She thought she'd finally found her perfect match when she wed popular returning Married At First Sight groom John Robertson in a romantic outdoor ceremony – but soon after the television cameras stopped rolling, the pair went their separate ways.
Now, months on from her TV heartache, Mornington Peninsula-based mum Melissa Walsh has found love again... and he was right under her nose the entire time!
As they hold hands and smile at each other, it's clear Melissa and her boyfriend Fred Whitson are head over heels – and they're desperate to share their love story with the world.
"I've never felt a love like this before!" gushes Melissa.
"I finally understand why people write poems for people they love. When I hear a romantic line in a film, it finally makes sense... because I'm now one of those gushy people!"
Weeks after announcing her split from TV husband John, and when she least expected it, Melissa found love with navy musician and artist Fred, who she'd met before going on the reality show.
"I interviewed Fred for his work as a local artist and we really hit it off," recalls journalist and young-at-heart grandma Melissa.
"He added me on Facebook a few weeks after we met and I remember thinking that he might be interested in me, but I didn't know if he was just being friendly!" she giggles.
Their blossoming friendship was fleeting as, soon after, Melissa received a call to say she'd been chosen for Married At First Sight and would be walking down the aisle to "marry" a complete stranger in two weeks!
"I was just about to ask her out on a date when she told me she was going away for 'work', " recalls twice-divorced Fred, 54, who also lives on the Peninsula.
"I got in touch a few months later, as I was unsure if she was going ahead with the article, and she told me she was actually away filming the show. My first thought was, 'Is this marriage legally binding?' and after a quick Google, I knew it was not!
"My second thought was that I'd have to hold off on asking her out until I knew how the relationship on the show would turn out," he explains.
Meanwhile, Melissa's TV "marriage" was floundering, and in March she and John released a statement, saying they'd split after struggling with distance.
"It has been a very difficult decision and it makes us both very sad to say we have decided to no longer continue as a couple," they said at the time.
Despite their split, Melissa and John remain on good terms and see each other at MAFS catch-ups from time to time.
With heartbreak behind her, Melissa is open to what the future holds for her and Fred.
"I told her I loved her after a few weeks of dating," reveals Fred.
"We have now been together for six or seven weeks – but we're not counting!"
"I said I loved him back because it just felt right," shares Melissa. "It's been a very quick connection that's happened so intensely, and I can't wait to share my life with him."
His TV marriages might have failed, but John Robertson's love life appears to have taken a turn for the better recently!
The fun-loving father-of-two has been spotted out on a double date with a blonde bombshell, writer Kenicha Hatten, 45, and his former co-star Telv Williams and girlfriend Maddie Carolan.
"She was a fan of the show and reached out to me on social media," confirms John, 54.
"It's early days and we're still getting to know each other, but so far so good!"
Here's hoping John can find happiness like Mel has.
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