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Married At First Sight

MAFS EXCLUSIVE: Dan and Jessika hit back at their haters and reveal their plans to settle down

“We don’t care what people think!”

By Zara Zubeidi
No sooner had Jessika laid eyes on Dan on Married At First Sight, she knew he was "The One".
Throughout the experiment, their connection has only grown stronger – and it was during last week's Commitment Ceremony that the pair decided they could hide their feelings for each other no longer, ditching their partners and making their relationship official.In their first exclusive photo shoot as a couple, it's clear they feel they've made the right decision.
"I was just blown off my feet when I met him," Jess, 26, says as she gazes at Dan adoringly.
"People always used to tell me to have faith and that there's somebody out there for me, but now I say the same thing to other people."
Dan adds, "I honestly had low hopes of finding someone, because I'm 35 and a single dad. I go out all the time and meet people, but I don't get that feeling.
"It doesn't come around often in life, so when it does, you have to take advantage of it. I might be frowned upon for doing that, but it is what it is."
Dan and Jessika are sure they've made the right decision.
Indeed, while Jess and Dan are clearly besotted with each other, their decision to pursue a relationship behind their partner's backs hasn't been without controversy.
Tamara and Mick, their former on-screen spouses, were left furious by their betrayal – and viewers blasted the couple for not being open and honest from the get-go.
While Jess and Dan admit they should have been upfront with their partners sooner, they're not losing any sleep over the backlash.
"I don't really care," Jess says. "With anything we go through, as long as we have each other's backs, it doesn't matter. We know what happened and how we feel. That's all that's important to us."
"We know what happened and how we feel!" says Jessika.
As is often the case with reality show romances, Jess and Dan's relationship has progressed quickly. They've already said the "L" word and Jess has revealed plans to move from her home in Perth to Queensland's Gold Coast, where Dan is based. The pair have even discussed children.
"If my partner didn't want children, it'd be a no from me," Jess explains. "It's one of my biggest things. I want children in the next two to three years."
Dan adds, "I'm definitely open to having [more of] them. I'm not getting any younger!"
But both Jess and Dan are mindful of the need to enjoy a "normal" relationship first.
"We want to go on dates, we want to miss each other," Jess says. "And he has a child who is a big part of his life. We want to see how we incorporate all of that before we start thinking about marriage."
Jess and Dan are looking forward to having children together one day.
Dan echoes Jess' outlook. For him, his four-year-old son is without doubt his number-one priority.
"I've never brought a girl into his life before, so it was a big thing for me to come into this experiment," Dan says. "I wanted him to see me in a happy relationship, because I think it's important for a kid to see that.
"It [him having a son] was a big thing for Jess and I think that's what got my interest. She was more interested in my son than me!"
Jess adds, "One of the things that made me melt was when Dan said he loves being a dad. A lot of young men these days use their children as an accessory to find women. But you can see the love Dan has when he talks about his son.
"I just love the aspect children can bring to your life. I will always put his son first, and then us."
"I will always put Dan's son first, and then us," says Jessika.
Having recently reunited with her estranged biological father and having little to no contact with her own mother, Jessika values a stable family unit.
She says that being with Dan has opened her eyes to what it's like to finally be in a loving, stable relationship.
"I've never been selfish in my whole life," she says. "I'm the matriarch of my family and I've always done everything for everyone else.
"It's so weird having Dan do things for me. He'll grab my bags for me or we'll have lunch and he'll take my plate away. I've never had that.
"It's so nice to feel like I'm not leaning on someone. We're both leaning on each other."

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