The UK’s iconic Married At First Sight (MAFS) returned to our screens this week, with a handful of new singles looking to find ‘The One’.
As usual, strangers gathered at the altar for the first time before diving headlong into a simulation of married life.
After six weeks, couples will decide if it’s truly a “I do” or a “I don’t,” confirming whether they want to stay together beyond the show.
But the new season got us thinking: how effective is MAFS? Does The One really exist?
MailOnline spoke to two psychologists to find out if dreams of love at first sight are really possible or just fairytale ideals.
Finding The One: Married At First Sight (MAFS) returned to our screens this week on Channel 4
Does ‘The One’ really exist?
It’s no secret that marrying a handsome prince is an important theme in the plot of countless fairy tales.
Although idealistic, Dr Louise Goddard-Crawley told MailOnline that finding your own soulmate or ‘The One’ may be possible not just for MAFS contestants, but for the rest of us too.
“Whether or not ‘The One’ exists is a personal belief and can vary greatly from person to person,” he said.
‘Ultimately, the pursuit of a satisfying, long-lasting relationship should be based on individual values, needs and experiences rather than rigid adherence to a romantic ideal.
“It is important to recognize that the media, including romance films and novels, often present idealized and romanticized versions of love and relationships.”
Dr. Goddard-Crawley states that strong relationships focus on four key components including compatibility, effort, shared values, and communication.
MAFS party Jay Howard and Luke Morley also gave us all hope this week as the giddy couple jetted off on their honeymoon to Grenada.
She added: ‘Discovering a partner with whom you share compatibility and nurturing the relationship collaboratively takes precedence over the notion of finding “the one.”
Arthur Poremba left Laura Vaughan (pictured) and her friends embarrassed when he told her he loved her at the end of his vows despite having met Laura just minutes before.
Dr Gurpreet Kaur agreed and added, “All this will be influenced by cultural, social, religious, spiritual and economic factors.”
“Perhaps the idea of ’The One’ is as important as everyone’s personal connection to the concept.”
Can you really fall in love at first sight?
Whether it’s Romeo and Juliet or Dumb and Dumber, falling in love at first sight is another romantic movie trope.
MAFS contestant Arthur Poremba also shocked the world this week when he declared his love for Laura Vaughan at their wedding, despite meeting her just minutes before.
Actually, Dr. Kaur believes this is unrealistic, as many singles confuse initial attraction with the phenomenon of love.
“At first, there can be a strong feeling of attraction that can easily be mistaken for love,” she told MailOnline.
“Physical attraction can be confused with intense emotional feelings and interpreted as a sign of something much deeper.”
During the early stages of a relationship, Dr. Kaur explains that most people are usually on their best behavior and may be more attentive than usual.
Viewers this week watched the emotional wedding of Luke Morley and Jay Howard, who then ventured out on their honeymoon.
He added: “This is greatly amplified on a show like Married at First Sight, where a camera crew and panel of experts are involved throughout the entire process.
“However, determining the compatibility of values, goals and personalities often takes time in reality and occurs through various shared experiences.”
Dr. Goddard-Crawley agreed, but added, “In the end, the quality of the connection matters more than how quickly it develops, as there is no single timeline for finding the right life partner.”
What are the signs that you have found the one?
Kindness, intelligence, and a good sense of humor are among the countless typical traits we can expect in a partner.
But Dr. Goddard-Crawley explains that finding “The One” requires much more than this, and MAFS participants must seek a balance between stability and surprise.
“While comfort and stability are important, there should still be a spark of excitement and attraction in the relationship,” she told MailOnline.
‘However, anxiety can lead to misunderstanding whether you have found “The One” by causing excessive thinking, self-doubt, and fear of abandonment.
“It can amplify insecurity, avoidance behaviors, and unrealistic standards.”
Oxytocin, often nicknamed the “love drug,” is a hormone produced in the brain that stimulates feelings of intimacy and trust.
Viewers sobbed as Ella and Nathanial tied the knot after meeting for the first time at the altar and the former Geordie Shore star accepted his new wife for who she is as a transgender woman.
Meanwhile, adrenaline is another hormone in our body that is usually linked to new experiences and emotions.
According to Dr. Goddard-Crawley, a combination of these two hormones can make finding “The One” sometimes confusing.
THE FOUR COMPONENTS OF A SOLID RELATIONSHIP
- Shared values
But ‘The One’ should allow you to feel respected and accepted for who you are.
‘“Adrenaline can lead to falling in love, where the relationship feels exhilarating and passionate,” he added.
“However, this type of attraction is usually short-lived and does not necessarily lead to a deep, lasting connection.
‘Oxytocin is essential for building and maintaining emotional connections in long-term relationships. It is what fosters the feeling of security, attachment and bond between partners.
Should you trust your first impressions?
As MAFS contestants walked down the aisle this week, there’s no doubt they were quick to pass judgment on their new partners.
But Dr. Kaur also says that first impressions shouldn’t always be trusted, as they can be influenced by a variety of different factors.
This includes first date nerves and unconscious biases, as well as your own mood that day.
“The initial click usually has more to do with attraction and preconceived ideas about what a good match is,” he told MailOnline.
‘The scenario in which a couple initially finds themselves could also lend itself to a romantic vision of what the other should be like.
“Stepping away from ideals and ‘shoulds’ regarding your evaluation of the other person will help you see them more realistically and give you the opportunity to decide if the interaction is worth continuing.”
READ MORE: Incredible maps reveal where different types of LOVE are felt in the body, from butterflies in the stomach to tingles in the groin
Love can be experienced in countless wonderful and whimsical ways, whether it’s butterflies in your stomach or tingles in your groin.
Now, scientists at Aalto University have identified 27 different types of sensation and the exact parts of the body they affect.
The incredible diagrams were produced when the Finland-based team asked hundreds of participants to describe the “feeling” of love and what it means to them.
Passionate love was perceived as the most powerful of all, impacting the entire upper body, brain and groin area.
Meanwhile, love for strangers (and, controversially, for God) was among the weaker forms, with a less explosive effect on the mind and body.
Scientists from Aalto University in Finland have identified 27 different types of love