The pair, who will celebrate their one-year ‘wedding’ anniversary later this month, tell Yahoo Lifestyle that the biggest tip they would offer the 2024 brides and grooms is to be completely honest and open-minded throughout the experiment.
“Just be really authentic and genuine, show your entire self, all your layers, don’t hide things, don’t be guarded, and don’t be closed-minded,” Melinda lists.
“You've literally just got to trust the process and throw yourself completely in. Otherwise if you don't do that, especially for a couple like myself and Layton, if we both weren't doing that the whole time there's no way we would have come out the other end because we were so rocky and [there was] so much going on.”
While she acknowledges it’s a cliché that people say every year, Melinda adds that it’s important to go on the show “for the right reasons”.
“Even opening yourself up and working on yourself while you're in there will give you a better chance of success in your relationship as well,” she continues. “So just leave the walls at the door, the judgement, all of that and just trust the process.”
'Eventually the mask will come off'
Speaking from personal experience in the experiment, Layton agrees that “it’s so important to be authentic”.
“I won't name names, but there were some people that I definitely interacted with in the first couple of weeks when filming started and you think you sort of know that person but the more time goes on the more you start to see the real person,” he shares.
“So you can never really hide your true personality traits or characteristics because eventually, the mask will come off. You’ve just got to be 100 per cent honest.”
“That’s why a lot of relationships in there crashed as well,” Melinda chimes in.
“In the beginning, we were kind of comparing ourselves going, ‘How is everyone so loved instantly?’. We were struggling and we were kind of comparing ourselves to that and then when we thought that they were like a match made in heaven forever, they all came crashing down.”
Overcoming the odds
Despite having a rocky start to their ‘marriage’ when they first met, Melinda and Layton finished the experiment as one of the only two couples who chose to continue a relationship in the real world.
Ahead of their one-year anniversary, the couple explains that the reason why they believe they’ve managed to make things work is because of their similar personalities.
“Every couple goes up and down and I think when Mel and I go up and down, we see ourselves in each other,” Layton says. “And so we can kind of get over it a little bit better because it’s like I’m arguing with myself.
“I feel like you never really know if they're matching you to be a couple that's going to be successful or they match you because they think that this is maybe a couple that might not be successful. Because let's be real, I don’t think everyone is matched knowing that they will 100 per cent work out.
“But I genuinely feel like for us, it was a match that had a high likelihood of success and I feel like they knew that.”
Melinda and Layton are one of seven MAFS couples who are still together across 10 seasons of the reality show, following in the footsteps of season two’s Erin Bateman and Bryce Mohr, season six’s Cam Merchant and Jules Robinson and Martha Kalifatidis and Michael Brunelli, season eight’s Bryce Ruthven and Melissa Rawson and Kerry and Johnny Balbuziente, and their season 10 co-stars Tahnee Cook and Ollie Skelton.
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