This week’s episode of “Married at First Sight” on FYI, easily vied for the top spot in intensity. As we enter the fourth week of this radical social experiment, emotions were running high, for participants and viewers alike. The focus now is in moving these relationships beyond friendship.
Derek and Heather
You have to be willing to cultivate a friendship in order to move to romance. It takes a desire to be curious and learn about someone’s individuality, without judgment and criticism. It takes building trust by proving you are invested and loyal. With Derek and Heather’s tumultuous honeymoon, they unfortunately never even made it to friendship.
Heather quickly came to the conclusion that she could not see a future with Derek. She clearly didn’t know how to navigate her discomfort with the situation. Her distance shut down any hope of them getting to know each other. While I understand her not wanting to lead him on, it felt like she never gave the relationship a chance.
Despite their rocky start, Derek was committed to their marriage. His hope for success was slim, but he was willing to take the risk, complete the process and use the experience as a learning tool for personal growth. Despite the fact that they are no longer a couple, it appears he will still have the opportunity for that growth.
The experts are going to continue to show support to every couple, even if they decide to get a divorce. ~Dr. Pepper Schwartz
The most compelling thing for me is to see the experts continuing to invest and work with Derek and Heather. It shows they truly care about them as individuals. Dr. Pepper’s advice to hold themselves accountable is spot on. If you can take responsibility and focus on the part you played in the break-up, you can learn from your mistakes and become a better person.
Nick and Sonia
When trying to go from friendship to romance, you have to let your partner know that you care. Depending on how each person defines love, that can look completely different. For Nick, it’s planning a dinner and buying flowers. For Sonia, it’s physical touch. Both their needs have to be met in order for the relationship to develop.
Realistic expectations are essential and patience is key. It’s going to take time and effort for romance to blossom and grow. The desire to take the relationship to the next step must be mutual. It requires kind, yet honest dialogue about what each person needs to move forward. It also takes an unwavering commitment and hard work, every single day. And that’s not easy.
Even the littlest insecurities and concerns they are feeling can start to feel overwhelming. ~Rachel DeAlto
It’s clear that both Nick and Sonia are completely terrified of getting hurt in this process. Sonia is willing to work on the relationship and her lifelong habit of shutting down and walking away from conflict. Nick needs to develop trust to allow himself to be emotionally available. He is uncomfortable talking about his feelings, especially in front of the cameras, and he doesn’t handle the pressure well.
Nick’s harsh words are coming from a place of fear. He’s afraid that Sonia will shut down and walk away from the marriage. Hence, he is building a wall as high as the Miami Four Seasons.
Sonia and Nick have both made mistakes. Unfortunately, any amount of trust that was built, seems to have completely shattered. With only two weeks left, can they forgive one another, leave the past behind them and focus on building a future together?
Tom and Lilly
It takes longer to develop open communication and trust when you start a marriage by building a friendship. One way to speed that along is by reassuring your partner you are committed to the relationship. Tom and Lilly have been great about showing each other they are in it for the long haul.
Spending time as a couple with family is important to moving from friendship to love. Combining two families is even more key. Lilly’s surprise party for Tom was the perfect opportunity for family and friends to intermingle and get to know one another. It allowed their loved ones to see the deep connection they’ve built. When families are accepting and supportive of the marriage, bonds deepen.
Sharing hopes and dreams is another way to build trust. It lets your partner know you are invested in a future with them. Lilly has attempted to have conversations about having a family, but Tom’s comfort zone is in focusing on the present. This is a bit of a conundrum to Lilly.
Building trust means letting our partner know we are there for them, for short and long-term. It means both reassuring them about the present and being willing to discuss the future. Will Tom take Lilly’s needs to heart and be willing to take the conversation to the next level?