Stephanie Sersen knew exactly what she was getting herself into when she signed up to be Married at First Sight.
The 35-year-old Philadelphia area resident was paired to wed 37-year-old AJ Vollmoeller by the expert matchmaking crew of the Lifetime reality series for the eighth season of the radical relationship experiment, which asks singles to give up the reigns in their dating life and marry someone they've just met.
Prior to Tuesday's season premiere, Sersen opened up to PopCulture.com exclusively about what compelled her to put her faith in Dr. Jessica Griffin, Pastor Cal Roberson and Dr. Pepper Schwartz, admitting she was a fan of the show long before deciding to give it a try herself.
"I chose to be Married at First Sight for a few reasons," she explained. "First, I’ve watched the series for years and love it, so I’m a believer that it can work, and it can work for me, too. Also, I’ve been in several long relationships that have failed because the man was not ready for commitment. Being Married at First Sight takes away the fear of commitment, so I knew I would be matched with someone who also wants to be married."
Finally, she added, "I’m a totally adventurous person who is too busy with work and social life for trial-and-error dating, so at 35 years old, using an expert matchmaking service to get Married at First Sight seemed like a perfect way to potentially find love!"
Meeting Vollmoeller for the first time at their wedding was certainly a wild experience, but Sersen said she knew she was compatible with him on some level from the start.
"He looks handsome and I loved his bits of gray hair because it means he’s my age," she said of her first thoughts upon meeting her new husband. "I preferred to be matched with someone around my age so this was a relief to me!"
"I’ve watched the show for years so I knew exactly what I was signing up for," she told PopCulture. "If this is what I have to do to find the love of my life, then I will do it!"
Going from being a fan of the reality show to documenting her new marriage on it was definitely a big change, she added.
"The journey was busy! I already work 50-60 hour weeks, and then committed to filming 40 hours a week on top of that, after work and weekends. So I had no time to myself, and lost a lot of sleep," she explained to PopCulture.
Not being able to travel for months was tough for the self-professed explorer, but despite the "cabin fever," Sersen said she settled in to "just tough it out until the end and hope it all pays off!"
Married at First Sight Season 8 (produced by Kinetic Content) premieres Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on Lifetime.
Photo credit: Kinetic Content