Fraser Pearce speaks out about Monique and Gareth’s shock MAFS hook-up – and reveals he has a new love interest of his own

''They’re both good-looking people and with the powers of alcohol... it’s the solution and cause of all our problems.''

We were all floored by the news that Gareth Noble and Monique Lee from Married At First Sight NZ hooked up after the show.

The unlikely pair was spotted holding hands and kissing at a Christchurch nightclub and then leaving together, after some of the show’s participants celebrated together after the series’ wrap.

In the show Gareth had been paired with 32-year-old promotions manager Ottie Schwartz, while Monique had married 27-year-old policy analyst Fraser Pearce.

Both couples had called it a day but Monique and Fraser had developed a strong friendship and some viewers held out hope that they still might work out.

But while Fraser says he’s been hurt by the shock pairing – which Monique has since said was unplanned and unexpected – it was the way he found out rather than the hook-up itself that upset him.

Speaking exclusively to Now To Love Fraser shares, “It is hard and I can definitely accept that it was unplanned, because it doesn’t look very good, but it does make you go ‘that’s a little bit hurtful’ because I would have hoped that Monique had known I was never going to be fazed by it. It just would have been nice to get the heads up first.”

He had seen the pair holding hands throughout the evening and quietly hoped it wouldn’t lead to anything further.

“I didn’t want them to get any media attention that would take away from the experiment.”

The unlikely hook-up – Gareth Noble and Monique Lee

But it wasn’t until the next day that he found out when the group re-gathered for a sausage sizzle. One of the others mentioned “a bit of drama” that had happened after Fraser had left – which made for an awkward moment when they realised he hadn’t been told. The moment was made even more awkward by the fact Monique and Gareth were also at the sausage sizzle.

To “Monique and Gareth’s credit” they both “checked in” with Fraser afterwards to make sure he was okay, Fraser reveals, and he and Monique have since cleared the air over the phone.

“I know she’s quite worried she’s damaged the friendship by what’s gone on, but the fact that she still cares about the friendship is a big plus for her,” Fraser says.

He philosophises, “You can’t go through an experience like this and not care for the other person. It’s definitely not romantic but you can’t go through such an emotionally intense experience and not care for the other person. I still feel like Monique had my back throughout the experiment.”

He also has no hard feelings about Gareth.

“At the heart of it… you can have a little too much alcohol and then you can make a couple of dumb decisions and that’s the way I’m looking at it. It was just a couple of young people making a couple of dumb decisions in an environment we’ve all been in before.

“They’re both good-looking people and with the powers of alcohol… it’s the solution and cause of all our problems,” he quips.

Gareth and Ottie, left, and Fraser and Monique on their MAFS wedding days.

But perhaps one of the reasons Fraser is being so gracious is that he’s met someone new, and is currently floating on cloud nine.

The show favourite had been seeing someone after MAFS wrapped but soon realised he was not in the right head space and ended things.

“It’s been a couple of weeks now since I’ve been talking to the last girl and I’m in a lot better head space,” Fraser opens up.

“I’ve been talking to someone in Auckland… The girl is real awesome and… I’m hopefully going to be flying up to Auckland and meeting up with her soon to see if there’s something there.”

Going on the show made him realise that there was room to improve in his approach to dating, so he’ll be exploring this relationship with a more open mind.

He plans to show more patience and humbleness and keep at the back of his mind that the person doesn’t have to be perfect.

For his first date with his mystery love interest he’s hoping they’ll “chill out, get to know each other, watch a bit of TV and have some nice food”.

For their second, “conquer Mt Everest, or at least something nice that involves brunch”.

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