Why Am I Watching Lifetime's Reality Show, 'Married at First Sight'?

Why am I watching this, and who have I become in this new abnormal way of life?

Posted Feb 21, 2021

 Dirk Ercken/Dreamstime
Love, relationships, and sex.
Source: Dirk Ercken/Dreamstime

I’ve been known to get sucked into some reality show franchises, but I think I just took things to a whole new level.

The latest season of Lifetime’s show Married at First Sight is streaming on Hulu and I spent my Saturday night glued to it.

The premise is simple—a team of experts match two people that meet for the first time on their wedding day, then after six weeks of being married, they decide if they want to stay married, or get a divorce.

That’s the premise. The aftermath and what unfolds is a myriad of topics involving marriage to address—previous relationships, intimacy, sex, romance, and behaviors, among other things.

It is strange that the producers of the show present this concept like it is normal or that it’s utilitarian when trying to find love and a mate when obviously this wildly inappropriate concept, which has experienced a fair amount of controversy, begs the question: Why am I watching this?

The contestants are forthcoming in their desire to be married and find love. They admit to trying online dating and not having any success; they are willing and ready to take this extreme jump into a marriage overnight, and hope and pray things somehow work out.

I’ve never done online dating before. I was on Tinder or Bumble for like a week several years ago. When I had one “date” or “encounter,” I think you’d call it, I met up with this guy only to discover I was on a sex date.

It was a meet-up simply to see if the guy wanted to sleep with me, which he did, and I didn’t, so that was the last of that adventure into online dating and I stayed far from other dating apps.

If I can’t even handle online dating, you better believe I would never go on one of these shows, but I respect people's decision to try something like this and thank them for providing me an entertaining Saturday night since there is nowhere to go out and find someone the old fashion way anyway. 

Last week, I had to fill out a form online for my upcoming gynecologist appointment. I had been putting it off for months now because I was scared to be in or around a hospital with COVID-19 but decided that getting a pap smear and mammogram can’t be sacrificed or put off anymore at this juncture in time. 

As I filled out the form, it asked if I was sexually active and I had to literally stop and think about when I last had sex and truly couldn’t remember. 

I know it was at least over a year ago, and although I knew the person I had slept with, I didn’t know exactly when it was, so needless to say it has been awhile. 

It was odd to write on the form that I was not sexually active because that has not been the norm in my life up until this pandemic, and I began to wonder how much a lack of sexual intimacy over the months has had an impact on my mental health and overall well-being.

As this is new to me, I am learning as I go, but I know it can’t be good to be pretty much a secondary virgin at this point.

Last week, I was speaking with a friend that met someone on Plenty of Fish. They both hit it off, and get tested once a week to ensure they are safe to get together and she is so happy and wants me to let my guard down and try it, but no.

I am not going to take a COVID-19 test every week just to get laid or just to have a date or a companion. I am not judging her and am truly happy for her, but it all seems like a lot of work. 

Anyway, back to the show. Why am I watching this? What has my life amounted to? I would never go on one of these shows. I won’t participate in online dating, I can’t go out, or be set up on a date because where would I go? And do I really want to put myself through the stress of wondering, "Does this person have a negative COVID-19 test?"

Am I my own worst enemy in my lack of effort to try anything to find a man, or is this just the temporary new normal until life returns to some more of the old way of things used to be, and I will go back to my regular life in a normal relationship world?

As if there is such a thing, but anything is better than what has become of my life with regards to a lack of sex, no companionship, no dating, or even a relationship.

I don’t think there is a way of knowing anything at this point, which is scary and somewhat depressing, but there is only so much I can control.

Beating myself up for filling out a form for my upcoming doctor's appointment and realizing I haven’t had sex in over a year doesn’t help matters. Questioning why I am watching what seems like an outrageous premise and execution of a show isn’t productive either.

Am I going to hold out for yet another year of zero sex, no intimacy, no dates, and no relations with a man?

I don’t know, maybe. The future is yet to be seen or known. For now, I’ll go back to my show and just be content that, although I am slightly embarrassed to admit I enjoy engaging and bingeing this show on my weekend, at least I am finding some escape during this abnormal new normal I’ve been living through over the months, and the person I have become as of today.