Following their bitter, blazing row on the final episode of Married at First Sight NZ, it looked like there was no going back for Julia Malley and Dave McClelland.
But the former couple had a shock change of heart after that dramatic showdown. Despite experiencing intimacy issues throughout the series, Woman's Day can confirm that the pair got "hot and heavy" when the filming of the hit Three series finished.
The Dunedin entrepreneur, 44, first hinted at the reunion on Instagram, writing, "My journey with Julia continues today away from the cameras." And at the NZ Music Awards, the Christchurch account manager, 33, admitted she'd "hooked up" with Dave since the show ended. "It was good – I can't lie!" Julia told us.
Now Dave confesses that the pair got on "exceptionally well after the show", admitting, "We progressed to what I considered would have been enough to have a relationship with her and I thought there may have been a glimmer of hope. But literally within three days of things getting hot and heavy, that old s* came out of the woodwork and she went back to the way she always was.
"I felt the progression we made wasn't genuine. I felt she was coming at me for the wrong reasons, perhaps because she was copping a bit of flak on the show. Maybe it was because I was more popular than others on the show – and certainly her.
"She's got some commitment and trust issues. I've always been pretty upfront and straightforward with her, but she thought I was seeing someone, which I wasn't."
Meanwhile, Julia tells us, "I was quite angry at the way he blindsided me in that last episode, but I got over it and decided it was worth giving it another shot away from the cameras. It wasn't easy, but we turned things around and outside of the experiment, there was an attraction there."
However, she confesses, "I've struggled to let go of the resentment and I was a bit disappointed in him not sticking up for me with all the cyber-bullying. I need to let go of that if we're to have any relationship at all. It's pretty up and down between us, and I'm left as confused as ever."
While Julia now describes her love life as "stagnant", she says Dave will be coming to stay with her in Christchurch this week. But Dave tells us that he's considering moving to Auckland to pursue a career in comedy and that "there's someone I like who I'm having some fun with at the moment".
He says, "I'm just seeing how she feels as she's a pretty private person, and it's quite daunting when we go out as everyone wants to chat and take photos. That's the only downside of the show."
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