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Why I'm applying to be on Married at First Sight

Karen Hardy

Published: March 8 2018 - 8:31PM

At about the halfway point of Wednesday night's tumultuous Married at First Sight dinner party, an ad came on calling for applications for season 2019.

It was like airing an ad for pork during a Jamie Oliver expose on the pig industry.

Why, why, would anyone want to be on this show? Oh yeah, there's the 15 minutes of fame thing. That seems to lure most contestants. But why would you want to subject yourself to scrutiny, baring all your shortcomings, be judged on your appearance, not your personality ... Hang on, how is that any different to other ways we might search for a mate?

I'll admit that while Charlene tore strips off the lads I went to the website where you could apply for MAFS.

I met the early criteria. Over 25, an Australian citizen, single and genuinely looking for love. Dare I actually hit the "apply now" button that would take me further into the process?

Showing some manner of restraint, unusual I know, I decided not to, at least not during the dinner party. Let the night play out and let's see where it goes.

It was Charlene who convinced me that perhaps more feisty women should apply for this show. Women who will call men out over their behaviour. Maybe I was all fired up after attending a new International Women's Day event.

"I'm a woman, and speaking on behalf of women, I wouldn't be comfortable if someone was offering my wife to the rest of the men at the table," she says, looking at Dean.

Now I'm not usually a person who likes other women speaking on her behalf, but Charlene was speaking for all us at this point. Not the feminist Dean.

When Troy told Charlene to pipe down I wanted to poke him in the eye. Actually I've wanted to poke Troy in the eye from the moment I saw him clean his teeth but that's a different story.

But then are feisty women well received? We all saw what happened to Davina. And whatever you think about her and Dean's behaviour, she was ballsy enough to go after what she wanted.

Jo too didn't kowtow to any expectations. She was loud and raucous, judged, and let's own it, because of her size, the minute the lummox Sean saw her at the wedding. That "Oh shit," was the most horrible moment of the whole season.

Even Gabrielle has been judged for daring to suggest that she wanted an "intimate" relationship with Nasser. God knows why. He's been the biggest disappointment of the show. No wonder he's 50 and still single. Karen doesn't comprehend how anyone who talks about themselves in the third person so much can be taken seriously. There's even talk that Gabrielle is being deliberately cruel in her treatment of Nasser, flipping on her decision to leave. How dare a woman want a relationship to work on her terms.

There are other things that might work against a successful application too. I've never had plastic surgery, my lips are my own, I don't giggle enough (Melissa, you're 53, not 13), I don't have that many Instagram followers, I wouldn't be happy if they typecast me as the fat girl with a great personality, nor as the sad middle-aged person who has never known love.

So why should I apply? For me it comes back to that entry condition of genuinely looking for love. I still believe in love. I still believe I will find love. I hope to find love. I'll have a lot of love to give that person when I do.

I probably picked a bad week to reignite my relationship with Tinder. After last week's commitment ceremony I thought, why not? I'm not going to find love sitting here in my pyjamas on my couch. (But how fabulous would that be, to one day come home and find a nice man on the lounge, with a cuppa waiting and the footy on? There's an idea for a reality show.) But not one match all week.

Surely MAFS couldn't be worse? Surely the experts could help even me?

Ironically, during the last few years of my marriage, when things were getting rocky, John Aiken was involved in a show called Making Couples Happy which aired on the ABC. He, and a different team of experts, worked with couples with problems ranging from poor communication, financial issues, lack of work/life balance, lack of intimacy.

This show was a better use of his time. I even rushed out and bought the book which accompanied the series. Odd that it's not on my bookshelf now. Wonder what happened to it? The book, not my marriage.

But am I ready to write the next chapter of my life? And is MAFS the answer? Vote yes or no.

This story was found at: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/canberra-life/why-im-applying-to-be-on-married-at-first-sight-20180308-h0x76x.html