There is much to learn about re­la­tion­ships as the sec­ond sea­son of Nine’s re­al­ity dat­ing show Mar­ried At First Sight hits its stride

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - DARREN CARTWRIGHT Mar­ried At First Sight, Mon­day and Tues­day, 7.30pm on the Nine Net­work



Mar­ried At First

Sight is more than just men­tal junk food, it can teach sin­gles a raft of re­la­tion­ship skills, like ne­go­ti­at­ing for sex, says one of the show’s ex­perts.

Re­la­tion­ship psy­chol­o­gist John Aiken says there’s plenty to be gained from watch­ing the re­al­ity TV se­ries, which re­turned to the Nine Net­work on Mon­day night.

Aiken, psy­chol­o­gist and dat­ing ex­pert Mel Schilling and neu­ropsy­chother­a­pist Tr­isha Strat­ford are re­spon­si­ble for pair­ing the four cou­ples who ap­pear on the sec­ond sea­son.

They in­ter­viewed dozens of can­di­dates and used sev­eral test­ing tech­niques be­fore de­cid­ing who is best suited to meet for the first time at the al­tar, in a com­mit­ment cer­e­mony dis­guised as a wed­ding. Aiken con­cedes the sce­nario of peo­ple meet­ing for the first time at the al­tar is sur­real but there’s a lot more to the show than meets the eye for those still chas­ing their per­fect match.

“It can teach them (sin­gles) a num­ber of things, firstly … the ex­pec­ta­tions you have may not be that re­al­is­tic,” he says. “It teaches you to reeval­u­ate your ex­pec­ta­tions, it also teaches you to ne­go­ti­ate sex. When to have that in a re­la­tion­ship and how to talk about it.

“How to bring up ar­gu­ments or is­sues. All those things go on in the four weeks.”

Sift­ing through the des­per­ate and date­less the sec­ond time around was tougher, says Aiken, be­cause of the Big Brother syn­drome.

“We are now hav­ing peo­ple ap­ply that want no­to­ri­ety, so we have to be as se­lec­tive as pos­si­ble to keep the Big Brother as­pect out of it,” he said.

“Ul­ti­mately, you want some­one who is to­tally com­mit­ted to be­ing in a longterm re­la­tion­ship.”

Clare Ver­rall pre­pares for her big day on Mar­ried At First Sight.

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