At First Sight–3

Okay, last couple but first, I hit 1,000 likes on this blog! (Cue trumpets and streamers).

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Thank you all so much for coming around and reading my stuff, I never knew if this was going to work out, and after about 4 years, it’s been a really fun journey of finding my writing style and interests. If I went back, I could trace kind of how I grew up through this, I started it when I was 16, and I’m 21 now. That’s an important chunk of my life and this is like a documentation of what I was into and learning all that time.

Okay, now that I’ve acknowledged that, let’s get back to the show:

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My favorite couple was Jamie and Doug, mostly because I freaking called it, but also because Doug was just this gem of a person, and he was actually funny. No joke, he did stand up comedy as a hobby, and his down to earth approach to the whole experiment just gave it legitimacy.

If everyone who tried it had Doug’s attitude, it might be a good idea to do.

Jamie was a basket case, but no more so than I am, or anyone else who’s had a hard childhood and been left to deal with it was best as they could.

I did like that Jamie admitted her issues, and worked to overcome them. The whole thing was a trial by fire for her, she had problems with trust, and committing and feeling safe, getting married was like the “kill or cure” method for her, much like for Jason.

but Jamie was humble enough to admit she got herself into this and she needed to give it her best shot. Also, I would have been psyched out by the pressure too, so I couldn’t’ really judge her for crying and panicking, I’ve had those moments.

Like Jamie, when I’ve put a lot of thought and effort into something, I can break down when it suddenly grew from an idea to a reality. As a teen I was sometimes shy, and anxious about being away from home. I’d go to Church camp, or on a mission trip, and some break down would inevitably follow, because I bottle my emotions up and don’t ask for help till I’m so overwhelmed I get physically sick.

I’ve worked on that lately, but I sometimes still wake up and have gagging episodes of stress induced reactions. (Also allergies and environment contribute).

Or I get really drained emotionally because when I feel things, I feel them keenly. I think it’s an empath thing.

Anyway, Jamie’s reaction was too real for me because of all that, but Doug was the kind of person who would have made me feel better. Calm, not taking it personally, funny, and patient.

See, the breakdown is kind of an unintentional self-sabotage. You believe you can’t do something, so you go into panic mode to get other people to come to the same conclusion, you think they will. When someone believes in you regardless, and encourages you, it’s a bonding moment.

Like Jamie, I have trust issues and have had to pull myself together so much, I don’t really know when to let someone else help me. By the time I realize I need help, I’m really worked up.

So, again, this show was kind of enlightening, maybe the reason I am this way is like her, it’s my response to the past. Like her, I also know I am this way and want to work at it, but my own weakness trip me up.

Doug was great, he deserves respect for how much he put up with, and he didn’t grudge her for needing time. Jamie herself alter regretted being quite so challenging, but we all know, she almost couldn’t help it, she was fighting her demons as hard as she could, and she went along with the counselors advice even though she admitted she wouldn’t have been comfortable doing it if it was just up to her.

her guts to do it regardless matched up with Doug’s willingness to put in the work. They were the best match. I wondered why the experts seemed to doubt it would work out. It might just have been to create tension, bu they thought Jamie might be too mistrusting.

It’s rough because she really was struggling, but you could tell Jamie is an overcomer. She works on her flaws. It’s not always a pretty picture to do so, but life isn’t always picture perfect.

And that’s why I think maybe we can learn the most form their example.

Even assuming you find someone who is not abusive, not selfish, and not a quitter, you have to make it work. It won’t work for you by itself.

Doug expressed his attitude that it was too much to expect it to go perfectly. he hoped for the best, but he was going to give it his best try even if it wasn’t what he wanted. Jamie did end up being what he wanted, and he put work into it. Jamie kept pulling back, and then trying again, it was a long process. It almost ended when Doug lied to her.

But Doug showed way more maturity than Vaughn did, in that he took responsibility, did not justify his actions, admitted he was still working on it, but then said it really wasn’t important enough to toss the whole thing out over.

and yeah, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Jamie was hurt by Doug, certainly.

The people close to you can and will hurt you, deeply, where it counts.

It’s not even because they are flawed, though that’s part of it, it’s because people are easily hurt. We misunderstand each other, often without meaning to we base our assessments of each other on assumptions.

I have friends who have triggered my abandonment issues by doing things that aren’t really that bad, maybe aren’t bad at all, but any little lack of engagement can make me feel like they are losing interest in me.

Why?

Well, I had a dad who told me he would give up on trying with me multiple times, till I could predict when he would say it. I realized it was cowardice after awhile, but also the message that I was not worth enough to him to push past his own insecurities was hammered in.

And that, by the way, is very painful.

Cinema has a habit of making insecurities and backstory justify everything, as I mentioned in the last post. But they don’t.

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I know because the people who succeed most as what really matters, they do it because they push past their insecurity.

If you know you are insecure, and you let that define your life. You don’t risk love because you  know you tend to mess it up, you don’t risk trying to win because you know you will fear failing, then you are giving in. You let the darkness win. End of story.

It will always be the end, until you yourself decide you’ve had enough of unhappiness.

In my life, about a year into being a Christian, God presented me with the challenge of choosing to heal, to lean into His love, and not let people define what I could do.

I am still living that out today. My life is far from my dream version of what I want. But, in 8 years, not everything you want will happen.

The point is, even if I’m still waiting for some things, I have changed.

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I choose to love people even though I not only know to expect hurt, I actually can predict exactly how it will come. Being an empath, I can gauge what people feel about me, and if they are really concerned about me, or themselves.

It made my past more hurtful, because I stopped being able to lie to myself about my dad. I knew he didn’t love me, I knew even, that he hated me.

Yet, I did not stop loving him. I still do.

I don’t love my dad because I get something gout of it. At this stage, it is doubtful I ever will get a thing out of it. But he is my dad, he’s a person, and I can understand him, even if I don’t look up to him.

I would want to be loved despite my flaws. Jamie and Doug’s story hit me about where it counts the most.

Before marriage, you may know the person, but you won’t really, truly know them, know what sets them off, what they fear most, what they hate, until yo live with them nonstop.

You can go into it with the attitude that they’ll help you fix all your problems and won’t ever have any of their own that aren’t minor.

Or, you can do what Doug did, and realize that no one is perfect, everyone has a past.

Doug didn’t judge, he just accept Jamie and her family as what they were. Warts and all, as the saying goes.

His outlook was that he could not be disappointed, if he didn’t put unrealistic expectations on her. He was hurt a little, but he didn’t go into a tailspin when it didn’t go the way he wanted, because he knew it wasn’t all up to him.

He knew also that Jamie was dealing with past memories and he couldn’t expect her to not react based on that sometimes, but he had to be responsible for himself.

I don’t think he’d put all this into words, it was just in his actions and manner.

 

And hey, guys, that’s all it has to be. Don’t worry about trying to say all this stuff. Just do it, and the girl will get it eventually, if she’s Miss Right.

But this can just as easily be a Man thing too.

Women have a harder task in marriage often because men will resist help even more than we will. Men get told that’s normal. Jason and Cortney kind of ran into that problem.

But, when God made Marriage, it was actually the needs of the Man he was considering. Eve was made for Adam to solve the problem of loneliness, to give him his other half, because as our modern lingo has put it “I can’t do life without you.”

Adam really couldn’t do life without Eve, plain and simple.

And men, if you’re reading this, this is great news for you. It validates the fact that you have needs, just as much as women do, and in fact, God designed companionship with that idea in mind.

It’s like Women know this more because we are made to be the answer to the problem. I mean, you’d better know what problem you’re supposed to be helping, right?

So, if the first man himself, even before sin, needed a woman, then every married couple should know that the man need his wife’s support just as much as she needs his.

(It’s kind of telling that it took God to point this out even in the first story, though. Men still don’t always get it. Until they see it.)

So, ladies, don’t think your man doesn’t need you to be patient, caring, and not take things personally with him either.

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And personally, I am expecting my husband to need that. In fact, I expect him to probably have less of an idea why he needs it than I do. Again, women tend to know more about this. I’m okay with him not getting it right away as long as he know sits important, and thank God women are naturally more patient then men, usually.

See, it makes a kind of sense doesn’t it?

Anyway, I think the real difference can be most women will not just be supportive silently, like men are, they will explain it. But there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you don’t over do it.

Jason and Cortney also demonstrated this, Cortney was far more verbal about helping Jason, but Jason still did it, he just didn’t talk through it as much.

And we need both the words and the deeds, sometimes women don’t need to explain it either, other times men need to be able to explain it.

Doug and Jamie illustrate why, actually.

Now that we have a fallen world, misunderstanding is not likely, it’s guaranteed. I don’t care how in sync you are, you’ll misread each other.

Case in point, my sisters and I can guess what the others are going to say, we talk in unison all the time, some people think we’re twins (we are all at least a couple years apart and it’s weird.) Plus, I’m an empath and can read their emotions really well. And we still have miscommunications almost daily over dumb stuff. We have almost all the same opinions on things, and yet we still step on each other’s toes. And we’re all girls.

So, you can bet two people of the opposite sex who have not grown up in the same house are going to the same thing, probably way more often than we do.

It’s okay, just accept it and don’t let it get to you. I think more couples need to hear that advice.

Anyway, in summary, Jamie and Doug just basically showed how to be married, not just how to date, and be a friend. Marriage means sharing all your problems, event he ones you can’t help each other with, but you still need to talk about, just so you know it.

Glad they stayed together and got their own spin off show. Which I may watch if I can.

And so, that was my experience of Married at First Sight. Did I surprise you with what I took out of it? What I didn’t like?

My thoughts on the experiment are that they got lucky, because they missed something that the two couple who succeeded demonstrated.

You just can’t plan for this one thing: Drive.

If people choose to make it work, they can make almost anything work. If they don’t try, then no matter how compatible they are, it won’t work.

Monet and Vaughn were the most compatible by the test scores, but Vaughn didn’t know how to live with anyone.

The other two couples got that they had to make it a success, no one else could do it for them.

So, they did. Because both people were on the same page.

Marry someone you know will work at it, that’s my takeaway.

And no test can predict that. It’s a choice moment by moment, and it can be undone at any time, the person has to daily decide to do it.

So, no, I’m not about to let scientists choose my husband, but it’s also not really worse than choosing one without asking any of the real questions. It’s not invalid, it’s just risky. Better to know yourself what you should look for in a spouse.

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

Can check out my other writing on Amazon and Wattpad 🙂

 

 

https://www.wattpad.com/user/worldwalkerdj

Arrival at UA by worldwalkerdj

At first Sight-2

Picking up from the last post about “Married at First Sight.” I’m going to talk about (cue MC announcer voice):

Couple No#2

Ugh… Monet and Vaughn.

First of all, I like Monet fine. She’s got sass and guts, and I think she tried to be the mature person.

If you clicked on this post because you watched the show, I bet you know what the attitude towards Vaughn was. People did not like him, and with good reason.

I feel bad for the guy in a way, but he was one stubborn jackass, and he said a lot of stuff on public television to incriminate himself, so I think it’s fair game now to critique what happened.

Now, Vaughn came off as kind of self-satisfied even before the marriage happened. He seemed to have high standards, but not about the things you’d think would matter. He and Monet both wanted a more traditional set=up, the man leads, and takes charge while the woman cooks or supports.

Monet was no cook, as it turned out, and Vaughn didn’t let that one go.

However, Monet also didn’t like that Vaughn lacked direction in his life, he had a job, a  nice set up, had been in the military, but didn’t have a real life goal planned out.

What bugged me and my sister about Vaughn was how familiar he was. He hit all the sore spots we’d had from our father. In fact, we recognized the exact same turns of phrase, tones, and ploys that out dad used. Word for word, sometimes.

Like our dad, Vaughn was always changing what he said. He’d want one thing one day, and the next day another. A classic sign of an abuser is their changing their wishes every other day and blaming you for doing what they said to do the day before.

Vaughn also attacked Monet’s personality, even though he asked for bubbly, her cheerfulness wore on him, apparently. He didn’t feel like talking, he did feel like sex a lot, and they had sex a lot. Mistake one, I thought.

I am not against sex in marriage, of course. But getting right to it and not setting up any kind of trust or parameters first was probably appealing to the baser instincts in human sexuality, and that’s not a great foundation fro marriage.

I personally would not have had sex with someone I just met, because in my mind marriage is binding once you’ve had sex, annulment is only acceptable when it hasn’t come to that yet. The Bible teaches that it’s sex that binds a couple together spiritually and physically, and so the only grounds for annulment would be if that binding hasn’t happened.

The Bible says that even if you divorce, if its for any reason other than infidelity, to remarry is to commit adultery. There is grace, thank goodness, as many people remarry before becoming Christians, and the word is clear that we should not leave our spouses over that, don’t add another split to the first one, but don’t make that mistake again.

This made rooting for Monet and Vaughn complicated. I would not live with a man like that, but I wouldn’t consider myself free to divorce and remarry till he cheated. I have little doubt he would have, however, from his attitude. And them, it’s fair game.

But even so, it’s a tragic thin to divorce, and why this experiment was risky.

It was frustrating to watch this couple, because the longer the show went, the more signs of abusive behavior Vaughn showed. He didn’t hit her (that would have put an end to it at once, I think) and I don’t think he’d be the type to do it, he was more of the passive abuser. The emotional manipulator who tries to make themselves out to be the victim, while contradicting themselves and criticizing you for what they praised the day before.

Vaughn also did what I thought he would do, after seeing how he and his mom interacted on camera, and got her involved in their fights. Which, guys, you should never do. If your mom has to take your side against your wife, you’re relying on her too much. your wife had better be cheating on you or abusing you if its gotten to that point. Same thing with husbands and fathers. No woman should get her daddy to chew her husband out unless her husband is violent and dangerous, or cheating. I think that’s just common sense.

It’s your parents job to parent your significant other. It’s beautiful when in-laws can give nurturing care to each other, but they are not “raising” your spouse. Respect has to be maintained.

Sorry for that soapbox moment, but jeez the counselors should have told Vaughn that.

Actually, I was amazed these “experts” did not spot this behavior a mile away.

I think I figured out why, since the whole thing had to be anonymous, they didn’t ask the parents and friends of these people what they were like.

But hear me on this, if you’re single, you will never get a real idea of someone’s character till you ask the people who have to live with them or interact with them on a regular basis. Even workplace people will know more about them in some ways than you will, as their SO.

The guy I’ve been crushing on for years has a great family, and I’ve some knowledge of how he interacts with them. Not as much as I need, but enough to look promising. I have lots of friends who I can tell a lot about by how I see them talk to their families. One family interaction can speaks books worth of knowledge about a person. Even if it’s 5 seconds long.

The audience found out later that Vaughn told his mom how Monet was treating him badly, and omitted that she apologized. Color me not surprised, I expected as much, my ad used to dot he same thing, still does for all I know.

Vaughn talked to Monet just like how my dad would talk to my mom, but to Monet’s credit, she saw through the bull-crap. Not being in love gave her no room for blinders or rose colored glasses, I think she held back during the initial filming out of consideration for privacy, but later she called him out on it beautifully.

To my chagrin, the experts and show host did not really side with her enough. They didn’t admit to making a mistake and not accounting for Vaughn’s destructive tenancies.

Now, the thing is, his mom would not have called him abusive. He’s her little boy, though she did give him some flack for how he acted. But you don’t need the relatives and friends to tell you they’re abusive, you just need to know to ask the right questions. Here’s a few to try:

“Does he/she take responsibility when they screw up, and apologize quickly?”

“Does she/he try to fix their mistakes, or do they repeat them?”

“Do they use the phrase “no win/can’t win/don’t know what to do to make it better a lot?”

“Are they consistent with what they say they want? Do they ask you to do contradictory things like be supportive but also call them out on their crap (not that you shouldn’t want both, but do they change it from day to day)?”

“Do they say you are not making it possible for them to be happy?”

and

“Do they come to you every time someone hurts their feelings and ask for sympathy?” (If you are a parental figure, and they are a grown adult. Clearly a teenager can still do this without it necessarily being a red flag).

If you answered no to the first one, and yes to the others, warning.

Now, if your spouse or SO displays only one of those behaviors, or displays them with only one type of person, namely, not just the ones close to them but one personality type, then I’d say they might not be abusive.

You can have some symptoms of abuse, but it hasn’t permeated your whole life and outlook and you can probably be made to see its wrong and grow out of it, with enough time and patience. Even if not, if you are only like that with one or two people who are not your family, it probably won’t wreck your marriage.

What that means is that being abusive is not your characters, it’s just a flaw in certain parts of it that may not dominate your life, most of us have flaws that could be seen as manipulative and abusive if dialed to 90, and if they were like that all the time, but to be clear,  a husband is not abusing his wife if he says once in a while that she could nag him less, he is abusing her (emotionally) if he says that every time she has a problem with him.

Likewise, a wife is not abusing her husband if she sometimes cries to get her way, or uses other lines like “don’t you love me?” if she only does it once in along while and can be reasonable at other times, it may just be an old habit she’s not completely over, but if she does it so regularly you can predict it, that’s probably deliberate manipulation.

Not manipulation is abuse, and some manipulation is actually good. People like to feel they are being managed if it’s respectfully and shows an understanding of who they are as a person, and is not using them. It’s the secret behind “sweet talking” someone into something while they know you are doing it.

Needless to say, that wasn’t the case with Vaughn. Monet was right to say he didn’t want to be helped. Even in public, he blamed her and would not recognize his faults or unrealistic expectations.

He wanted a wife to meet his needs, but he did not do more than the bare minimum to look good for the public.

Another thing I learned from watching my parents, and that Vaughn replicated:

Touching gestures can be part of abuse.

My dad bought us gifts after telling me “f—you” as a parting shot while leaving us to manipulate my mom. He said “maybe you’ll appreciate me more if I’m not around” which is a line Vaughn used too, straight up.

My dad would be docile a few days after a big blow out. I don’t know if he got sex out of it, I don’t want to know, it’s not my business, but he would act nice. Another tried and true abuse tactic.

He’d get the flowers on Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Birthday, etc. He’s been doing that since moving out too.

What was telling to me, however, was how little he understood about my mom. I came to realize that he never asked her what she liked, or tried to learn, just as he never did with me.

Once I told him that my mom didn’t like being praised lavishly in front of all of us, that she found it awkward, but my dad would over do it just to make a point of it, and demand we follow his example, like we were bad kids if we didn’t.

When I told him she didn’t like it he was stunned, and asked her if it was true, she told him it was. She never told me that, but I knew my mom.

I, for one, am okay with praise in front of other people, but my dad didn’t often praise me in front of people, he would tell them my faults however, real or imagined, to total strangers, to other people in the family.

I had my well-meaning uncle give us a talk about respecting parents that demonstrated how little he knew about us. He noticed I had tension with my dad, but failed to notice how my dad talked to me, and did not hesitate to embarrass me in front of others. Probably he did not know, a family has plenty of trigger words that only make sense to them.

If I said “You don’t like to play games with me” to you, you might not take it personally. Or “you don’t usually do nice gestures like…” maybe for you, that’s just an observation about your personality. But suppose you have a history of fighting with someone over that very thing, now, you’re embarrassed. See?

Vaughn did the same thing to Monet, insulting her personality and ways of showing love, and getting his mom on his side, to where his mom talked to Monet about it. That was on her too though, she should have known better. She gave good advice, but she didn’t have the whole story. I didn’t blame Monet for being mad, but to her credit, she did her best.

But Vaughn, of course, didn’t treat his mom like that. Abusers are rarely abusive to their parents, in my experience. They feel powerless with them, or have an idealized vision of them, as above reproach. he compared Monet to hims mom and what he saw with his dad.

But for context, Vaughn’s dad die when he was 12, too young to see a lot of flaws in his parents. There always are flaws. Learning them is rough on kids, but essential to learning that people aren’t perfect and you must not expect them to be. Kids who don’t learn this with their parents have a harder time adjusting to their spouses quirks. As observed by the author of “Pygmalion” (better known to most people by it’s screen version “My Fair Lady”.)

(Now my parental figures are so flawed, my husband could probably surprise me most by being unlike them, more on that when I cover Jamie and Doug.)

Vaughn never learned that marriage is hard, and he seemed very arrogant. If he was unfixable, only God knows, but he was not ready for a relationship. Even having his flaws called out on TV and pointed out by many viewers did not humble him and if at that point you can’t reexamine yourself, I don’t know what would help you. Monet has my sympathy and respect for standing up to the host and holding her ground.

Here’s one last thing I took from their example, and it was really eye opening, don’t skip this part, trust me.

Media likes to sell us the line that abusers have been abused, and maybe 9 out of 10 times that is true, but Vaughn proved to me that it is not true every time.

Also, destructive attitudes are a choice. Her’es why this was odd for me.

My dad always blamed his past (red flag) for his bad parenting. He’d say he never got shown the right way, his parents were awful, etc. They were, but it wasn’t why he was abusive.

See, abuse always comes down to control, but a man may feel out of control for many reasons.

Vaughn, it could be, missed out on a father figure teaching him what it was to be a man, but here’s the thing, I don’t know that it would have made a difference.

His whole attitude was self righteous because he thought he knew what a good marriage looked like, only very careful parents would have caught that, and he hadn’t been in enough relationships for them to have done so.

I had accepted that my dad abused because he was abused, but Vaughn changed my mind. He wasn’t abused, clearly, yet he was still abusive.

See, you can develop wrong ways of control without it being shown to you, human nature is what it is, after all, the abuse starts with someone, doesn’t it?

My grandpa was a lot like my dad, personality wise, but he had a very happy remarriage with my step-grandmother. She managed him, he let her. It wasn’t abusive, though far from perfect. To the last, he really cared about her, and didn’t act like she was around just of his convenience. It was really sweet.

Actually, my grandparents ton my mom’s side also were married a long time, while her mom remarried a lot of times, so it really doesn’t run in the family.

My dad’s mom is abusive, but she is far less aware of it than my dad is, and its more of an annoyance than anything to take seriously. She can still be kind sometimes. She just can’t see why it’s wrong to talk the way she does. But her verbal abuse was from misery, not control. She never controlled anyone but her husband all that effectively with it, she just grated on people.

My dad is worse than either of them, because his abuse was personal, it was often intentional to some level, and it worked. Far, far too well.

In the same way, I don’t think Vaughn had abusive parents. I think he liked control. But he is not your typical image of the guy with his life falling apart who take sit out on others, that’s actually the problem. he thinks he’s got it together, and he has no need to improve, any woman would be lucky to have him, clearly the problem was with Monet.

Well, I think I’ve explained it thoroughly. If you take anything away from this, I think it should be what I took away, that you decide who you are. Not your parents. download (7) 6486314-images

You can end up worse than your parents. Anime has it wrong, backstory does not explain everything.

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I know people who’ve gone through emotional healing for their past and still suck at relationships because they have not taken control of their future self.

Also, you are not destined to be abusive if you were abused, thank goodness. Just don’t marry someone like that.

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

 

At first sight-1

Okay, confession time.

All of us with internet access are binging a lot right now, aren’t we?

So, I up and watched a show that I knew my family was going to judge me for watching, and some of you might too.

No, it’s not Tiger King, or whatever.

It’s a show that just came out in the last few years: Married at First Sight.

If you don’t live anywhere you’d have seen commercials for this, then let me sum up the pitch for you: Arranged Marriage by scientists instead of parents.

Willingly consented to by the adults.

Sounds crazy right?

Not so far fetched, the research behind the success of arranged marriage is that there’s only about a 4% divorce rate, as opposed to the less than 50% but still sizable amount of marriage as we see it. (Though, I have a lot of international readers, so some of you might be from a country where arranged marriage is still normal. I don’t judge, I think it’s fine… I wouldn’t do it, but if the person is okay with the practice, I don’t see a reason to hate on it. Marriage is marriage.)

Before I get into the show, I guess I should make my stance on the experiment clear:

While I do believe arranged marriage is perfectly fine (it’s biblical, as is freely chosen marriage.) I do not believe in total strangers with degrees in whatever choosing someone for you to spend your life with. I wouldn’t trust them to know me well enough to pick someone for me. However, I believe Marriage is sacred, so if you’re in, you’re in. Don’t flip around with it.

(Why I plan on being very careful who I marry.)

However, since the 3 couples were daring enough to try it, I thought, why not see how it worked out?

Spoiler alert if you care:

 

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If you don’t like spoilers 😉

 

So, two of the three couples in season 1 stay together. Jason & Courtney, and Jamie & Doug.

I have to wonder, it almost seemed planned. The couples were all so different, they demonstrated different things. I did like how real they seemed to be, despite the cameras, which they later admitted put a lot of pressure on them. Also, apparently people on Social Media put on the heat to tell them to get along.

Reason No#1 I don’t want a public romance story, ugh, can you imagine? (I mean, if you can, then #respect.)

Anyway, my sister joined me on episode 2 and we ended up watching the rest of the season together, and we kind of agreed.

Now I called that Jamie and Doug would stay together from the beginning, I even said they should be paired up during that stage of the show, and no, I did not know they had their own spin off show about parenting (but I kind of want to watch it now) I just thought they were saying the same things, and Doug seemed like a solid guy, Jamie was more honest about herself, I thought.

Turns out the experts agreed, after a lot of testing and discussion. Whether its a credit to my instincts, or a detriment to the scientific method that it took me ten minutes of screen time to come to the same conclusion is anyone’s guess.

I thought Jamie and Doug demonstrated the values and outlook to last, and I was also more hopeful about Jason and Cortney.

But even before the marriage part of the show started, Vaughn and Monet rubbed me the wrong way. Vaughn especially.

I think the show was edited to highlight it so that the audience could figure it out, but even so, it didn’t stop social media for giving the couples some flack.

Imagine having a crowd of people rooting for your marriage to work out. I guess if we believe the Bible when it says we have a great cloud of witnesses, then all of us are living that.

My sister suggested I devote one post to each couple so I can say all I want to say, but I have more to say about two of them, so I think I’ll talk about Jason and Cortney here.

Couple No# 1

They had instant chemistry. I think because both of them were younger, hotter, and had less failed relationships or bad experiences under their belts. Courtney had a good family, Baptist background, though she was not particularly religious. All this made her a good candidate for the experiment, the experts thought.

But credit where credit is due, I had to respect Courtney for her attitude. She was determined to treat this like a real marriage, to be a person Jason could trust, to be like a good friend would be as well as a wife. To help him move past his insecurities.

She also could be more grounded than one might expect from her more peppy way of talking.

Jason was a stellar guy who is used to putting others first, a good marriage quality, but had difficulty trusting. (I’m not saying anything he didn’t admit himself on camera, and I think it’s best if I can stick to that as much as possible and avoid speculation).

Jason knew how to be a good giver, but not a good receiver, and Courtney wanted to see him grow. She herself was more ready for the wifely role, and her weaknesses were not really brought out by the challenge. I think she had more of handle on herself than the other candidates.

While they were a good match by logic, and the compatibility tests, that is not what made it work out.

Jason fought his insecurities the whole way, almost tempted to duck out because he didn’t know if he could count on Courtney to be there, he was going to be really busy, and his mom’s health was failing, would a total stranger be able to handle that.

But actually, I think that was why it worked out. Courtney accepted that she couldn’t know everything about Jason beforehand, that her family did not support her decision, and that life isn’t always easy. She wanted to walk with someone through it, they said it felt like “us against the world.”

But they chose to let that bond them, instead of blaming each other for what was beyond their control.

The thing is, it would have been easy to blame each other, just like Adam and Eve did in the garden, just like you’ve heard many couples do, and like I heard growing up.

Is it your spouse’s fault that A, B, and C happened? No, but it’s easy to project that blame on them. “Why did you do this?” “Why didn’t you do that?” On and on.

It’s not Jason’s fault his mom has cancer, or that being a fireman takes so much training, he did his best to work around that for Courtney. She could have decided he wasn’t ready to be married. He must have felt that way from what he said.

Courtney was busy too, and her family thought she was nuts. Jason could have decided she just wasn’t stable enough in her life for marriage.

But they didn’t blame each other. Cortney accepted the time conflicts and resolved to work around them.

Jason put in effort to leave Cortney notes and gifts when he couldn’t be home, to show he was invested.

And mind you, neither of them were in love at this point. It’s easy when you’re in love, you’re obsessed with the person, you think of them all the time, so gestures are easy to make.

When you aren’t in love, you went in not expecting the butterfly feelings, and if you decided to give it your all despite that, you’re far less likely to pull out if you don’t feel that magic right away.

That was the point of the experiment, and these two got it.

They ended up falling in love after all, it was really cute. They were not in love like we see some young couples, the only talk about each other and get all dreamy kind, it was more solid, like marriage tends to be. They tried each other, and they made the grade.

I had to appreciate that, and I’m happy for them. I also hope the media leaves them alone from now on, though there’ll probably be some 5 year or 10 year check up that’s nobody’s business, but ratings.