On Monday night, a very honest conversation between two friends was broadcast on national television.
Sitting in a Gold Coast bar, Married at First Sight star Bella told her friend that despite having spent three weeks living with her “husband” Michael, she was not ready to move in with him permanently once the experiment was over.
“I’ve lived with boyfriends before, partners in the past, and it hasn’t worked out. And I think that’s why I was a little bit hesitant to move straight in with him,” she explained.
Understandably, Bella’s friend didn’t really get it.
You’ve found love, the connection is electric, what’s holding you back?
Married at First Sight Bella and Michael on their wedding day. Source: Married at First Sight.
Watching the episode, I was reminded of a similar conversation I had with two friends about exactly the same thing recently.
Friend One was considering moving in with her boyfriend after just five months of dating and was asking us for our advice. While Friend Two thought it was a great idea, because "true love", I couldn't tell her No fast enough.
Confused by my response, they both pointed out that I had moved in with my boyfriend after just four months, and almost five years later we're still together. So why would I be telling others not to?
What I had to explain to them - and perhaps what Bella went on to explain to her friend - is that moving in too soon was possibly the worst relationship decision I ever made.
Bella and Michael discuss moving in together. Source: Married at First Sight.
Let me backtrack a little and explain...
I made the decision to move in with my boyfriend for practical reasons. My lease was up for renewal, I hated my flatmates and we lived just one block from each other.
He, on the other hand, made the decision to invite me to live with him for romantic reasons. He was at "that stage."
Naturally, with him being there and me being approximately two steps behind, months of fights, tears and discussions about calling it quits ensued.
We slammed doors, called friends for advice and went to our respective hometowns for time to reflect about what the hell it was we were doing. But despite all of that, we both knew the foundation for our relationship was good and kept trying until we were eventually at the same point.
Watch: Married at First Sight's Bella hopes Michael will understand. (Post continues after video.)
Now that we are well and truly on the other side of it, I can see the problem was me.
I simply wasn't ready to share that much of myself with someone. I was still scared and scarred from the last boyfriend I had lived with and not completely shed myself of that baggage. But because I was scared that saying no might be seen as a sign that we were destined to fail, I went along with it.
And Monday night's episode of Married at First Sight suggested Bella was in a similar position, and simply had the foresight to avoid putting her relationship through that.
"I don't know what the right thing to do is after the experiment," she admitted. "Is there a handbook somewhere that I can grab some rules out of because I have no idea what the right and wrong this is to do."
Love you, Bella. Source: Married at First Sight.
It's understandable for Michael to be upset by Bella's decision. He's just realised his girlfriend isn't yet at the same point as him. And anytime that happens in a relationship you can't help but be disappointed and worry about what that means.
But finding someone who is true to themselves and, in turn, true to the relationship is also pretty rare. And when it's the right person, they tend to have a way of catching up to you eventually anyway.
Besides, given the show was filmed months ago, who knows what their living arrangement is now.
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