Celeb News

EXCLUSIVE: Former MAFS stars Martha Kalifatidis and Michael Brunelli on what makes their relationship tick

''We fight about the same dumb things that other couples fight about.''

By Rebecca Sullivan
A casual observer of former MAFS stars Martha Kalifatidis and Michael Brunelli might assume that their days are mostly spent walking red carpets and unboxing free PR gifts.
But if you follow this loved-up pair on Instagram for long enough, you'll find yourself checking in to see what hilariously petty fight the couple have gotten themselves into on any given day.
Their last big blow up? An argument over who ate the last cookie.
Last week, Michael secretly filmed his girlfriend of one year completely lose it ("You eat everything! It's the only f--king snack that agrees with me!") after he ate one of her coveted "vegan biscotti" without asking.
Do you have a tip or story for us? Email us with your tip-off at NowToLoveTips@bauer-media.com.au
The pair fight like (very cute) cats and dogs on Instagram. (Image: Instagram)
The couple frequently bicker on their Instagram stories, but it's these delightfully relatable tiffs, and their clear adoration for each other, that has MAFS fans still eager to keep up with their daily antics.
"Love that you stayed together," says one of Martha's 300,000 Instagram followers. "If I don't have a relationship like this I don't want it," another writes.
Others are just as fierce in their adoration.
"I'm just so happy you two are still going strong ❤️ #faves," one fan commented last week, while another said: "Hope you have a wonderful life together 😍 you are meant for each other."
Now they've moved in together after a year of dating. (Image: Instagram)
What is it about these guys that people love so much?
"I think being consistently authentic on my Instagram and socials. It's not an edited version that they get on TV. They see who we really are and how we act," Martha tells Now To Love.
"It's not different from what is going on in everyone else's apartments. We fight about the same dumb things that other couples fight about. We're not special."
Michael has now quit teaching and is focusing his efforts on growing his personal training business online. (Image: Instagram)
After dating for a year, the pair have now moved in together, leaving their hometown of Melbourne for Sydney's sunny shores.
And while Martha, a former makeup artist, and Michael, a primary school teacher turned personal trainer, can easily earn thousands of dollars through endorsement deals, they say their day-to-day lives are far from glamorous.
They have just moved into a new apartment in North Bondi, but are currently without a bed, so they're sleeping on a blow-up mattress.
"We're 11 days in and we're still sleeping on a mattress," Michael told Now To Love.
Martha added: "Moving is pretty stressful. If someone had told me how stressful it would be, I don't think I would have gone ahead with it. We weren't organised. It wasn't an organised move, it was very last minute."
"Getting day drunk in the park," Martha captioned this cute pic. (Image: Instagram)
So that means this year, their Valentine's Day plans are going to be very low-key.
"We're not going to go to an expensive restaurant. We're going to go down to the beach, watch the sunset, get a picnic rug and maybe a little hamper," Michael said.
"It's been so hard to have date nights since the move. For the last couple of weeks, there haven't been any date nights," Martha added.
"Our lives are so busy and when we're out at events, we have to be 'on', so when we have our own time it's nice to do something really chilled. We'll be in our trackies and go and sit under a tree, get some sushi, and keep it really low key. I'm actually not that high maintenance. I know everyone assumes that I am, but I'm not.
"I couldn't think of anything worse than being at a restaurant where they do corny things. You see all these Tinder dates and it makes your cringe."
WATCH BELOW: See Martha and Michael's final vows on Married At First Sight. Story continues after video.
The pair have partnered with shopping app ShopBack for Valentine's Day, which offers users small cash refunds on selected purchases.
"Last night I was up til 1am online getting a Valentine's Day gift for Michael," Martha said.
"I got $120 back from [luxury online retailer] Matches and $90 from [online store] Net-A-Porter," she said.
The loved-up pair at the ARIA Awards last year. (Image: Getty)
Martha has managed to use the publicity from her three-month stint on MAFS to fuel her fast rise as a beauty and lifestyle influencer, and Michael has happily come along for the ride, even quitting his job as a primary school teacher to focus on his fitness career.
"I'm taking a break from teaching and I'm going to focus on building my online personal training business," he said.
"I'm an educator, I've been doing this for a while so I might as well shift my focus over to the adults. There's so much bulls--t on Instagram when it comes to health and fitness, so I'm trying to cut through all of that.
The pair shared a sweet moment on the red carpet together. (Image: Getty)
Martha is also making the most of her growing public profile and is doing paid work with Channel Nine to promote the seventh season of MAFS.
Her experience as a contestant has made her an especially astute viewer.
"I'm watching it as an insider now and so when I watch it, I'm like 'Oh, I know they cut the camera there and they've redone that'. You see everything," she says.
"I didn't really watch it before I went on it, but I can see how people get invested," she said of the reality show's widespread appeal.
Well, it might not be as high-drama as MAFS, but viewers are still just invested in Michael and Martha's love story, more than 12 months later.
For how long can they ride the wive? You'll have to tune in to find out.