When Mark Scrivens appeared on Married At First Sight, he was hoping to find the love of his life, and he did, just not how he had originally thought.
When the show was airing on TV, Mark met Bianca Chatfield, who had just starred on The Block at the time and it wasn't long before they began chatting regularly after the former netballer slid into his DMs on Instagram.
Speaking with Yahoo Lifestyle, Bianca said, "Well, we sort of met first and then I messaged him one day when I was watching the show, so we were already following each other on Instagram and I just said to him, 'I can't believe you did this show!'"
The pair started off as friends and spoke about the fact they were both on reality TV.
Bianca said, "It just kind of kept growing from there, it was all just a supportive reaching out to each other going, 'How's it all going for you?' The Block had already been on air, so I'd already kind of lived and breathed through the filming process and it being on air and Mark at that stage, I think MAFS must have been close to finishing [airing on TV], and I had not watched a heap of it, so it was just fascinating – first of all just to compare shows."
She continued, saying, "I wasn't a massive MAFS watcher, however, his particular season I just had a whole group of friends who every Sunday night it became their ritual to sit down and watch it.
"So, I felt left out that I was missing out on all of this drama that everyone would talk about during the week, so I only started watching it – well, they basically forced me to start watching it towards the end."
However, she says that the person she saw on TV, is not the person she's with right now, "It's funny, the Mark I know now, is just not the one I saw on camera, like he looks totally different. It's just weird that we've both lived these different lives, kind of compared to real life."
Bianca described it as almost being a character on a show rather than it being the real Mark.
When the Melbourne-based couple is out and about, they find it entertaining to see other people confused about where they know them from.
"People see us around and they can't quite figure out, they know they know us both from somewhere and they'll often say, 'Oh, you two did The Block together!'" Bianca said.
"And I'm like, 'Uh, well, I did, but he didn't!' I'm not sure he's that handy renovating!"
However, the pair did attempt to keep their new romance under wraps for as long as possible before going public together.
"Yeah, I was very much conscious of just keeping it low key until we really knew what was happening and we just didn't want the distraction of everyone else's opinions and all that. And then when we were finally ready, I think it was, we were in a much better place to be able to talk about it together and kind of knew each other a lot better as well when it came to that," Bianca explained.
"He knew that I was always a bit conscious, because I've had my work and my sporting life public, but I've never been really public about my private life, more because I like keeping that to myself. Whereas he had been on a TV show where he was talking about everything in that part of his life. So, yeah it was a big adjustment for me."
At the end of 2019, Bianca sold her apartment with the plan being that she would purchase a new home in 2020 and begin renovating it for she and Mark to live in. However, the coronavirus pandemic put a serious dampener on that plan.
"I actually sold an apartment that I had in December and agreed to a 15-day settlement, so it was super quick, and I had in my head that I was going to, in the start of this year, buy my next renovation project and so it was just a bit of good timing where everything worked out where Mark was like, 'Just move into my apartment, and then because it's just a small one bedder, we'll only be in here for a short amount of time until you buy the project, we'll move in there, renovate it.'
"So, that's kind of how it was meant to work, I moved in about December, end of December and then the world just changed dramatically and here we are still in our one bedder apartment. But actually coping far better than I ever thought that I would, especially living in such a small space also not having any of my belongings!
"Because all of my furniture, everything is in storage for me, so I just rocked up with two suitcases worth of clothes and that was it!"
The idea of moving in to a small one-bedroom apartment early into a relationship might be a bit intense for some, but, thankfully, the pair has been enjoying life together, even in lockdown.
When asked if either of them have good or bad habits that they've found out thanks to lockdown and lockdown 2.0 in Melbourne, Bianca revealed that Mark mostly has really great habits.
"Well, Mark has a lot of good habits in that he's very tidy and very organised, very efficient, has his routine. Where I think because I've lived the life of an athlete where people tell you what you need to do, when you need to do it. I quite enjoy now being a bit more flexible and not having routines and structure, so I'm a bit all over the place, whereas he is very much, you know, every morning it's the same routine for him and he gets up and goes to work and has the same job everyday.
"Whereas I have all these different bits and pieces that I'm doing all the time. So, I've had to be very mindful that my craziness and sometimes ways where I'm just all over the shop, does not really suit him and that I frustrate him probably more than he frustrates me. But we're learning, I'm learning to be mindful of that, but also, I think that he's learning that actually a bit of flexibility can work in your favour sometimes too, a bit of spontaneity."
Mark also revealed that he learned that Bianca is very talented in sports other than netball, "I learnt that Bianca's talents don't stop at the netball court, she is also a very handy table tennis player. We transformed our kitchen table into a ping pong table and after 13 games, I caved in because she was up 10-3 and I wasn't even close in those ten losses."
He added that there was one habit of his own that he learned about during lockdown, "I learnt early in lockdown that I am a loud eater and this was a very big lesson to learn early as the look I received when chewing that first time, I don't want to see again."
However, Bianca thought that his most annoying habit was something else...
"Probably the only habit of his that does drive me a little crazy is that he goes to bed really early. So, I've had to learn that, especially being in a little place, that if he goes to bed early that I have to be quiet," she said.
She added that it's been a blessing that Mark's cafe has been open throughout the lockdown period so she get some time to herself during the day, but then when he's finished they love being active together.
When it comes to renovating their new home together, Bianca is hoping Mark will be able to help out a little bit.
"Well, I'm going to see about his renovation skills, but I hope so that he'll lend a hand. I don't think he's ever really had a passion for renovating or had any interest in property. I come from a place where I've always done it with my family and it's just something that I love to do and to have a project on the side to tinker around with at home. So, it'll be another learning experience for both of us I think, how we take it on.
"When I met him last year, it was always the plan for me to sell my place and buy something new, so he's just embracing it and coming along for the ride. I think he's going to see how much he can help out and what he loves doing."
However, Mark has different ideas of how the renovation will go.
"No, I'll leave all renovations to Bianca. I am horrible, absolutely horrible at anything building-related so I'll do the labouring and heavy lifting because that's about all I'll be able to help with," he said.
So, would either of them be keen to go on The Block as a team? Well, our tip is: don't hold your breath on that one.
Bianca responded by laughing, before she said, "Hmm... It'll be a lot tougher doing it with a partner than a friend. I think with a friend you have a nice way of looking after each other, where with a partner, at least on our season, everyone just gets into fights all the time because you're so emotional. So, I don't know if that would be the smartest move by us."
And Mark isn't super keen to get back out into the world of reality TV, sadly.
"Nah I don't see myself on any reality show again, of any kind. Bianca and I would work well together but my time on reality TV is over," he said.
When it came to tips for other couples navigating lockdown, the couple had some good advice.
"I just think it's about making sure that you have time to do things to make you feel good and not just things that you can do together," Bianca said.
"So, I'm a big one for just getting out and getting some fresh air, going for a walk and listening to a podcast. So, I need to always make sure I keep things like that in my routine. So, find things you love together and keep doing things you know you love doing on your own."
Mark added, "Be patient, I'm no expert in either relationships or pandemic lockdowns, however, this will pass and we will be back to a new normal soon enough.
"I hear some horror stories from people that come into my cafe who only see the light of day for half an hour per day so reach out to your mates and check in on them any chance you get."
Bianca is an ANZ Financial Wellbeing Ambassador, find out about ANZ’s Financial Wellbeing Check-In here.