Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Married at First Sight - Journey Through the Lens of a Viewer S:3 E:13



In the 3 seasons of watching Married at First Sight, we’ve seen candidates come from very different walks of life, in an effort to find love. Each person brings a diverse background and a set of experiences that make them unique and relatable.

My blog has not been a recap of the show, rather a record of how viewers like me can learn and grow their own relationship from watching it.

As the season is coming to a close, I want to share my thoughts on what it takes for this social experiment to be successful.

First of all, I believe in the science behind Married at First Sight. I know romance can grow from friendship because I’ve experienced it myself in a past relationship. I also know for it to work, your heart and mind have to be wide open. 

Despite their best efforts, there are things the experts cannot predict. 

The assessments are self-reflective so there are no guarantees a candidate’s own personal views are how they will portray themselves in reality. Being willing to change and then actually following through can be like night and day. There is no way to prepare for this.

Photo credit: Kinetic Content
Chemistry is another thing that cannot be predicted, nor the willingness or unwillingness to work to develop chemistry, if it isn’t instant. 

A third factor, and perhaps the most important, is how candidates will react in front of cameras. You may think you know how you will respond, but having a record of your every word, thought, action and emotion on camera for the world to see, can be a scary thing. It can totally change a person.

Photo credit: Kinetic Content
A critical component for  success of this social experiment is to put your complete trust in the experts. What does that mean?

  • Ask each expert why you were matched with your partner and use their extensive knowledge and scientific data to guide you
  • Go in with an open mind and be willing to change
  • Be inquisitive, ask questions and seek knowledge about your spouse
  • Find commonalities and ways to connect
  • Listen to and apply the advice the experts give, both personally and as a couple
  • Participate fully in the activities and exercises they assign
  • Follow through with your commitment to the process and stay engaged

We all want the couples to find love and live their happily ever after. But at the end of the day, it’s about the life lessons that can be learned from watching Married at First Sight. If we can take even a single golden nugget and apply it to ourselves or our relationship, then we’ve all grown from this journey. 


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Watch Season 3 of Married at First Sight on Tuesdays at 9/8c on FYI and A&E


Friday, February 19, 2016

Married at First Sight S:3 E:12 Top Tweets

Top Tweets

I'm on vacay in beautiful southern California this week, so I had the privilege of live tweeting Married at First Sight just east of L.A. After taking a few weeks off from doing my Top Tweets blog, it was so much fun reading through your tweets. Thanks to everyone for your light-hearted, humorous contributions. 
Here we go!




































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Watch Season 3 of Married at First Sight on Tuesdays at 9/8c on FYI and A&E

Follow me on Twitter @realitvwithbee and live tweet using #MarriedAtFirstSight or #MAFS







Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Married at First Sight - Journey Through the Lens of a Viewer S:3 E:11


We are coming down the homestretch of season 3 of Married at First Sight and things are getting real between the couples. 

This week I will share my lens on how I see conflict and keeping an open mind as it relates to this social experiment.



Photo credit: Kinetic Content






Conflict

Resolving conflict can be a tricky thing when you and your spouse know each other well and have an established relationship. However, when you marry a stranger, there is no chance of that happening. You have to hit the ground running.

What's even more tricky in conflict, is when the information presented from both sides does not align. When your words become a battle of who's wrong and who's right, compromise or resolution is nearly impossible. Frustrations mount and either tempers rise or you shut down. 

To further complicate things, what you are in conflict over is usually a much deeper issue that takes time to uncover. In this social experiment, time is one thing you don't have. 

There are different levels of conflict. Everyone has deal-breakers set in place by their past experiences and moral compass. When those deal breakers are violated and trust is broken, it takes time and a willingness from both partners to build it again. 

Being Married at First Sight is a risk to take, but when you find the love of your life, it's a risk worth taking. So how do you successfully maneuver in this social experiment?


Open Mind and Heart

Photo credit: Kinetic Content
These couples have the tremendous opportunity to receive relationship advice, both as individuals and as couples. The four experts invest in the success of these marriages and hold nothing back when it comes to speaking their truth. They give the couples advice and tools to succeed, but it's up to them to do the work. 

After watching all three seasons of Married at First Sight, I see a common thread between the success of this social experiment and having an open mind.

Having an open mind is creating a healthy environment in which you are able to learn and grow as a person. It takes brutal honesty; a willingness to take a hard look at yourself. Are you able to take in and receive new information, new concepts, new ideas? 

When your mind is open, you are able to learn from your mistakes. You take the advice from the experts, apply it to your marriage and willingly participate in the activities and homework.

With an open mind you allow yourself to get to know someone that may not be your type. You can see their potential and build a connection, based on shared common interests and values. You grow to care for them as a person, through your shared experience. 
Photo credit: Kinetic Content

When you treat yourself and others with respect, it creates an environment where your partner can be honest and open in return. This sets the tone for a strong foundation. 

Being flexible is key in staying open to this process. One of my favorite sayings:
If you are flexible, you won't get bent out of shape. ~Anonymous
Let go of your preconceived notions of a fairytale and let your happily ever after happen. Having an open mind allows you to open your heart. When you open your heart, all things are possible. 


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Season 3 of "Married at First Sight" is on Tuesdays at 9/8c on FYI and A&E



Follow me on Twitter @realitvwithbee and live tweet using #MarriedAtFirstSight or #MAFS









Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Women of #BlackLove S:1 E:8 & 9 Maybe Baby/Crash the Party


As we near the end of the #BlackLove journey, we've seen all five women go through a great deal of personal growth. 

Jae


Jae admits that in the beginning she did not believe in "the one". With the help of Jack and Damona, she was able to realize she's been running away from the hurt of past relationships. Now Jae has hope of finding someone to love and commit to.

Jae tells me, "A personal challenge I had is letting go of preconceived notions about what younger men and women would be like as potential partners. Damona councils that perhaps if I open myself up, I might find someone younger like me with as much to offer as I do." 

Jae takes their advice to heart. She ends her relationship with Bentley, leaving her feeling unrestricted and free to explore her relationship with Nneka. She is happy and smiling with this second chance at finding love. Whether that's with Nneka or someone else, Jae has opened herself up to all possibilities.



Cynthia

Cynthia gets an uplift on her online dating profile to better show and express who she really is. With Damona's help, she connects with Keith, who seems perfect for her in so many ways. 

They grab a cup of coffee at a cute little hole in the wall shop and the conversation is free-flowing and easy. Keith has also been divorced, so the two connect from their shared experience. Cynthia admits she enjoys the giddy, girly feeling...something she hasn't felt in a long time. 

Cynthia refers to this as a life reset moment and states, "I didn't expect to find love at the end of this process. It was more about making a decision, healing and starting over. Maybe there will have to be a season two because now I'm ready...for real!" 



Monet


Although Monet is more open in her personality, she's had to push herself out of her comfort zone in this process. She shares, "My personal challenge was overcoming my trust issues. These workshops started to break down my walls and expose things about myself I typically kept hidden."

Monet realizes one of those hidden pieces was her concern over her biological clock. The decision to have her eggs frozen took the pressure off having babies. Knowing her future family is secure leaves her more relaxed and chill. 

Monet felt immediate sparks on her two dates with Kyle but the fact that he hasn't called leaves her wondering if she overshared about her divorce. Having learned she wants a gentleman, Monet resists calling Kyle. She now knows that it's okay to be herself and the right man will love all of her. 


Tennesha


Tennesha decides to take her relationship with Errol to the next level and have him meet her parents, who are flying in from Minnesota (yay!). Their opinion definitely holds weight with her. Errol is honored and sees it as a sign that there is a future for them.

The epitome of vulnerability for Tennesha would be telling Errol she loves him. It's hard for Tennesha to trust judgment. She knows what it feels like to be on a level of commitment that isn't returned and it's not a chance she is willing to take yet. 

Will she finally open up and tell Errol she loves him next week? She reveals to me, "My biggest lesson comes at the end of the season, so you'll have to watch and see! I will say, that I learned that there is power in vulnerability. I had the ultimate test of openness and vulnerability and I realized just how far I had come." 


La


While her boo Karl is away visiting family in Ireland, La realizes her feelings for him run deep. She's super bummed thinking Karl won't be back in time for her birthday, but Karl has a surprise in store.

He has the girls arrange a photo shoot, which in reality is a surprise birthday party for La. Not only that, he flies home early to be with her. Women across the world are melting and wishing they had a Karl in their lives. 

When La sees what Karl has done for her, she gets emotional. La says she is no longer afraid of opening up, but haven't heard the "L" word yet. Will she be able to finally tell Karl she is in love with him? We have our fingers crossed for next week! 



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Tune in to the season finale of #BlackLove Tuesday at 10:15/9:15c on FYI

Follow me on Twitter @realitvwithbee and live tweet using #BlackLove


#BlackLove Blogs & Interviews:





Screencaps made by Bee, courtesy of FYI and A&E







Friday, February 5, 2016

Married at First Sight - Journey Through the Lens of a Viewer S:3 E:10


It's 4th of July week on Married at First Sight and the fireworks are out in full force. All three couples continue to push through and tackle some really difficult issues. 

The common thread my husband and I saw this week was trust. We sat down and had a conversation about what trust looked like for each of us and how it's changed in our marriage over the years. Why do we love Married at First Sight? Because this is the first time in over 30 years we've had this conversation. Amazing.


Defining Trust

In the early years of our relationship, we made some mistakes when it came to trust. The first one, was assuming we both felt the same way about trust. Those assumptions caused some initial conflict.  

The next mistake we made was talking to other people about what trust should look like in our relationship. The truth is, there is no one outside of the two of us that can define trust between us; no family members, friends or other well-intended people. 

A third mistake was criticizing our spouse when their perception of trust was different from our own. 

Through the years, we learned that trust is based on the core experience of who we are. It's something we work on every single day, both individually and as a couple. It can be fluid, based on day-to-day life.  


Building Trust

Relationships are a journey of trial and error. When you're building trust, there are bumps in the road that can cause cracks in the foundation. 

Great communication is the key to smoothing the bumps. When you open up and allow yourself to be vulnerable, you let your partner know you trust them with your innermost thoughts and feelings. 

Equally as important, when your partner is speaking, listen with support, empathy and compassion. We saw some great examples of both of these this week. 


Honor Your Word
There is a very simple formula to build authentic trust. It's when someone's words match their behaviors, over time. ~Dr. Joseph Cilona
Standing by your word is important, whether it is staying committed to living together, speaking in a thoughtful or respectful manner to each other, coming home at the time you are expected, sticking to the number of guests you invite to a party, or being honest about who you are going out with. Honoring your word shows you are reliable.


Invest in Your Relationship
The greatest relationships are built from really great friendships. That's the way to build a connection, closeness, intimacy, trust. ~Dr. Logan Levkoff
Finding out about your spouse through shared activities, friends and family is major. Learning about their culture, religion, hobbies, personality, or finding a better way to communicate, shows you are making the effort to get to know and understand them. The couples are making attempts at this and we see progress. 


Plan For Your Future

When you talk about the future, whether it's relationship goals, where you will live, or the ability to see your spouse as a parent to your kids, it sends a message that you are in this for the long haul. Although it's only been 4 weeks, those conversations are starting to happen with the couples.


Here are the take-aways from our discussion as it relates to trust in this episode:

Consider Your Partner's Feelings

Feeling respected, honored, listened to and valued are critical components for building trust. Given the short time frame of this social experiment, it's critical to fully invest in the process to build and strengthen the foundation of trust. 
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It's common to want to dismiss your partner's feelings to justify your actions. Building trust is when you acknowledge your partner's thoughts and feelings, even when you don't agree with them. Sometimes we just need acceptance and understanding, not justification. 
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There is risk involved when inviting a friend of the opposite sex to a gathering early in your relationship. The thin veil of trust you've worked so hard to build can be easily torn. Is it worth the risk? A mutual decision with the utmost consideration of each other's feelings will determine if and when you are ready for this.  
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When you express confidence in your mate and your feelings for them in front of others, it gives them a sense of security.  
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If you need space or a break from an intense emotional conversation, it's important to do it in a way that leaves your partner feeling they can always depend on you to be there, even when you disagree. 
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At times your partner will respond to a question in public in a way that you don't agree with. Having a private conversation at a later date will give them the opportunity to explain themselves, while keeping their integrity intact.

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Through the examples set forth by the experts and participants, these are the lessons my husband and I learned from watching the show this week. We are not experts or paid writers, rather we are sharing our journey to strengthen our marriage by watching Married at First Sight.



Season 3 of "Married at First Sight" is on Tuesdays at 9/8c on FYI and A&E