CHERYL TRADES UP FOR LOVE
Tradies won’t get this lady – the Gold Coast’s Cheryl Maitland enters Married at First Sight with plans to attract anyone but a bloke who’s good on the tools
Reality TV loves Gold Coasters just as much as Gold Coasters love reality TV, and season four of controversial relationship series Married at First Sight is no exception. Hair salon manager Cheryl Maitland has a prominent storyline on the show, airing Monday, and says she applied to attract anyone but a tradie.
“I went on the show saying I didn’t want what I usually attract myself; I wanted someone I never would usually approach,” she says.
“I usually go for the tradies, I don’t mean to, but I usually find myself going for that bad boy image. That’s what I usually attract but I don’t want it.”
With Cheryl’s physical attraction to the “tradie” stereotype – muscles, tattoos and a working man’s tan – she was dubious that a different type of guy could catch her eye.
“I initially knew I probably wouldn’t have an attraction or a connection (with my match) so I wanted to work on that and see if it could grow,” she says.
“I feel like attraction is the one thing that starts off a relationship, so I was worried I wouldn’t be attracted to him.
“What if I wasn’t attracted to them – would I ever be attracted to them?”
The notion that her match wouldn’t find her attractive, however, barely crossed the self-confident salon manager’s mind.
“I do get a lot of attention from the opposite sex, so I don’t think I was worried that they wouldn’t find me attractive. I’m definitely not everyone’s cup of tea but at the end of the day I’m confident,” she says. “I feel like confidence is attractive.” So how does a woman with looks, confidence and a readiness to settle down get to the point of allowing strangers to pick her life partner under the voyeuristic eye of a national television audience?
“I just feel like in this society it’s easy to avoid commitment or for relationships to end – it’s so convenient these days to get attention,” Cheryl says.
“Especially with Tinder ... if you have a fight with your boyfriend all you have to do is go on your phone and swipe and there’s someone available to you.
“They didn’t have that when my mum and dad got together. They worked for a relationship and worked through their problems. These days everyone just goes elsewhere to get what they want. It’s hard.”
Cheryl has been stung by a noncommittal dating landscape before, labelling Tinder a “disaster,” after interactions with men who were interested in one night rather than a lifetime.
“I wouldn’t say I’ve tried everything, but I’ve tried Tinder and that was a disaster,” she says.
“I think a lot of people just want to party and have fun and I don’t want that.
“I’ve been there, I’ve done that I want to settle down and have something more serious.
“I am a good judge of character straight away, so when I go on dates, especially on the Gold Coast, I get a vibe.”
Filming is all wrapped up and, if the previous seasons are anything to go by, it won’t be in a neat little package.
Tears, arguments, vulnerabilities, break-ups and emotional fallout are commonplace on Married at First Sight, but Cheryl, never watching the show much, says she was unaware of that.
“I didn’t religiously watch it, I watched a couple of episodes,” she says.
“I didn’t watch the end so I don’t know who stayed together and who didn’t.
“It’s hard to say if it’s a good idea or if it’s not because everyone wants different things. I just put my trust in the experts.”
Viewer backlash has also been an issue for past Married at First Sight contestants, with season three’s local radio announcer Bella Frizza saying on air that she understands how people can become suicidal after suffering online abuse. Cheryl isn’t worried. “I know it’s going to be bad, but I’m not going to let it get to me,” she says.
“I don’t care what people who don’t know me have to say about me.
“It’s stupid to worry about something that’s going to happen anyway, so I’ve just got to surround myself with friends and family who know the real me.”
Although the outcome of her foray into televised matchmaking won’t be publicly revealed until the season finale, Cheryl has one piece of advice for others who might feel like giving up on a happy and healthy relationship.
“Don’t settle just for anything. I definitely know my self-worth and I feel like people shouldn’t settle just to be comfortable or because it’s easy.
“Know your worth.” Married at First Sight season four premieres Monday, Channel 9.