Dr. Viviana talks Married at First Sight and advice for those looking for love.
Why do some couples flourish and others flop?
In the microcosm that is “Married at First Sight,” we saw it play out on our television sets as Amani and Woody clicked but Olivia and Brett didn’t. And what about Amelia and Bennett, Christina and Henry, and Baton Rouge native Karen and her groom, Miles?
In the Lifetime reality series, five sets of strangers meet each other at their respective weddings and spend the next eight weeks deciding if they want to stay married or go their separate ways. Their plans are revealed on “Decision Day.”
As has been everything this year, this season of “Married,” filmed in New Orleans, was different. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the marriage experiment stretched from the normal two months to four months, a first in the show’s history.
“Timing really can suck sometimes,” 30-year-old bride Karen (the show only uses first names) says during one of the show’s “pandemic episodes.” Karen, who moved from Baton Rouge to the Crescent City to attend the University of New Orleans, works as a healthcare management consultant, while husband Miles, a 26-year-old from Spartanburg, South Carolina, is an educator.
With an unprecedented 11th season of “Married” having recently wrapped, Dr. Viviana Coles assessed the hits and misses, and offered advice for others looking for love in this crazy 2020 and beyond. Coles is a Houston marriage and relationship counselor, and one of a trio of experts who matched and coached the five Louisiana couples.
Walk us through the process of matching the couples.
After months of receiving applications in the city we will be filming in, our casting department narrows down the several thousands of applicants and invites over 100 eligible hopeful singles to meet with us. Then, the three of us experts invite our top 75 or so, where we each get to meet separately with potential participants, and usually we meet with one of their closest friends or relatives to get to know them better. They also go through psychological evaluations, employment verifications and background checks. We also scour their social media, as well as their applications and in-depth questionnaires. We take all of this data we have acquired during our meetings, as well as all information gathered by casting and production crews, and for the next month or so, we have VERY long discussions about proposed matches and why they should or should not be considered for our experiment. It is an exhaustive and rewarding process of which I am thrilled to be a part.