Jonathan, a 28-year-old U.S. Army veteran and financial associate, will be shown marrying Molly Duff, a 25-year-old commercial insurance adjuster. 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.
Jonathan grew up in Jacksonville, FL with his parents, who divorced when he was a teenager. Jonathan's mother, however, taught him to be independent and understand "the importance of compromise and unconditional love in a marriage," according to Lifetime.
During an exclusive interview, Jonathan talked to Reality TV World about appearing on Married at First Sight. Below is what he 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?
Jonathan Francetic: Though I certainly have some horror stories, it's not that meeting people in Boston is hard, it's that I'm terrible at choosing good ones. So when presented with the opportunity, why not let a group of experts do the choosing for me!?
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?
Jonathan Francetic: At no point did I ever think the experts were going to do anything less than their best. What I think leads to the historical success rate is whether the information they're working off of is accurate, which was my biggest fear. So I trusted the experts, and had to hope my soon to be wife was honest during the matchmaking process.
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?
Jonathan Francetic: My biggest fear was that either she wouldn't have been honest, or what she thought she wanted isn't what she actually wanted.
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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?
Jonathan Francetic: I think each relationship is so unique that my plan was to be as flexible as possible, and work through things as best I know how (having help from the experts is never a bad thing either).
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?
Jonathan Francetic: If you've watched the show then you'll know that the man has never not been attracted to the woman; so I wasn't worried about that. The chemistry part worried me a little, but I'm one of those people who doesn't stress about the unknown, so I was waiting to see before freaking out.
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?
Jonathan Francetic: I had reactions all over the board, I even referenced some of them in my wedding speech. Mostly though, if there was a strong reaction it was positive and some people really stepped up for me -- as you'll see!
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?
Jonathan Francetic: Good thing they didn't sign up then? I really could care less what critics think, and if they knew my background then they'd know how and why I take marriage so seriously.
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?
Jonathan Francetic: I thought the hardest part would be figuring out how to live together, and who did what weird/annoying things. I most looked forward to getting to know her, I mean if she's my ideal match then how could that not be!
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?
Jonathan Francetic: I had three non-negotiables: not lazy, doesn't smoke, and loves the water. As much as I love redheads, any specific qualities seemed a bit off, given that a person isn't just what they look like.
Reality TV World: According to Lifetime, your friends describe you as a "pragmatic soldier" but you have a romantic and sensitive side most people haven't seen. Is it difficult for you to open up to a woman and become vulnerable, or do you just avoid public displays of affection?
Jonathan Francetic: I get in my own way with relationships constantly! Especially with feelings related to topics like opening up. Going into this, my main focus was to be as open and vulnerable as possible. I fully expected it to be a challenge because I'm not just opening up to her, but everyone watching as well.