tallena dancing a long time ago. I feel like a jerk for not taking her when she asked.”
Watch the sneak preview that got everyone excited for the Seven Year Switch this week. Post continues after video.
In the last (day?), Brad's feelings about marrying Tallena have changed, going from deciding he wasn't ready, to deciding in a 'therapy' session that he definitely was. “Coming into this experiment, balancing up ‘am I ready, am I not ready’ ... So many emotions were flying through my head,” he told the psychologist. “But sitting, talking to you, thinking about it ... Definitely, 100 per cent."
YAY. It looks like we'll get a Seven Year Switch wedding eventually. And I'll be super disappointed if they don't make a reality show about it.