Make Or Break? relationship expert Louise Mazanti gives her verdict on the couples – and her tips for a good relationship
The sex and relationship guru also hints at what we can expect this series
It looks like we could be seeing some of the couples on Make Or Break? get a bit more than they bargained for.
Louise Mazanti, a sex and relationship therapist on the Channel 5 show, has hinted that some of the people taking part share a kiss (and possibly more) with people on the island who aren't their partners.
The premise of the show sees eight couples who are all at a crossroads in their relationship jet off to an idyllic island location where they are split up and put with other boys and girls before being put to the test in a series of challenges.
"I could feel some people were struggling quite early on," says Louise. "It was a pressure cooker sometimes."
Asked if she was taken aback by any of their antics, Louise said: "I wasn’t shocked by any of it because the full set up is pushing for that. It was to be expected, and I think – I mean, putting two people in the same bed doesn’t mean they need to have sex or anything needs to happen. But it was an interesting experiment.
"My initial thought was that David and Beth were not entirely right for each other," she explains. "I also had the sense that Andy and Elle were not right for each other and I had the sense that Holly and Karl were quite challenged. Those three couples were the ones that I could see that there was definitely some difficult stuff between them."
A lot of the couples on Make Or Break? didn't want to admit to having problems, reveals Louise, who has just released a book called Real Sex: Why Everything You Learned About Sex Is Wrong alongside her husband Mike Lousada. "I had to dig a little bit," she says. "It’s not that hard – I’m used to it, it’s what I do."
After a rifle around their psyches, Louise said she found a lot of them had a lack of trust in their relationship. "There were some cases where there had been cheating, and how to deal with that and how that was impacting their sex life," she says.
Although parting ways and getting paired up with another person perhaps doesn't sound like the best way to improve your relationship, Louise thinks the opposite is true.
"To go through a process where you have everything questioned is healthy," she says. "You learn so much about yourself. Some of them discover this [relationship] is not right for them, and some of them discover that they can stand through it. We have some challenges, but we learn a lot along the way. "
According to Louise, she also reckons that going on TV, shining a spotlight on your relationship and putting it to the ultimate test "won't damage something that's heathy".
"I don’t think it can make a problem that’s already there worse," she says. "It’s just going to make it surface quicker. I don’t think that a TV show can damage a relationship that is really good. If you’re having problems, they would surface over a longer time and you’d waste more time over a relationship that really wasn’t working."
Louise's tips for a good relationship:
1. Listen to your body: If you lose desire, that's a warning sign. If you don’t want to have sex or your body shuts down. You really need to feel what’s going on in your body, because your body knows the truth. Sometimes our mind tells us ‘it’s really good to be in this relationship’, but we can’t feel it in our body. Around your partner, do you feel your body open or are you in contraction? Are you getting tense or do you feel relaxed and open? Listen to your body, that’s so important.
2. Have lots of eye contact: I would say if you’re not having a lot of eye contact, you’re not being present with each other. There’s no meeting, there’s no real connection. That's so important.
3. Authentic communication: That’s really important to communicate your desires, what you want, what feels good, what doesn’t feel good. Just be really honest. That’s the basic rule number one. And I’d say silence is the killer of sex and relationships, so really communicate what’s going on. With people who are more clear about what they want and speak up, that can sound like friction and difficulty. But actually it’s just that they’re growing. So I would always say get your problems, insecurities and doubts out in the open because that’s a possibility to grow.
4. Tell the truth: If you’re keeping things back or not sharing entirely how it is, you’re strategising. That is an absolute warning signal.
5. Have a little physical contact every day: I’m not talking about sexual contact - just a little hug, touch or a kiss. That sensual, physical connection that shows ‘I’m here, I notice you, I’m aware that you’re there – we might not be having a conversation or having sex, but I’m still aware that you’re there.’ And I’d say that’s much more important than a date night because that keeps the flow open between – it keeps our bodies open to each other. It creates a lot more life and aliveness between us.
Make Or Break? airs on Channel 5 at 10pm.