Michal Schöpke is not only a charismatic and thoughtful young man, but also a successful husband, known to almost the entire nation thanks to his courageous participation in the unique social experiment Married at First Sight. At the same time, his relationship with Klára Prošková is the exception that proves the theory that science can help find love. Now that he’s no longer under the watchful eyes of the camera and his life has been getting back to normal in the past few months, he spoke extensively about the aforementioned topic in an interview for LP-Life.com. Michael revealed the profound moments he shared with Klára during the filming and talked about what he found unique and interesting about the whole project. He indicated the direction in which their current relationship is heading and mentioned a possible "real" wedding!
You participated in the media experiment Married at First Sight and since then, you’ve been in a lasting relationship. What makes it unique and different from your previous relationships, in which science was not involved?
It’s not going to be a surprise to anyone when I say that it was unique through the way it started alone. Because typically, relationships are about two people that hit it off. Here you just hope everything turns out well. So the unique thing about it was mainly the fact that we skipped this first “head over heels” phase, this infatuation when you see the other through pink glasses, which normally lasts about half a year in a relationship. So that’s why it’s pretty unique for us, because we jumped right in and we want to keep building it. We completely skipped the first phase.
Thanks to this project, you have become well-known in the media. I bet people recognize you on the street. How has popularity changed your life?
I don't really feel famous nor do I consider myself more important than I was before. Of course, people recognize me sometimes, such as when I go shopping. Sometimes they stare, and every now and then they stop us when they see us and tell us that it’s awesome, that they’re following us and keep their fingers crossed for us. And that's nice. Otherwise, it didn't change anything in my life, except that it brought me Klárka and also that I travel more and spend more time behind the wheel now that we visit each other. Life’s much more pleasant now that one has someone to spend valuable time with. So that's what has changed for me, of course. But otherwise… the fame and media attention? I wouldn't say that anything changed significantly in that respect.
I've answered this question about a hundred times, but I'm happy to repeat it. Because, and I think I can speak for Klára, too, neither of us signed up by ourselves. In my case, it was my friends that signed me up… or rather my best friend’s girlfriend, his cousin. And what was the reason and why? Simply put, they knew me and were aware I’d been alone for a while. They didn't quite understand how it was possible that I couldn't find anyone or why I was alone. So they decided to take matters into their own hands, they sent in an application in my name, and naturally, I told them: “Have you gone crazy? I’m not gonna do that!" And that was what got me into this project.
I didn't give any weight to whether or not it would work out. That's why I was saying "Oh, sure. Look, it’s not like they’re gonna pick me. I’m not one to beg for attention", and stuff like that. Even in that first moment, when the phone rang and I heard the production of the show speaking on the other side, I was thinking: “Alright, let’s give it a shot. It’s not gonna be that bad. At least I'll see what it looks like behind the scenes of such a production.” And somehow I made it through all the way till the end.
Did you have any expectations and requirements when choosing a future partner or did you fully trust the experts and science?
When you agree to participate in such an experiment, you know that it’s out of your hands once the wheels start turning, and there is no going back. I remember that at a certain point, I told myself I can no longer change anything and that there was no point in thinking about it. But I didn't have any specific requirements. Klárka probably had similar expectations, we agreed on that when we talked about it together. In fact, my only requirement and wish was that we wouldn’t kill each other with my partner and future wife. That there’d be someone with whom I would get along and who would make the experiment pleasant for me. I can't imagine having to go through it with someone with whom we’d start arguing during the first week. That would have turned the whole show into suffering.
Now that you’ve met other female participants in the experiment, do you think the experts made the right choice? Or would you rather trade?
I think you know the answer to that. First of all, if I said I would trade, I’d be digging my own grave. No, seriously. I wouldn't change a thing. I actually know all the other brides. And I can say that they’re amazing and great people. I like them on the friendship level, they're pretty awesome. But I definitely wouldn't trade. And I’m saying this with complete honesty.
Which moments from the shooting were the strongest ones for you from the perspective of building a mutual relationship or love?
I think we’d both give pretty much the same answer here. One of the most important moments that definitely moved us forward was the dinner we had together with the other couples. I think I mentioned it in my final decision. It must have been our first disagreement or argument, we really couldn’t find a way to see eye to eye at that moment. Later on, we explained it to each other and communicated about it. That was one of the most important moments for our future relationship. We realized that we weren’t there against each other, but for each other, that we were in it together. And at that moment, we both realized that we wanted to create and build something together, that we actually cared, and didn’t wish to quit at the first opportunity. I think that helped us move forward a lot.
Yes. The problematic issues that arose were very important. I think Klárka helped me a lot back then, because she is so communicative and open. I'm not saying that I’m not. But the moment I saw her do it, I had one of those wow moments, as I realized this probably won't be a problem. It was definitely a relief.
Were there any significant moments between you and Klára that did not get out to the audience? And how were they important to your relationship?
Proběhly nějaké významné okamžiky mezi tebou a Klárou, které se nedostaly k divákům? A v čem byly pro váš vztah důležité?
We’ve had such moments and I’ve actually just described one of them. It was our first disagreement and I’m not even sure if the cameras caught it. Maybe a part of it, not the whole thing. That may not have gotten out to the audience. We didn't know if they would show it either. That situation was significant in that we were able to talk it out and it helped us move on. And were there any other moments? Those might be too intimate to share...
I was rather thinking of something completely different from the situation you described in the previous answer, something positive that was really just between you and Klára and it didn’t make it on screen.
There were a lot of such things. The reality show as such showed very little of what we’d actually experienced. I think it was mostly the little things, because the big events were shown on-screen or reported about. But the little things that happened between us during the day, like when we were joking around and having fun, were not reflected there. But I think it was significant. Because those little things were very important to us.
What does your current "coexistence" with Klára look like? How is your relationship evolving and how are you working on it?
At present, the way our relationship works… How to put it if I want to make sure I’ve described it correctly? We both live on our own and visit each other as often as we can. It's actually something we’d discussed thoroughly. And it might have actually been a good thing that we hadn’t started living together right away. We were both used to living alone for a very long time. I think we might have been tempted to kill each other, if we’d moved together so quickly. It’s true that we’ve already talked about the fact that this driving up and down and spending so much time on the road is quite challenging. It's not always comfortable. So yeah, we've already discussed it, if we’d do something about it. And what else are we dealing with? What has actually happened since the shooting? I’ve already said this before, but our relationship isn't always a walk in the park, we also have our downs as well as ups. But I think that’s what we’re like. Either we can talk about it or we don't throw in the towel. Neither of us wants to give up or anything like that. In this respect, I think that pushes us a lot further, as we get to know each other better. We still experience situations where we don’t see eye to eye at first, but we always manage to explain it to each other somehow.
To be honest, I didn't really mind. The cameras didn't bother me that much throughout the entire time of the filming, not even before the whole wedding. The only thing I often thought about was my job and profession, because I’m a teacher. I was concerned śomething might appear there that could discredit me or something. But it turned out it wasn’t necessary to think about it so critically. Except maybe… Once the experiment started, in the first moments when the two of us had known each other for a very short time… it takes a while, of course, for some level of trust to build between you. I know that in the first days I used to be a little more nervous about what would actually take place in front of the cameras. But after a while, the weight came off my shoulders, because we were really in it together, the both of us. I think that helped me a lot. And we also had nice people around us which helped create a relaxing overall atmosphere. So I think we were actually pretty fine through it all.
Although you had a wedding on screen with everything it entails, it is not officially valid. Are you planning a real wedding in the future?
We’ve actually talked about it out of fun, what Klárka's last name would look like if we decided to get married for real. But it's probably too soon to talk about a wedding when we're not even living in the same household yet. We don't know if we won’t kill each other once we start living in a common household! But from my point of view, if the relationship didn’t lack anything that should be present, then I certainly wouldn't say no to getting married. I'm not against weddings at all.
This is an interesting question and my answer will probably be a bit paradoxical. I have never considered any reality show, not even this one. As for the format of these shows, I'm not really a person who likes to watch a lot of TV, but I'll put it this way. There are some reality show formats that caught my attention and I ended up watching them. But it wasn’t that I was breathlessly waiting for each new episode. On the other hand, there are formats that I consider utter trash and I literally can’t stand them. I probably don't have a ready-made answer as to whether I watch reality shows or not. I guess it can’t be generalized, not in my case at least.