Season 4 of FYI‘s radical social experiment, “Married at First Sight”, has two new experts joining sociologist Dr. Pepper Schwartz. The addition of pastor Calvin Roberson and relationship expert, Rachel DeAlto brings fresh ideas and opportunities for growth…for both couples and the viewing audience.
As an equity/social justice advocate, one of my guiding principles is building relationships through the sharing of stories. I recently had the privilege of connecting with Rachel and learning she shares that philosophy. Here is a glimpse of her story, as it relates to Married at First Sight:
As a life coach and hypnotherapist, I work with people to find and keep love – while releasing the emotional pains of the past. Everyone has a past – some more traumatic than others, but every past has an impact on your ability to have healthy relationships. Family of origin, life events and self-created patterns, all play a role.
People often ask how you become a relationship expert – as well as, “how can a lawyer be a relationship expert?” or “how can you be a relationship expert and not be married?” My answer is experience. Yes, I was a lawyer before I was a coach, but my skill set as an attorney revolved around my ability to read people and situations, as well as mediate tense interactions and adversaries. These are assets I value heavily in my work now.
Also, I was married. Not every relationship is meant to last forever. My marriage resulted in beautiful children and many lessons. My divorce and co-parenting continues those lessons to this day. I believe that my experience has made me even more empathetic and compassionate as I have been on both ends of the spectrum. I’ve walked the mile, and then some!
I was immediately drawn to “Married at First Sight” because of the heart. So many reality shows are based on drama, but not #MAFS. We are ALL all about the love. From the network to the CEO of Kinetic, to every person on the team (on camera and off), we all want these couples to fall madly in love and grow as people. I would never get involved in something that played on emotions for ratings (trust me, I’ve been offered). There is so much integrity and authenticity in this show.
I think any individual brings a different lens based on life experience. I am eternally optimistic, yet pragmatic. I am loving and empathetic, yet firm in my opinions and advice. I’ve had the honor of working with hundreds of singles and couples, and to be able to bring that experience to the show is so gratifying.
I feel that more is more when it comes to expert connection! These people just married complete strangers and are about to go on vacation with them. There are so many emotions in those first couple days that it made complete sense to sit down with them and validate all of their feelings.
Vulnerability is essential in ANY relationship and certainly when marrying a stranger. One of my favorite quotes is, “There isn’t anyone you couldn’t love once you’ve heard their story”. Being vulnerable in this situation means sharing your story, but sharing your story means they have so much to admire and fall in love with. So many keep their walls up and miss the opportunity to truly connect on a heart-to-heart level.
There are a couple challenges I see, the first is patience. There is a natural desire to dive into the marriage as a traditional husband and wife; to expect the other to know and anticipate your needs and desires and to have exactly what and who you have always envisioned as a partner. However, these are complete strangers, and they need to remember patience in growing their marriage. There is no right way to be as a couple after a day, a week, or a month.
The second challenge is energy level. The participants go from their normal lives and careers to being married (to a stranger) while being filmed at all hours and talking about their feelings nonstop. Its intense and can be an exhausting transition.
I often remind them to engage in self care. We all have stores of energy that can become depleted, but our couples need to make sure they are taking care of themselves so that they are thinking clearly and acting kindly.
It’s going to sound cheesy, but how much I love these participants. I’ve become friends with former clients and am friendly with current clients, but the Married at First Sight cast have a special place in my heart. They are ALL such good people.
Nick is the king of jokes and memes. I should start a file. He’s a funny guy with a great heart. I hope that the viewers see his sweet side. Sonia, ah Sonia, she’s just a pure shining light. She’s got such a beautiful heart, and was an absolute pleasure to work with. She’s always looking to grow and learn…an amazing soul.
Derek & Heather
Derek is just adorable and hilarious. He’s a two feet in kinda guy. He is unbelievably earnest and authentic. Heather is an absolute doll and can whip out the witty banter like no one else. When we were in the matching process, she was the first person I met that I said, “I want to hang out with her!” She’s also strong and so smart. I know the viewers are going to see all of those sides.
Tom & Lilly
Tom and Lilly are just great, sweet, honest people. Tom has so many more sides than just his bus. He too is a sponge – always looking to do better and learn. He’s also unbelievably charismatic and just a great guy. Lilly. Oh I love Lilly. She is a powerhouse, but so sweet – the best combo. She’s always willing to look at herself and listen, and comes from a place of love.