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Jaclyn Schwartzberg talks about 'Married at First Sight' -- Exclusive Interview

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/28/2017 

Jaclyn Schwartzberg is one of six strangers and Boston-area singles who will be getting Married at First Sight when Season 6 premieres Tuesday, January 2 at 9PM ET/PT on Lifetime.

Jaclyn, a 29-year-old teacher turned sales representative, will be shown marrying Ryan Buckley, a 29-year-old firefighter. The couple will wed, honeymoon and move in together, and after several weeks, decide whether they'd like to stay together after the show or get a divorce.

The season's three couples were matched by Married at First Sight's panel of experts: Dr. Jessica Griffin, a Boston-based psychologist and professor who previously appeared on FYI's Seven Year Switch reality series; sociologist Dr. Pepper Schwartz; and marriage counselor Pastor Calvin Roberson.

Jaclyn "grew up in a wonderful family, with two siblings and parents whose relationship she describes as 'perfect.' After the devastating and sudden loss of her boyfriend and the man she believed to be her soulmate almost two years ago, she hopes to find another man who she can connect with on the same level," according to Lifetime.

During an exclusive interview, Jaclyn talked to Reality TV World about appearing on Married at First Sight. Below is what she had to say.


Reality TV World: Why did you initially decide to apply for Married at First Sight and take the risk of marrying a complete stranger? Was dating in the real world, away from cameras, in the Boston area that much of a struggle?

Jaclyn Schwartzberg: They initially reached out to me on OkCupid and this was the first time I heard of the show. I was intrigued once I realized what the show entailed because I took a lot of classes surrounding the science of love in college.

After researching the show and the experts, I felt I had nothing to lose and everything to gain from this experiment, if I was to be chosen. I also believe there are three major components of love, and if the science is right it might just work.

If the chemistry isn't there, that is something the experts can't account for, so that was the only risk in my eyes. Dating in the real world is a struggle, I feel people have too many options and dating is like a revolving door.

Reality TV World: Married at First Sight unfortunately has a low success rate of couples who decide to stay married long-term. Was that a big concern of yours when choosing to participate in the experiment? Did the outcome of previous seasons affect the faith or trust you had in the experts to match you with the right person?

Jaclyn Schwartzberg: I wasn't too concerned with the success rate because at the end of the day, it is a risk, and I was willing to take that risk and maybe increase that success rate with a happy marriage.

Reality TV World: What were your fears when beginning the process, other than the obvious prospect of getting divorced? Were you worried your partner may just be going on the show for attention or fame?

Jaclyn Schwartzberg: I absolutely worried that my partner may be participating in this experiment solely for the attention. However, I also felt confident after meeting the experts, that they would weed those people out fairly quick. My fears were that my partner wouldn't be attracted to me or that our personalities would clash.


Reality TV World: What mistakes do you think unsuccessful Married at First Sight couples made on the show, and what did the happy couples -- such as Jamie Otis and Doug Hehner from Season 1, or Ashley Petta and Anthony D'Amico from Season 5 -- do differently? How did those lessons affect your personal approach to the process?

Jaclyn Schwartzberg: I feel that the successful couples really worked through their areas of conflict well together and as a team. I also feel their chemistry was strong and they were willing to put the work in to get a wonderful outcome.

They also seemed very mature and it was clear they were ready for this chapter in their life and I believe timing is a big part. Part of my gameplan was that even if intense sparks were lacking -- to NOT let that prevent me from seeing why he was chosen as my match.

I had a great deal of faith in the experts and I knew they would not match me with anyone if there wasn't someone they felt was very compatible. I knew I had to go all in and give it my all.

Reality TV World: How important was physical appearance to you on the show, honestly? Did you believe instant chemistry or physical attraction was necessary for a marriage to work, or did you feel you could definitely grow to view someone as attractive overtime?

Jaclyn Schwartzberg: I went into the experiment with the mindset that chemistry and physical attraction can grow. First impressions are not everything. I think real love takes time. I feel a great deal of what I find attractive in a man is the personality and traits.

Reality TV World: What were the reactions of your friends and family when they found out you were doing the show? Did anyone have an especially strong response, whether positive or negative?

Jaclyn Schwartzberg: My family and friends were very supportive throughout the process and continue to be. Some were apprehensive because they are protective of me and didn't want to see me get hurt or have to go through a divorce because they knew it was a big risk and that was a very likely outcome.


Reality TV World: How would you respond to critics who might say Married at First Sight participants do not value marriage or they take marriage less seriously?

Jaclyn Schwartzberg: No, I absolutely do not take marriage less seriously. I had faith in the highly qualified experts on the show and felt they would do their best job to find a match where the relationship could be lifelong.


Reality TV World: Going into the experiment, what did you believe was going to be the hardest part for you -- moving in together, the idea of being intimate with someone you've just met, etc? And what part were you looking forward to the most?

Jaclyn Schwartzberg: Going into this, I knew the hardest part for me was getting to truly know the other person in such different circumstances than the norm.

I knew we would be filming for most or nearly all the time we were together during the experiment, and I didn't want that to change who he really was because it would alter how I perceive him and the relationship.

I was afraid this would prevent him from being authentic. I was looking forward to the chance that this could really be a lifelong relationship and this was only the first chapter. It is everything I want at this point in my life.

Reality TV World: What did you ask the experts to find for you? What qualities and characteristics were you looking for in your dream spouse?

Jaclyn Schwartzberg: I asked the experts for someone extremely caring, compassionate, funny and passionate about what they do for fun and work.


Reality TV World: Would you mind elaborating on the circumstances of the sudden loss of your boyfriend two years ago and how you've dealt with it? While you hoped to find a man with whom you could connect on the same level, was there a part of you that feared no man would ever measure up to your late boyfriend?

Jaclyn Schwartzberg: When I went into this show, I knew I could recognize that every relationship is different. It is difficult to compare relationships, when the person is entirely different and therefore the dynamic of the relationship is entirely different.

I wanted something that was just as strong but in a different way because it is a different relationship. I in no way would expect someone to be just like my late boyfriend.

I learned a lot about what love looks and feels like through my late boyfriend, and I was ready to develop a relationship that was caring -- where we both had the utmost respect for each other, as well as strong chemistry.

Check back with Reality TV World soon for exclusive interviews with more of Married at First Sight's Season 6 participants!

Courtney Hizey Photography & Emily Maultsby

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