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Jenna Robinson Opens Up About Her Experience On Married at First Sight UK

We caught up with Jenna Robinson to talk all things MAFS, life after the show and what's next for her and her partner Zoe Clifton.

Jenna Roinson from Married at First Sight UK wearing an orange suit with a dark red bandaeu cropped

Jenna Roinson from Married at First Sight UK wearing an orange suit with a dark red bandaeu cropped

The 2022 series of Married at First Sight UK had plenty to write home about - but the real stars of the show were Jenna Robinson and Zoe Clifton. The show's first lesbian couple are also the only pair to remain together after filming ceased. It's not often we see reality TV couples stay together after the show - so we're somewhat obsessing over Jenna and Zoe's journey. 

Since the show aired earlier this year, fans have rallied around the couple, praising them for their honest, down to Earth and relatable approach to the process. We watched them tackling differences, opening up to each other and being consistently united throughout the process. 

Following their relationship success, we caught up with Jenna to discuss her experience on the show - and there was plenty to talk about! Jenna shares how compromise and openness played a key part in hers and Zoe's relationship, and how their dynamics have changed since the show aired.

Jenna Robinson Opens Up About Her Experience On Married at First Sight UK

In this exclusive interview with Hitched, she discusses how integral homestays were for their relationship, the pressures to work out and how, without the experts, she and Zoe wouldn't have made it past date two. She's the happiest she's ever been, and is here to share how she and Zoe got to such an amazing place, and what their future holds...

1. Compromise is Key

Throughout the show’s filming, Jenna and Zoe’s disconnect on veganism seemed to play a big part in their early conflict, but Jenna explains that although there were compromises that needed to be made, this somewhat ‘huge’ issue, was somewhat blown out of proportion.

“The big difference for us was the fact that I’m a vegan and she’s not. I think my biggest frustration throughout the whole process was that being with someone who isn’t a vegan is something I feel like I can easily compromise on. Zoe didn’t think that, I think because she’d never really met a vegan so she didn’t understand it.

"She felt judged from the start and she thought that I was going to judge her and not compromise. I hated being labelled as something that I'm not, so it caused this friction between us because when someone has an opinion on you which isn’t right, but you’re on national TV; what people say is seen as truth. We both didn’t like feeling judged to begin with, and that was the issue.

READ MORE: The Best Vegan Wedding Caterers

"Obviously the more we got to know each other, and the more the show went on, the more we could see how much we were both willing to compromise for the right relationship because we had that connection. When you have two people coming together who are used to living their own independent lives, you have to merge somehow so I think compromise, no matter what it’s on, has to happen.”

2. Core Values Count

Despite differing opinions on a number of things, Jenna insists it's the core values that really matter. You can compromise on the smaller things, Jenna is hugely passionate about sustainability, Zoe is really into exercise - those things don't have to be the same. But there are certain things that do. And while we know opposites can attract, it seems these two are far from opposite. 

“We seemed to live such different lifestyles on the surface, but when it actually came down to it and we got to know each other properly, we realised we had a lot more in common than people realised and definitely much more than was even shown on the show. 

“Zoe likes to rave, I like a gig, she’s not a vegan, I am, so there are certain ways we are opposite, but when it comes to our core values, how we live our lives and our relationship with our friends and family - that’s where we’re very similar. And the things we want from life and the type of lifestyle we want are also very similar. Those are the things that matter. That’s what’s important."

READ MORE: Beautiful Sustainable Wedding Dresses

3. Family Matters

Whilst Jenna and Zoe were completely isolated from their friends and family, they did have the other couples to confide in, but Jenna reveals that it was only family opinions they really needed. Home stays really helped these two cement their feelings for one another and it couldn't have come sooner for them. 

“It was a huge struggle not having our friends and family around which is why home stays were really important because it really gave us that insight into each other's family lives and how the other person lived their lives. Things got a bit easier for us at that point, when we could have conversations about the relationship with our family input.

"I think once you are put into a scenario where you are surrounded by friends and family and the people that love you and know you for who you are and you are yourself around those people, that's when your partner starts to really get to know you and what your life is like and what you're about.

"It really mattered as well because the only other people you have to talk to (aside from the experts) throughout the process were people that you don’t really know. You could go to someone else for help and advice but you don’t know that they’re going to give you the right help and advice you need because you don’t know if you can trust them.

"You don’t know anyone’s intentions in whole process and if their relationship is failing, they might not want yours to succeed so you have all of these things going on in your head and you question people's motives. It was hard during the process, but things got easier after home stays when we could confide in people who know us and care about us.”

4. Building Trust on TV is Tough

Jenna in a boho wedding dress holding her vows and facing the camera while Zoe MAFS stands in a suit with her back to the camera

We watched Jenna and Zoe’s relationship flourish on the show. They demonstrated commitment, communication and openness, but Jenna explains that building trust on a TV show is tough, no matter how great the person is that you’re matched with. 

“When we were filming, I didn’t know what Zoe was saying to other people on camera and she didn’t know what I was talking about to other people. You’d think that not having distractions from the outside world would make you trust your partner more.

"But being in a process where you’ve got cameras in your face and you’re being filmed for a TV show does make you question whether you can really trust your partner in the process and what their true intentions are. Even though I knew Zoe was a great person, I genuinely liked her and we had a great connection, I definitely still had that fear.

"Because of the situation you're in, you hold onto all the little comments that people make and wonder if they’re just doing it for the experience. Luckily for us, since the process, mine and Zoe’s relationship has just got stronger and stronger. In a way, our relationship didn’t properly begin until we left the process, but what the show did do is give us a great foundation to work from.”

READ MORE: The Wedding Businesses Who Give Back

5. There’s Pressure to Stay Together

Zoe and Jenna made staying together look easy by the end. We all loved watching their romance flourish on our screens, but it's easy to watch from our sofas and not really understand the pressure these couples face as the show airs months after their experience in the experiment has ended. 

“Being the only couple who were still together put pressure on us to remain together. Obviously we knew we were the only ones, and we know we'd stayed together, but the audience didn't, because we had to wait for it to all air. There was a lot of pressure for us to work out and I think Zoe particularly felt that pressure. 

"I found it a bit easier to detach myself from that. It got to a point where I was like it doesn’t really matter what’s being shown on TV because we are where we are now and that's what matters. I think it took Zoe a bit longer to be able to process that but once the show stopped airing, she could breathe again and we could begin the next chapter of our relationship.”

6. Make Time for Therapy

We watch the experts perfectly articulate exactly what each half of each couple are feeling - we don't know how they do it, but it's seriously impressive. It's clear that the therapy couch sessions hugely benefit the couples, and they are so well supported throughout the whole process, so is this something that could benefit all couples - whether you're experiencing difficulties or not? 

"I know we’re obviously biased, but I think Zoe would agree with me that therapy or some sort of guidance and help in the early stages of any relationship can be really  beneficial. We wouldn’t have carried on in the outside world without it. We would have given up at the first hurdle - the fact I’m vegan and she’s not - which in the grand scheme of things now doesn’t matter to us at all now!

"The therapy sessions did us the world of good because there were some days where we’d go into a commitment ceremony and we weren’t even talking to each other. There was one time which I don't think was shown on TV where we weren’t speaking, we didn’t hold hands, we just sat and waited to get it all out on the sofa.

READ MORE: How to Maintain Intimacy in Your Relationship

"We laid everything bare and told the experts exactly how we felt and took their advice. I think because we were both genuinely there for the right reasons, we were willing to be vulnerable and there was a genuine connection, it worked for us. I think anyone, an individual or a couple, could benefit from it."

7. You're Always Being Filmed

Jenna Robinson from Married at First Sight UK wearing an orange suit with a dark red bandaeu cropped.jpg

Similarly to the pressure, it's easy to forget as a viewer that none of these people are used to being filmed all day every day for a reality TV program that is set to be aired to millions. Making the transition from leading an ordinary life, to being watched like Big Brother and marrying a stranger is a really overwhelming concept, and Jenna found it tough. 

"Being on camera was such a foreign experience. It’s the first time I’d ever been involved in something like that and I really didn’t know what to expect. It was hard to adjust to having a camera in your face 24/7, I don’t know how people in Made in Chelsea and those shows do it.

"Even when we did the first stage of filming the backstory at home, they'd ask questions repeatedly to get multiple shots - which I know is standard practice - but I just couldn't get my head around it. I wasn’t used to having a camera in my face, but it was so much different by the time home stays came around.

"Having that natural, organic meeting with my family was such a breath of fresh air compared to answering questions to camera and the ceremony filming. I remember filming with my sister and my mum and feeling the most natural I’d felt. The whole nine weeks we’d been filming had never felt natural for me, but as soon as I got home I didn’t care that the cameras were there. I was just updating my family on my new relationship and I forgot they were even filming."

READ MORE: Discover Wedding Vendors Near You

8. We Keep Things Real 

One of the reasons Jenna and Zoe were so popular on the show, and since it aired, is because they kept things real the whole time. They were vulnerable, admitted when things were tough and they have continued to do so as their relationship developed in the real world. 

“It’s not been easy, there are so many emotions and feelings to deal with. That’s the reality of being on a reality tv show and it’s important that we show these are our genuine thoughts and feelings so people know they aren’t the only ones with ups and downs.

"Relationships don’t come easy. Marriage doesn’t come easy. There’s always going to be arguments, there’s always going to be compromise and it’s how you work through that that matters. If you can learn to communicate, you’ve got a much stronger chance of going the distance. But we’ll never pretend.”

9. The Future Looks Good

Through the ups and downs, compromises, dinner parties, commitment ceremonies and reunions (God, we love those reunions!), Jenna and Zoe have gone from strength to strength in their relationship. Their journey has, really, only just begun, but we're so happy to see them flourishing.

"Throughout the whole process, we communicated really well and that was down to the experiment. In the outside world we probably would have gone on one or two dates and then gone our separate ways, so being forced together and working through our issues has really helped. You know, I’m in one of the happiest relationships I’ve ever been in in my life so for me, it’s paid off. 

"We have all of these different chapters of our relationship and we've been through lots of different stages because of the show. Now, and for a long time since the show ended, it just feels like normal life for us. This is what life will be like together, and it just keeps getting better and better. 

"I think there will potentially be a moment in the future where I or Zoe wants to propose. I said 'I’m going to propose to you,' for a laugh and she was like, 'Don’t you dare!'

"Obviously I’d want the most sustainable wedding ever. I’d want everything vegan. I can just picture this lovely wholesome day where we all go out in the morning, hang fairy lights and homemade decorations, but we’ll see how much I can get Zoe on board with… I can see this going the distance and I don’t tend to get that feeling in relationships. Normally I’m the one who isn’t bothered, but this feels like the real deal."

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