Channel 4’s smash hit show Married at First Sight is back for its fourth series and we can’t wait to watch as a brand new group of strangers head down the aisle towards… forever.
Getting help from a panel of relationship experts the show’s star’s take on the massive life commitment in the hope of finding ‘the one’.
But can romance really be boiled down to algorithms and science? Reality Titbit’s exclusive interview with the show’s relationship psychologist Jo Coker reveals the science behind the matchmaking.
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How do you choose the Married at First Sight candidates?
“In the beginning, there are probably 2- 3,000 applicants and those then get filtered down at the very early stages because there are obviously people that this show is not the right for.
We look for people who feel deeply about wanting a relationship and have thought about the complexities it can bring.
Really, we are looking for people who truly want a relationship, not just people who want to be on a TV program.”
Do the candidates get any say in who they are matched up with?
“People do tell us what they consider to be their dealbreakers in relationships – which often women say is bad teeth!
People don’t want somebody who has bad hygiene, who doesn’t take care of themselves or has no ambition.
People tend to want people with similar outlooks to themselves.”
How does the magic matchmaking formula work?
“The matchmaking formula is a combination of interviews, psychological testings and the Q500 algorithm.
The Q500 is a multi-dimensional questionnaire that looks at all aspects of the individual’s psychological makeup and life preferences, including psychological, spiritual, relational, financial, sexual etc.
By collating the scores you obtain a result that gives an indicator as to who in the pool the person might match with.
There are many different factors that go into getting a match and even when the Q500 gives a good result, we may override that if we feel that that the result would not actually predict a good relationship.”
Is the formula failsafe?
“You try and give people the best opportunities but at the end of the day, they have to do the work.
Couples can look marvellous on their wedding day and you can think they are riding off into the sunset but it crashes and burns and similarly, couples can look as if they are going to be problematic and actually it works fantastically.
You can never know how it’s going to work out until you see people negotiate the complexities of a relationship.”
What issues do the couples face in series 4 of Married at First Sight?
“Each series is different and the people are different but a lot of the issues are the same.
I think it increasingly tends to be about unrealistic expectations of what marriage and relationships are.
The problems in the relationships tend to be quite similar, issues with communication, the division of labour, peoples wishes, hopes and dreams for the future.”
MARRIED AT FIRST SIGHT STARTS WEDNESDAY 20TH MARCH ON CHANNEL 4 AT 9 PM