Who can forget the drama that had unfolded last year on Married At First Sight (MAFS)? While some of the participants on the reality television series had invested their emotions into the experiment, others ended up disappointing their partners by cheating on them. Jess and Dan both cheated on their partners and soon after, Ines and Sam chose the same unfortunate path. This year, MAFS returns with 20 strangers meeting at the altar after being matched by three relationship experts. After having witnessed many TV relationships going south, it begs the question — Is traditional Matchmaking better than TV romance?
Professional Matchmaker and Relationship Expert of over 27 years, Linda Prescott, reveals what she really thinks.
Are they truly compatible?
I can’t stress this enough…compatibility really is the key to a successful match. Without it, it will fall apart. That’s why at Ideal we spend a lot of time with our clients having them go through our Compatibility Test. This is what we do as traditional Matchmakers, we take the time to understand clients and what they are really looking for. A lot of this has to do with intuition as well and I’m proud to say that 70% of our clients have gone on to have lasting relationships within 12 months. We also have seen more than 1,237 marriages so far thanks to Ideal. That kind of success rate is something you have not seen on TV.
Do they have the right intentions?
Whilst TV romance can be exciting, it can also attract people whose motivations might not be 100% about finding love. At Ideal, we really make sure that our clients are relationship ready. What does this mean? It means they have to have been single for at least 12 months so they are in a good place to start fresh. Everyone who joins Ideal joins for the same reason — to find real love. Not fame, not a career but to start a long term relationship that can progress into something more. When it comes to finding love, you have to start with the right intentions.
Do they fit in with the family?
Remember Cyrell and Nick from MAFS 2019? Although they had developed such strong feelings for each other, they ultimately broke up because the relationship was overshadowed by Cyrell’s over-protective family. Now in MAFS 2020, you can already see the splinters at Hayley and David’s wedding where David’s parents were less than impressed with his bride. Despite his parents’ obvious disapproval, he has decided to pursue the relationship. While on TV it makes great entertainment, in real life, these are real issues that couples and potential couples face — does their partner fit in with the family? As an experienced Matchmaker who has worked with more than 10,000 clients, I would say that for a relationship to last and be part of your extended family, your partner does have to fit in with the family to a certain extent. Maybe not up to the best friend level, but they certainly have to get along.This is where we take the time to learn about the unique character of the client, and from there work on the possible match.
Have they come in with their eyes open?
Any type of Matchmaking comes with a certain element of surprise. But while TV romance tends to shock the candidate, as was Vanessa when Chris revealed after the wedding that he was a father of two kids, traditional Matchmaking actually puts the client in the driver’s seat. The only thing that we keep a mystery is the photo of your date. Other characteristics of your date would have been pre-selected by yourself during the Compatibility Test. Our clients are transparent about who they are from the start…if they have kids, if they want kids and even things like if they prefer someone who doesn’t smoke. With traditional Matchmaking, you get to tell us what you are really looking for as opposed to feeling shocked when your partner reveals an unexpected detail about them.
Do they have what they need to have a successful relationship?
What do people need in order to have a successful relationship? Mutual attraction, an open mind, positivity, mutual respect, the desire to want the relationship to grow and also privacy. It’s understandably hard to develop a relationship when someone is constantly watching you. If you’re part of a TV romance program, you and your partner will constantly be surrounded by the crew because ultimately it is a reality TV show. When it comes to traditional Matchmaking, our clients meet up with each other on their own and are free to explore each other’s personality, interests and character. As members, we do provide them with complimentary consultation whenever they need to speak to an expert if they have any concerns. This gives our clients the privacy to build their relationship and also the support when it is needed.