Stephanie Sersen and AJ Vollmoeller, stars of the hit Lifetime series Married at First Sight, are still together today and stronger than ever, based on their social media accounts. Both stars frequently update fans on their lives today, which includes dozens of photos of their family, their travels, and their lives in quarantine.
The reality stars recently opened up about their experiences in isolation during an exclusive interview with Heavy, which includes some insight into their lives today and the struggles they faced while the COVID-19 pandemic was still sweeping the globe and forcing shutdowns across the country.
Although AJ and Steph don’t have their own yard (as they live in a high-rise apartment building in Philadelphia), the reality stars have found fun, unique ways to pass the time in quarantine when they’re not working, including planning sweet, in-home date nights, flying kites and having Nerf gun wars.
Stephanie & AJ Struggled to Adjust to Working From Home
The reality stars have been making every effort to protect themselves and others during the coronavirus pandemic; aside from staying home and avoiding contact with other people, Stephanie and AJ have been sanitizing thoroughly before leaving the house, on the few occasions that they do step outside.
However, both stars struggled during the shutdown due to issues with their work schedules. Since AJ’s staffing agency services came to a screeching halt during the pandemic, Steph took over his home office and was working long hours from home, so even though the reality stars were quarantined together, they were unable to spend much time together in the beginning.
“COVID-19 caused an immediate halt in [AJ’s] staffing company, so Stephanie has taken over his home office since she is still working long hours from home,” AJ shared with Heavy. “This has negatively impacted us because Steph is having a hard time disconnecting from work during late hours. It is nice that we are both home together more often, but some days we hardly see each other because Steph is in a separate room working. It’s taking us a while to establish new routines at home.”
They’ve Been Planning Romantic Date Nights, Complete With Dinner, Nerf Gun Wars & Board Games in Quarantine
Although Steph was doing a lot of extra overtime during the shutdown, the reality stars still attempted to keep the romance alive while stuck in quarantine. They planned dinner dates and Nerf gun wars, and snuck out of the house every once in a while to take a bike ride or fly kites, which helped give Stephanie a much-needed break from work and AJ some downtime from housework and errands.
“When possible, we try to take long walks around the city, ride bikes, or practice flying our new kite,” the reality stars answered when asked how they’ve been keeping busy over the last few months. “We have in-home battles with our new Nerf guns. It has been more difficult for us, because we don’t have a backyard or a garage to park the car. We live in a high-rise apartment in the center of Philly, where everything is closed around us, and we can’t have our own outdoor space for activities.”
However, Stephanie added that they enjoy planning little date nights, which often include ordering take-out or AJ cooking them a nice meal. “Our usual date nights are dinner, whether its delivery from our favorite local restaurants, or AJ’s home cooking. Card games, board games, and other games around the house we love, and movie nights on the couch.”
They Believe Having Strong Communication Skills Helped Them Overcome the Difficulties of Marrying a Stranger
AJ and Steph are obviously well-versed when it comes to the difficulties of marrying a complete stranger, but both stars believe that having an open line of communication during the MAFS experiment helped tremendously when it came to learning what the other needed to build a healthy marriage.
“The biggest challenge of marrying a stranger is understanding what we each need from the marriage, what we each can give, and going beyond our comfort zones to ensure the other person’s expectations are met,” AJ and Stephanie told Heavy. “We have to learn all this by communicating openly, because we don’t have the luxury of finding out over time.”
The reality stars added, “After the cameras stopped, life became easier, we were able to enjoy each others company naturally, but it also became harder as we were challenged with tackling larger marital differences.”
As for how their lives have changed since being on television? Both stars are just happy with the outcome of the experiment, and they enjoy sharing their lives with their fans.
“Our lives haven’t really changed at all since we were on TV,” Stephanie shared. “We are the same people, with the same personalities, the same careers, same income, same friends, just more Instagram followers. AJ likes the fact that when fans recognize us they get so happy. It’s a great feeling to be the cause of someone’s happy moment.”
Stephanie & AJ Recommend Being Open & Honest About Your Faults & Flaws if Applying to be on MAFS
Both Steph and AJ are incredibly happy with the outcome of their MAFS experience, although they recommend that future applicants be as open and honest with the experts as they can, in order to find the right partner … which means opening up about all of your faults and flaws, as well as your strengths.
“The experience is only going to be successful if you are truthful during your application process,” the stars shared with Heavy. “Your match is only as good as how you explain your own personal strengths, weaknesses, and desires. So you need to be comfortable in communicating your faults, and where you need to improve. For future applicants, if you think there’s a perfect match, there’s not, because you are also not perfect. Dedicate the time required to put your spouse first, and you will succeed.”
When asked how satisfied they were with the experiment, AJ added, “Steph had this odd feeling that she’d be chosen to be matched, and she knew it would work out. I never actually thought of the worse-case scenario because I had faith in the process and my commitment to make it work. Of course we are both satisfied with how things turned out, we now have our forever partner!”