"Married at First Sight" is a show that throws away everything we think of in terms of a traditional marriage. Instead of spending months or years before realizing that the partner they are with is "the one," these individuals have their husbands/wives chosen for them and meet... at the altar. The cast of this season (Sonia, Lilly, Nick, Tom, Derek, and Heather) all coped differently with the experiment. Lessons about love and life can be learned from each of them. While I've enjoyed every season of MAFS thus far, this season kept us on our toes and allowed us to get to know some pretty incredible people.
I think I speak for all fans when I say that Sonia brought such charisma and compassion to the show. We all learned not to mess with her when she's wearing her "freakum dress." Not only does her career as social worker show how beautiful of a person she is, but she also found time, between work and filming the show, to make and distribute bag lunches to local homeless people. Sonia uses her social media platform to not only interact with her fans but also to inspire them to give back to their own communities.
Sonia faced plenty of diversity this season but it is how she reacted that we should all take a lesson from. After Nick said some pretty cruel things to her including that he is not attracted to her (which can't be true because she is gorgeous!) Sonia chose not to get angry and fight back but instead left the house to give them both some space. Some may argue that this is "running away" from the problem at hand, but I found that it was wise to leave so more hurtful exchanges were not made. Sonia could have ended the experiment right there, but she realized that people make mistakes, however hurtful, and decided to give Nick another chance. This is something that is important for us all to realize when dealing with our significant others. One fight, even one that is very significant, should not define a relationship.
Nick is an entrepreneur and works with Airbnb as well as an owner for a clothing company called Section 8 Yacht Club (click to find the website- they have some awesome clothing). If there's one thing that Nick's experience has taught us is that, unfortunately, one mistake can have lasting repercussions. He received major backlash from fans after saying some not so nice things to Sonia (as mentioned above), but he soon realized his mistake and worked on being a better partner which is something that we should all praise him for. We all make mistakes and say some things that we don't mean but, fortunately for us, it doesn't get aired on television.
It was apparent that after he and Sonia reconnected following the incident, that Nick was eager and willing to repair their new and shaky relationship. Because their relationship had not blossomed yet from a friendship to a traditional marriage, he did not realize the absolute need to give verbal affirmations to Sonia, something I'm sure he now knows. If there's any lesson to be taken from Nick's marriage experience it is that we all make mistakes and, no matter how big of a mistake it is, it is how we react to or repair the damage we have done that matters most.
Lillian is a luxury real estate agent in South Florida. Based on the show, she is extremely dedicated to her job and seems like the kind of real estate agent anyone would want on their team. She, like Sonia, uses her social media platform to interact with fans and promote humanitarian acts like rescuing dogs in need of homes. From the very beginning of the show, it is clear that Lilly has a heart of gold. Her, then, future husband gifted her a necklace before the wedding that she was unable to wear. Even worse, it stormed as her wedding ceremony began, but that did not keep Lilly from remaining calm and beaming with hope and happiness while most brides would have nearly given up.
While Lillian and Tom hit it off from the very start, things were not always easy. The honeymoon seemed to be pure bliss but after returning home, Lillian learned that Tom had been living in a bus. "What the f*ck!" she exclaimed (one of my favorite moments). But soon after, just as she had been so easy going about the rain on her wedding day, she accepted it. Lillian, time and time again, showed that as long there is a deep emotional connection all other issues can be resolved along the way. Before the decision day, Lilly seemed incredibly nervous about "giving her heart" to Tom, something we can all relate to. She showed us that in order to make love work, we must allow ourselves to be vulnerable.
Tom is an interior yacht interior specialist who, as evidenced by living in a remodeled bus, enjoys the "little things" in life and puts experiences and adventure over material goods. He and Lillian seemed like the perfect match from the beginning. Tom added a lot of humor to the show, like when he messed with Lilly's toothpaste, that is otherwise rather serious. To be honest, while it was clear that he had a bond with Lilly, you never quite knew what decision Tom was headed in until decision day.
Although he was accustomed to living a sort of "bachelor" lifestyle, it seemed that Tom soon realized that compromise is necessary to make a relationship work. Even though he was very avid about living on the bus, he chose to live elsewhere to keep his relationship on good terms, something that is very admirable. It is not always easy to change your way of life for someone. What I learned from Tom's experience on the show is that as long as you do not change who you are inside and your morals for another, it is important to live a life that makes both you and your partner happy.
Derek is an account executive and, like his cast mates, has a strong social media presence and interacts with fans. His fun loving attitude and commitment to the process of Married at First Sight was evident throughout the entire season. Derek had an experience that was different from anyone on the history of the show: his partner decided to quit the marriage long before the 6 weeks was over. While he was eager to mend the relationship, his experience with Heather proves that sometimes two people just aren't meant to be no matter how hard you may try to make it work.
He remained on the show, despite the end of the marriage, to follow how he coped with it. Instead of moping around, Derek went out with friends and enjoyed life, something we can all learn from after a "break-up". Some scrutinized him for continuing to wear his ring before the divorce was finalized, but I found it to be endearing. Recently, he released a rap ballad about his experience on the show "Honeymoon" (click the link, it's pretty great).
Her experience has taught me that sometimes relationships do not work out no matter how compatible two people appear to be on paper. The exact opposite may be true that two people who appear completely different on many levels on paper can form a relationship that is strong and everlasting. While she could have made the decision to try and work things out with Derek, it is not right to publicly shame her off of edited clips shown on television. In contrast to some fans of the show, I wish her (and Derek) nothing but happiness and good fortune in both life and love.