Married at First sight or those who are viewers may refer to as MAFS. It’s a television show about people who get married at first sight and is advertised as a social experiment. They get dressed in all the wedding formality, arrive at a location, meet their husband or wife to be and participate in a wedding ceremony. The next few weeks is the ‘social experiment’. Will they fall in love, how do they resolve conflict and will the ‘marriage’ survive.
In all its ridiculousness, it’s addictive viewing. We become expert couch psychologist in relationships and also the moral compass. When watching you can’t help think about your own relationships past or present. Amongst all the drama one asks themselves, ‘is this real’, ‘are these actors’, are the individuals on the show genuine or are they seeking fame, notoriety, publicity, a platform to launch their career in the public eye. Some say the participants want Instagram fame, some acting careers or general media opportunities.
As the seasons have continued I am sure that has definitely come into the mix. I watch and try to determine what’s real and what’s possible set up for viewer excitement. Is falling in love that boring that the producers need to ensure there’s infidelity, emotional domestic abuse, narcissism and even sociopathic behaviour. It feels as though the producers of the multi million dollar production fear viewers will switch their televisions off if there’s no anti social, jaw dropping behaviour. That making a show about love, respect and happiness doesn’t make for good viewing.
Like all series that return for multiple seasons they become more and more ridiculous as the seasons evolve. We the public need to be more and more shocked apparently.
Personally I would be happy with some genuine stories. Life itself is better than fiction. Throwing a bunch of strangers together will create drama and the viewer does enjoy a bit of drama. But when the storyline of the couples becomes all to convenient or appear ramped up for shock effect or at the detriment of a participants mental health, that ruins the authenticity and disappoints and is simply irresponsible.
This show has become more about what not to do in a relationship. I think the experts have opportunistic situations where they could really be stepping up and calling out some participants on their behaviours, such as in this series emotional abuse of partners no matter which sex it is coming from. I think the viewer and public in general want to see this.They want to see behaviours put right and some justice against the perpetrator. That they can’t behave this way and think it’s ok. If ‘relationship experts’ are not using this opportunity to educate the wider public then its a missed opportunity given the amount of views and demographic that tune into this series. Especially given some of the seriousness of passions of crime and domestic violence and basic morality facing our modern world. Many people have grown up in homes where they have had little or no role modelling on the respectful way to behave in a relationship, this is an opportunity to educate the wider public on some basic do’s and don’ts. It doesn’t need to turn into a documentary on relationship guidance, we are also viewing for the fun of voyeurism but as a community influencers it could help set the record straight.
I also think a personality profile by the experts on why individuals behave in such a manner would be interesting. It would give insight into why people sabotage relationships, why toxic behaviours evolve within a relationship and why people who behave with this toxic manner towards potential good partners keep finding themselves single. Also highlight why relationships are successful.
We are all curious about dynamics of relationships and what makes a good relationship and enables longevity. Everybody wants to be loved, wants to feel like they to matter to someone. To feel admired, and respected and supported to reach their individual goals and share in their achievements. We also all fear rejection and the feeling of not being good enough. We are not alone with this. We are human, that’s being human!
Perhaps this is part of the curiosity for MAFS viewing. It allows us insight into other relationships where we can measure our own up against others to gauge how we are going. We can be a fly on the wall on other relationships interactions, games and betrayal, and almost becomes an informal relationship information session.
It’s interesting reading MAFS forums and all the opinions of expectations in a relationship. What is acceptable for some and not for others. Past experiences and socioeconomic impact on expectations in relationships I’m sure come into play.
I also find myself questioning when there is blatant betrayal and infidelity is it right that the producers allow the person subject to that betrayal continue to be treated in a manner that allows them to look like a fool and also potentially cause emotional harm. When should the person committing the betrayal be called out and confronted by the experts about their actions and counselling them on their behaviours regarding the hurt they are causing another individual. Putting a clear message out in the public that that’s not ok. Or is it just about the drama and that, we the viewer, should be able to work that out for ourselves. Is watching someone else be hurt supposed to teach us right from wrong, or simply the producers don’t care and are purely after ratings because we enjoy seeing others humiliated. Is it simply vulnerable people being food for greed, business and television stations successes and some individuals wanting their 4weeks or so of fame.
It begs the question of who are these contestants. Are some or all actors. Are people willing to be exposed for their personality traits for the payoff of fame and notoriety. Do they not care. Surely they must have some idea of what the show is about and that they are subject to be portrayed as the producers wish to, and that they are potentially facing rejection and hurt again and pubic condemnation and all that brings. They clearly must be prepared to take this risk.
Having said that, never in my wildest dreams would I have ever seen myself doing online dating or speed dating and some of the things I did along the way trying to find love again. I was completely out of my comfort zone. I have no issue if people choose untraditional means of finding love. If may just work. Clearly the hunger for love make some people prepared to find it on a national tv program. A female, a Mum and the Dating Game. Entering the Jungle And Surviving. Part 1 : Getting started, A female, a Mum and the Dating Game. Entering the Jungle And Surviving. Part 2 :Online Dating.
I watch MAFS and wonder if there is any genuine personalities and not scripted, with potential Borderline Personality Disorders, narcissistic and sociopathic behaviours, are damaged people due to life experience. How much is genetic and how it will affect their lives going in to the future, and will they ever see the weakness’ in their personalities and seek professional treatment. I feel if they aren’t acting they seriously need it! We have all suffered rejection and know just how much that hurts, and we feel for those we see in emotional pain. I don’t condone at all some of the contestants poor behaviours but are people truly that mean or has the life they’ve lived created this behaviour. I once saw something that said, ‘the ones that need the most love will ask for it in the most unloving way’. People can show emotional pain by behaving in ways we don’t understand, even ourselves sometimes don’t even know we behave poorly due to our emotional pain. Perhaps some of the most ‘unloveable’ are the ones in the most emotional pain. When we are emotionally involved we don’t see ourselves from the perspective of those watching on. I wonder if the individuals on reflection of viewing their behaviours during the airing of the show are surprised or ashamed or regretful of their actions ( those that aren’t actors or scripted). I wonder if ones own life was recorded for 3 or 4 weeks, 24 hours a day would see ourselves from another perspective and if it would change some of our own behaviours. Would we be proud of how we conduct ourselves on a day to day basis.
I have to admit, I’m fascinated by reality tv that focus’ on dynamics within relationships between people. I was a fan of Big Bother when that was on our screens. It fascinated me how strong personalities suppress quieter personalities and how the stronger personalities that weren’t nice eventually got voted out and that allowed the quieter personalities to shine and then those less favourable personalities also got voted out. In the end good always prevailed. The person who was usually left standing was endearing, and overall perceived as nice and caring.
We all want to see good prevail. That kindness, respect and empathy wins. We all enjoy a good love story. And it seems we all love a good train wreck as well!
Love Lucy x
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