Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

Married at First Sight

on July 22, 2014
Image Courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/freedigitalphotos.net

Image Courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/freedigitalphotos.net

 

Recently at dinner with a couple of friends, our discussion turned to TV shows that have captured our attention lately. A friend admitted she’s been watching the new reality show on the FYI network called Married at First Sight. I’ve seen the previews for the show, but never really thought about watching it. Later that evening we all decided to watch an episode of our shows with each other. She was appalled at Tiny House Nation where a young couple with a 2-year-old moved into a 172 square foot house. I was equally appalled to watch six people marry each other without ever having met.

The premise of the show is that four experts — a psychologist, a sociologist, a sexologist and a spiritual adviser — match a man and a woman to make a perfect married couple. The people have been extensively interviewed on all aspects of their life. They’ve been grilled on likes and dislikes. Deal breakers in a relationship are discussed. The experts then ponder the information until they hit upon a perfect match for each person.

Upon agreeing to try the marriage for six months, the couples are offered the services of the experts who made their match. They are also promised a free divorce if they choose to end the relationship anytime within those six months. Once the agreements have all been made, the couple finally gets to meet. But unlike other first dates, they dress in wedding finery and meet at the altar to say their vows.

Would you get married on a blind date?! That’s essentially what this is: getting married to someone you’ve never met.

I watched the show with morbid fascination. Every fiber of my being screamed, “This is wrong!” Still, I couldn’t stop watching. I was amazed at some of the observations from the contestants. Shock that they weren’t physically attracted to their spouse. Uncertain about their decision. One contestant actually talked about how this was supposed to be the happiest day of her life while she sat in the corner of the venue crying. And they weren’t happy tears.

Even the one couple that seemed to connect the most had reservations. At picture time, the wedding photos were stilted and stiff.

As I watched this train wreck of a show, I considered what would drive a person to try this. I can’t even imagine marrying someone I’ve never met. Those close to us are vital in helping to make the decision of whom to marry. Often times when we are blinded by love, our family and friends can see the red flags we might miss. Putting your whole marriage in the hands of strangers is a little extreme.

For me, the most concerning part of the show is that these couples start out with the idea that if this doesn’t work, they can get a free divorce. What a way to start a union. Once the door is open to that thought, it makes it easy to go there during the tough times. And there will be tough times for these couples. They may be well-matched, but they are still two people who are not only getting to know each other but they’re having to do it while also learning to live together as a couple.

The show disturbs me, and I never thought it was something I would be interested in, but now that I’ve seen this much I have to watch again. I’m curious to see what happens with these couples. Will any of them make it? Or will they all go through the stress of being on this show only to then have to go through the stress of a divorce?

Would love to hear your thoughts on this TV series. Do these couples have a chance?

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2 responses to “Married at First Sight

  1. themelvilles2012 says:

    Hi Tammie, well this is something we’ve not heard of before! Reality TV shows are becoming more and more fragmented from reality and decreasing the importance of important life decisions, like getting married! Slowly, we are becoming separated from morality perhaps.
    We have an Indian friend whose parents were in an arranged marriage and met at the altar, 30 years later and they are still going strong so the idea of “blind date marriage” could work perhaps? However, the circumstances, such as you describe, are definitely questionable.
    We heard about a TV show recently about people that go on dates but in the nude!!! http://nypost.com/2014/06/26/welcome-to-the-brave-nude-world-of-reality-tv/

    • I think arranged marriage isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The fact that these couples were going into this as an experiment and with the idea that divorce is an option concerned me the most.

      I’ve seen the commercials for that dating naked show and found the idea disturbing.

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