The program “Married at first sight”, broadcast on M6, is a scientific experiment which aims to form couples who are 70% compatible and to make the two promised meet … on their wedding day. We talked about everything that bothered us to Pascal de Sutter, doctor of psychology, sexologist and expert within the program.
Married at first sight has just been renewed for a third season. The concept for those who do not follow the M6 show on Monday at 9 p.m. A group of men and a group of women lend themselves to a unique experience: finding a soul mate through science. Three experts – Catherine Solano, sexologist, Pascal de Sutter and Stéphane Edouard, sociologist – gave each candidate a series of tests (written tests, but also olfactory tests with breathing in a T-shirt for example) and established couples that are more than 70% compatible . But beware. To meet this person with whom a beautiful story is looming, lasting and happy, participants must wait … the day of their wedding to him! Disturbed by the concept, the lack of magic of a pre-established meeting and love in a mathematical way, we decided to meet Pascal de Sutter to better understand the motivations of such an experience. Exclusive interview with the expert.
Le Journal des Femmes: Why decree that marriage is the strongest commitment and that once married – we hear on the show – the couple will last and not go elsewhere?
Pascal de Sutter: In life, there are stronger commitments than marriage, such as giving a kidney to your brother. But from a sentimental point of view, marriage symbolically remains the strongest commitment. We live in a “Kleenex” era: we meet someone and we separate at the slightest flaw. We don’t give our relationships a chance. Getting divorced has never been easier, and yet we are getting less and less involved.
“Divorce has never been easier and yet we are less and less committed“
Marriage makes you want to build, to make efforts, to keep your promise. The more so as within the emission, it is about a true marriage, where the family and the friends are witnesses. It is therefore much more than a simple encounter that one can flee upon waking. Here, we play the game and we are really committed to multiplying our chances of lasting. But the candidates can of course go back as soon as they wish during the adventure.
Build a scientifically sustainable couple…. Don’t these couples rather have the chance to last simply because they have this belief in mind?
If of course, belief plays a role alongside compatibility. Like when you take a medicine: it will be effective both because you believe and as effective thanks to its active ingredient. You have to believe it for a relationship to work! This theoretically increases the motivation to continue the adventure and fight to keep the story moving.
When we hear on the show that two maniacs go well together, isn’t it a little easy? It is a broad criterion which does not mean much… Some messy people with maniacs, we see some and they are fine!
Faced with the test results of our participants, we spent dozens of hours debating compatibility. We were not able to broadcast everything on the air, also required by the constraint to be understood by all and not to broadcast too precise scientific debates. But this criterion of “mania” remains important: in the long run, a maniac and a mess can no longer do well, unless of course the maniac also has a high quality of tolerance. This is all that we have analyzed. We have weighted each criterion, each trait and evaluated their chances of lasting over the long term, basing our compatibility studies on existing couples, which last and are satisfied.
Answer questionnaires about yourself and then know who is right for us, okay. But how well do we know each other? You can lie to yourself, describe yourself badly…
Some people will indeed say they are generous, while they are stingy. So if people are lying to themselves, the story will not go far. We tell them at the outset that it is useless to add more, to lie, to present themselves in their best light. The goal is not to please absolutely, but to participate in a scientific experiment by being as we are, to match with a compatible person.
Singles tell you what they are looking for … But isn’t there a gap between what we are looking for and what is really done for us?
Yes, absolutely. Some people are very demanding and have a very clear idea of what they want. From there, they are more difficult to fit. It eliminates candidates! But we played differently: the questions concern little “what we want”, but more what we do not want. For example, among a series of body photos, participants are invited to check off the three photos they don’t like. We focused on what people said were unacceptable, in order to leave doors open. Then there were many debates. If someone refuses to be with a smoker, but is found to be a smoker with whom it fits very well, we discuss with them to find out whether or not, they feel ready to move on.
Getting married without seeing each other… Certainly these people are compatible, but where is the intuition, the feeling? We can tick what we want or not, in love, we always have good surprises.
These are humanities and not mathematics, there is always a margin of error indeed. Life proves to us how much two people who have nothing to do live a whole life together, when others perfectly compatible fail to build. The human is surprising, changing. But according to our studies and our analyzes of the candidates, and if they are honest in their answers, we can establish the probability that the couple works.
“Marriage Can Help Develop Alchemy“
The magic part, which exists, will take place at first glance, the day of the wedding. But we can’t control it, it’s true. We, we know that the couple has their chances and if the feeling is absent, marriage engages them and can help them develop this chemistry precisely. It can occur throughout history. Because conversely, who has never known a crush that has not succeeded? And then, remember that the couples formed are more than 70% compatible, but not 100%. Therein lies the margin of error.
We all have somewhere in the world someone with whom we are more than 70% compatible? Is this the end of celibacy, this program?
Yes ! We are all compatible with someone in the world. But some people will be compatible with many, while for others it will be more difficult. There are characters that attract more. A pleasant, friendly person will have a better chance of finding someone, because few people want to build with a stingy or a doggie! Let’s say we all have our shoes on, but some sizes are more difficult to put on than others.
Compatible, okay. But sexually? Sex has its magic, hard to define on paper with whom we will be in harmony under the duvet?
We asked participants about sexuality, with specific questions. Do you like transgressive practices? How important is sex to you? Do you prefer to make love in the dark or in bright light? Do you bathe naked in the sea, leaving or not? Do you speak in bed? All of these questions help us to decide if two people are on the same wavelength sexually speaking. Then the experience, the melee, will do the rest. You should know that during the first night, the harmony may not be there right away, but they are married, they will build, get to know each other. In any setting, the first time is not necessarily a success. It takes time for two bodies to meet, tame … and discover each other to have fun together.