We fell in love quickly. She was intelligent, funny, passionate and gorgeous. Within no time, we spoke of future childrens’ names, of wedding venues and dates, of the countries we wanted to explore together, of houses and of other dreams for our future.
In less than a year, we had moved into her tiny apartment, started renovating it and got an irresistibly cute puppy. Every evening I cycled home from work as fast as I could, excited to get back to the little home we had created and the woman and puppy I loved.
What life is like single and in a relationship. Post continues after video.
Admittedly, by the time season six of Married at First Sight aired on January 28, 2019, we were already experiencing some challenges. We both started on new career paths which we found stressful in different ways.
She was under intense pressure to produce a huge amount of work in a short period and became very preoccupied with it. In contrast, my new position started slowly, giving me too much time to worry about her wellbeing and the impact her stress was having on our relationship. I was too sensitive to her moods, and became upset when I perceived her to be snappy or distant.
Nonetheless, when the first episode of Married at First Sight (affectionately known as MAFS by its huge following of viewers) aired, I was still feeling excited for our future together and was optimistic that our issues would settle down after an adjustment period.
I had never seen an episode of MAFS before and was initially very skeptical about the entire premise – 20 strangers, selected by supposed relationship “experts”, fake marrying each other on their first meeting and then following the aftermath.
I couldn’t recall watching a reality TV show since the first season of The Block in 2003 and was slightly horrified at the time commitment involved (four nights a week for around 1.5 hours an episode).
However, my girlfriend loved it and it was clear that she was going to watch it with or without me, so I gave it a chance, thinking the shared experience of watching could be a bonding opportunity. Some of my new colleagues were also MAFS fans, so it also provided a way to bond with my workmates by participating in the morning debrief sessions.
I was hooked almost immediately. I cried (with happiness) watching Jules and Cam’s and Heidi and Mike’s weddings, thinking with joy of our wedding plans for later this year and how amazing it would be to exchange vows with the woman sitting on the couch next to me.
I felt smug watching some of the less compatible couples’ problems unfold – sure, while I might have been overly emotional in our relationship lately, at least I didn’t overreact to the same extent as Cyrell, and while my girlfriend and I might have a few issues, they seemed minor compared to what many of the couples were going through.