‘Five minutes after leaving MAFS I was on Tinder – I used my burner phone to find true love’

WithMarried At First Sight UK expected to return to our screens later this year, a whole new host of singletons will be looking to find love in an unconventional way. Rather than swiping on dating apps or dishing out cringe-worthy chat up lines, the contestants will be walking down the aisle to say ‘I do’ to a complete stranger.

Butwhile some couples do go on to find love with their partner, others are less lucky. One of those people is 2022 contestantJess Potter who was matched with Pjay Finch on last year’s show. After meeting, the pair became the first couple to leave the experiment when they realised that there was no romantic connection.

However, that didn’t stop Jess from finding love. In fact, she found ‘the one’ before her fellow contestants had even wrapped up filming. Here she tells OK! her story…

“I signed up for Married At First Sight because I wanted to find love. It’d been so long since I’d been in a relationship with someone and I had nothing to lose, so I thought that I may as well apply.

I’d been in the application process since October and we didn’t start filming until April, so I’d been through months of questions. Producers asked me questions about my interests and I said that I wasn’t really bothered about appearance as long as they were taller than me.

My main priority was finding someone who was on the same page as I was. Sadly, the show didn’t work for me. I worked 11 hours a day and only took Sundays off whereasPjay worked evenings and weekends, so realistically we’d hardly spend any time together.

I cried hundreds of times because I felt like I was back to square one. Pjay was a lovely person, but we just weren’t compatible on a romantic level. It felt like such a waste of time. I could have been at work earning money. In the end, we had a chat where we both said that it wasn’t going anywhere, so we quit.

Before going on the show, Tinder wouldn’t work on my phone for some reason so I couldn’t meet people through there. However, when I signed up to MAFS, the producers gave me a burner phone to use. When I was in a taxi on my way home after quitting the show I downloaded Tinder and used the number associated with my burner phone to create an account.

A week after downloading the app I met my boyfriend TJ. On our first date I told him about everything that’d happened because I needed to set the expectations of what was to come because my season hadn’t aired yet. There was no point in going on a second date with someone who didn’t like the idea of me being on TV.

Luckily TJ didn’t care about it and within two weeks we’d moved in together. While MAFS was on TV, TJ wasn’t interested in watching it but that didn’t stop him from getting trolled. Even though he had nothing to do with the series, people would send him messages about how I was coming across on TV. It was a huge struggle for us as we were only two months into our relationship, but it made us so much stronger.

Now TJ and I have been together for a year and we’re living the dream. We’ve only spent one day apart and we haven’t had an argument yet, so that has to say something.

There’s definitely marriage on the cards for us. My mum is so bad at keeping secrets that she’s told me that it’s all in hand. The cogs are in motion and even his mum is onto his case about it too.

Having had one TV wedding, I’m relieved that I won’t have to walk down the aisle four times to get the right camera angle or repeat my vows so that it’s picked up by the mics. However, my MAFS ceremony made me realise that I’d love an outdoor wedding, so I can’t wait for the real deal.

I may not have found love on the show, but the show helped me find love. Without MAFS, I wouldn’t have had the burner phone to create a dating profile, which means I wouldn’t have been able to meet TJ. It just proves that everything happens for a reason.”

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