It’s the show that professionally matchmakes couples, then follows them as they enter into marriage and navigate the trials and tribulations of newlywed life – all while getting to know each other, for the first time.
And while this format inevitably makes for evocative entertainment, the watchful eye of the therapists, as well as group therapy sessions, means that there are bountiful lessons that we all can take from the process.
Who are the MAFS UK professionals?
Mel is a psychologist and confidence coach who specialises in human behaviour and performance.
Paul Carrick Brunson
With a background in business, Paul began teaching others about the social skills that he picked up in his field, before featuring on TV shows and podcasts – including the role of ‘love doctor’ on Celebs Go Dating.
Charlene is a sex and relationships therapist, a registered psychodynamic and psychosexual counsellor, and a life coach. You can find out more about Charlene, and connect with her, using counselling-directory.org.uk.
Here, we’re rounding up four lessons that we’ve learned from the experts, so far.
1. You have to be able to rock the boat
When things are going well in a relationship, you may be less likely to address any niggling concerns, for fear of ruining the good thing that you have going. But, as the experts addressed when speaking to Franky and Marilyse, you have to be able to ‘rock the boat’ when in a solid relationship. This means expressing yourself if you find that you have any concerns, and making the relationship a safe space to explore these issues.
2. Understanding body language
It’s something the professionals have commented on a lot throughout the series, as they analyse the things that a couple’s body language can tell us about their relationship and feelings towards one another. Body language is a somewhat controversial area of study but what is agreed on is that it, broadly, does have the ability to convey our emotional state.
When we’re comfortable around someone, our body language is likely to reflect that, and affection may come easily. On the other hand, if you find yourself closed off or stiff, this could be an indication that something isn’t quite right.
3. Open forums and laying it all out
The group therapy aspect of MAFS UK is an interesting opportunity for the couples to talk about their relationships within a supportive setting. Group therapy has long been an effective strategy for helping individuals working through a spectrum of challenges – allowing participants to bounce off each other, and feel heard and seen.
It’s also a chance to be held accountable for your words and actions. We all have our own moral codes that we follow throughout our lives, yet, when challenges come our way, we can find ourselves somewhat losing sight of that. Group therapy offers the opportunity to realign ourselves with our values, through discussion and shared experiences.
4. Spot the signs of toxic masculinity
Speaking to Morag and Luke, Paul listened to the problems that they were having, and the expectations that Morag had of Luke, and identified this as a desire for a form of ‘toxic masculinity’.
Toxic masculinity refers to detrimental traits or attitudes that negatively affect both men and wider society as a whole. An example of this could be bottling up emotions, aggression, and dominance. On MAFS UK, we see examples of men sitting on both ends of the spectrum and watch as those who are more sensitive and open to expressing their feelings form deeper relationships with their partners.
Interested in working with a life coach like the experts on ‘MAFS UK’? Connect with a professional using lifecoach-directory.org.uk.