Do you remember Ning?
Famous for building an authentic connection with a stranger on season 6 of Married at First Sight.
Her ending was far from the fairy tale ending of Jules and Cam.
You could say that it was far more realistic and something that we could all relate to.
Last time we saw her (on our television screens) she was heartbroken…. gutted… and pissed off… and our hearts broke for her, because, well, most of us have been in a similar situation.
Her husband had broken his word, and rejected her on national television. (Okay, maybe we haven't had it that bad!)
Now, if you don't already know who i'm talking about, let me introduce you to Ning from season 6 of Married At First Sight (MAFS).
Eight months after the show, I checked in on Ning to see how she was coping with life after MAFS.
And, I've got say, I was absolutely blown away!
She was a vision of self-confidence, inner beauty and content happiness
It was hard to believe, that only one year ago, this woman was broken by a failed relationship which had left her a 32 year old single mother with three children.
Sick of feeling broken and damaged, Ning decided to try something different.
She decided to #DateDifferently.
She put her faith in match-makers, science and psychology and gave reality TV a go.
Life has a funny way of teaching you lessons, and it turns out that having her heart broken by a complete stranger as part of a crazy experiment, might have actually been the best thing for her.
The experiment may not have gone to plan.
Ning didn’t get a husband out of it.
What she did get was even better.
She got a new perspective
Applying for the experiment forced Ning to stop and #ThinkDifferently.
She had to put in serious time to dig deep and reveal every single thing about herself.
Like most people, Ning had never taken the time to pour her heart out onto paper and really think about what her values were, what she did and didn’t like and what the root cause of her insecurities were.
Usually she just tried to fit in, and worked to keep relationships going.
She’d always looked after other people, and had never even considered putting herself first.
That’s one of the best things that Ning took from the experiment.
Ning set a standard for herself
She set the standard of putting herself first, and making sure she is always looking after herself.
She also re-evaluated what she was looking for in a man
Ning used to think she wanted a man that was funny.
Now she knows that all she needs is someone who likes her for who she is and prioritises her.
The man she was paired with on the show may not have been a laugh a minute, but Ning was the first to admit that she did learn a lot from him.
He did hold her space when she needed it, and they did have a great banter.
You see, banter is important to Ning.
She suffers from 'verbal diarrhoea' and isn’t ashamed of that at all.
If you've never heard of it:
'verbal diarrhoea' - a condition where a person speaks their mind without any filter; consequences could be profoundly funny or devastatingly insulting, depending on the listener.
Ning used to bite her tongue a bit, and try not to say things that might cause people to not like her.
But since the show, she’s learnt to #EngageDifferently.
She's stopped being careful with her words on first dates and pretending to be someone that they might like.
She embraces her ‘koo koo' awesomeness, and shows people her real self as soon as she meets them
Ning is happy if someone decides that they’re not into her on the first date, because it means she doesn’t have to spend more time with people that aren’t right for her.
Without even knowing it, she’s stumbled across one of our #DateDifferently lessons that I like to call ‘the polar bear’.
I saw your eyebrows raise there, hang on a minute, I'll explain...
You see, there are only three types of men.
When dating, you need to figure out as fast as possible what type of man he is, and the easiest way to do that is to be completely yourself from the very first second.
If you’re not their cup of tea, they’ll realise quickly and run for the hills.
If they like what they see, they’ll lean in for more and fall in love.
It’s the one’s on the fence that you have to worry about, they’re the type that are likely to waste your time.
If a man is not committing one way or the other, you’ve got to polarise him by giving him more of yourself (get it? Polarise. You're the polar bear!).
I think this is something that Ning has perfected and if i'm honest...
She has become unapologetically Ning
(and I’ve got to tell you, I’m falling in love with it.)
Hearing about Ning's dating experiences was the highlight of my week, and for those if you who know me, know I could honestly talk about dating and relationships all day long.
If you want to talk about what’s going on for you, reach out.
I’ll buy the milkshakes!
P.S. If you’re in dire need of a new perspective on dating. Hit pause for a minute and download our Dating Detox Guide.
It might help get your head in the game. Download it here.