Nikki Mitropou­los, 32

STU­DENT NURSE

WHO - - Television -

Un­like the other “wives,” whose mar­riages ended in divorce, Nikki’s hus­band died trag­i­cally, four days be­fore son Daniel, 9, was born.

How did you sign up?

When I ap­plied, it was a bit of a joke, to be hon­est. We had a cou­ple of glasses of wine, me and my girl­friends. And they’re like, “Let’s ap­ply.” So we did. I had no idea what I wrote in my ap­pli­ca­tion. Then I got the phone call. I didn’t want to be a part of those dat­ing shows, I can’t do the whole fight­ing with other peo­ple. All [four of us] said at the be­gin­ning if it’s any­thing like The Bach­e­lor, we didn’t want to do it. So when we found out it was about get­ting back into dat­ing af­ter be­ing through pretty heavy things in our lives, that made it a lot eas­ier.

Was it a dif­fi­cult process?

I lost my hus­band nearly 10 years ago. Then I was in a re­la­tion­ship, but that ended. When I got on the show and re­alised I’m go­ing to be dat­ing, I was like, “I don’t think I’m ready for this.” It was over­whelm­ing—very.

And now?

I’m happy. I was con­stantly fear­ing, be­cause I had been through trau­matic loss. But I can’t pro­tect my­self and my child by hold­ing back and lock­ing my­self away. That’s the part of me that has changed. It’s al­lowed my­self to do what I’ve al­ways wanted to do, but been too scared to.

“Matthew saw right through me,” says Nikki of Hussey. “He saw every­thing I’ve been try­ing to hide from the world. He’s not just a dat­ing coach.”

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