Having completed one season of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette(s) I approached the reunion edition of Married at First Sight with understandable trepidation. I have never watched an episode of MAFS, let alone a series. The stage managed spectacle of two complete strangers meeting for the first time at the matrimonial altar revulsed me. I am told that each week the groups had dinner which usually consisted of trash talking other couples and wine throwing competitions. How low could reality TV descend?
Why would intelligent human beings participate in this race to the bottom of the reality television market place?
After watching the two episodes of the reunion special I have to admit that my cynicism may have been somewhat over extended (with the exception of the mandatory wine throwing). As you would know, my mantra has been unapologetically heralded to the world since I began writing. It screams as a beacon of hope - “never give up on love!!”
I have no doubt a large percentage of contestants and candidates in the love and dating industry of reality TV seek nothing more than to gain personal exposure and pseudo celebrity status.
They pursue this new found popularity with saccharin sweet dollops of self indulgent dross on social media platforms. However, there are in these series, sincere individuals who desperately seek “love” and all the treasures that accompany the highest form of bond that one human being can achieve with another.
As I watched the recap of matches made on the second night of the re-union series, one could not but feel the poingency, if not actual desperation, of some of the contestants as they flailed, faltered and ultimately failed. We saw fidelity and infidelity exposed, together with every other shade of human emotion, temperament and character flaw.
So, is it possible to fall headlong into a long lasting, profound love at first sight?
In my opinion, it is the aspirational commitment of every contestant who signs a consent to participate. It is based on one of the most powerful forms of self delusion that any of us can ever practice. It is known as ‘projection’, and anyone who has ever fallen in love at first sight will understand this concept. I certainly speak from bitter experience.
The driving factor in the equation in my opinion is physical attraction.
Without attraction, there can be no basis for the seeds of love to germinate. But attraction alone will not sustain the delicate new plant. Love will only grow when nurtured with the proper nutrients, intellectual and spiritual compatibility, kindness and selflessness.
The party who believes in love at first sight will instinctively feel that all of these ingredients are present in their partner and need only to be uncovered in time. As so many of the MAFS couples were to discover, almost all of these precious ingredients were found wanting. So many of the MAFS couples were mismatched.
I would comment on two of the contestants who left me with profound emotional connection.
Firstly, Foxy Jojo displayed a nobility of spirit and courage in the face of her challenging romantic dilemma. Yet her joy and optimism was wholly infectious and provided a refreshing distraction from the underclass of mediocrity also on display. The second contestant who touched my sensibilities was Mike Gunner. His acknowledgement that his conduct had possibly caused him to lose a woman of substance was frankly gut wrenching to watch. He was so near to love at first sight that he could taste it. His shattered reality was palpable.
In my journey there have been many instances where I have developed a profound infatuation and proceeded down the narrow laneway of projection, naively expecting a tick would be placed in every category which described the soul of my then love interest. Not one of these projected love affairs survived. That is not to say that it can't happen, but I have not seen it in my lifetime.
I wish Martha and Michael all the very best as they are literally (after recent revelations) one of the few couples who succeeded in finding long lasting love at first sight, and have demonstrated the emotional agility to identify loving traits in one another, and continue to grow in a loving and wonderful relationship.
NEVER GIVE UP ON LOVE - JD x