Love Stories with Matthew “Matty J” Johnson and Laura Byrne
After previously promising to publish a Love Stories with Matthew “Matty J” Johnson and Laura Byrne (from Season 5 of the Australian Bachelor) – we’re being true to our word, with Husskie recently hitting the couch with the duo to talk all things dating and relationships.
One year on from the Bachelor, and we’re thrilled to say that Matty and Laura are very much still together and in love. Having watched both of them on the show, it was intriguing getting to chat to the couple in person to see firsthand the ease in which they interact (you know, the whole finishing each other’s sentences thing and laughing at the other’s jokes… Cute? You betcha).
While we started the conversation with work chat about Laura’s ToniMay accessories label, the conversation soon shifted to romance – and really, when you have the winners from a love television series sitting right in front of you, a girl can’t help but pry, right?!
Can you talk me through a normal day for you two when you’re not working or traveling?
Laura: We’re boring. Happily boring, I should say. We’re such a normal couple in that we spend so much time together – we see each other everyday. My sister just had a baby and Matt’s sister’s got two kids, so we spend a lot of time with both of them – and when we’re not, we’re being very active. We’re into the fitness side of things… but we’re just a normal couple – we just hang out and spend time together. Crack jokes and be super inappropriate all the time.
Winding back, what did you do for your first date together after the show ended?
Laura: When the show had finished before it aired, we couldn’t date – we had times where we saw each other which was organised through Channel 10, but it wasn’t really a date. It was a locked-up-in-a-house-in-the-middle-of-nowhere kind of thing! When the show finished, it was just a whirlwind and the problem was that you couldn’t go out for a normal date because every single person was like: “Oh my god!”
Matty: It’s the hardest part because you have been separated for so long and you only have like a weekend every four weeks [to see each other]. And then when you’re thrust back together, you have to do media. But the first real date we had was in a really beautiful cottage in the Blue Mountains. We had four nights together and we just cooked a lot, watched a lot of Netflix and…
Laura: …did all the things we couldn’t do on the show. Our first proper date though, we didn’t even have a date. We just went to my sister’s house and hung out!
What’s been your most romantic date?
Matty: I reckon probably Paperbark Camp?
Laura: I was going to say Marataba…
Matty: Actually, that was pretty romantic. We were near Kruger National Park in South Africa, in a place called Marataba, and they have this treehouse which is literally built into a tree. It’s this really high platform that is completely open-air, so there’s no walls or roof and you can sleep amongst the animals.
Laura: Matt also organised a surprise for my birthday which was two nights at the Paperbark Camp down at Jervis Bay. I had no idea what we were doing. He’s very much the romantic.
What do you like doing together as a couple?
Laura: It’s so true!
Matty: It’s a combination of eating…
Matty: Yehr, exercising…
Laura: I know it’s a boring thing, but we’re always going to the gym or the beach together.
Matty: Couples who sweat together, stay together!
Laura: We go to the beach in summertime and spend so much time doing that or going on hikes – that’s kind of our thing. Or me drinking whilst he doesn’t drink wine!
Matty: Or hanging out with nieces and nephews…
Laura: Matt’s also massively into surfing and I can’t [surf]. He has done a good job in trying to get me into everything he’s into… like snowboarding, for example. I’d barely done it before we were together, and now we’re going to the snow like three times this year.
Matty, what was it about Laura that made you fall in love with her?
Matty: I think without realising it at the time, we’re so similar – she’s like a female version of me. I’ve always been a really big believer in that you’re attracted to someone that is like-minded to yourself. We’re both interested in the same things, we both have the same values, same beliefs, the same kind of attitude to life. Being really ambitious and…
Matty: I think a lot of those characteristics are similar to how I am and that’s what made it so easy for us. The more we got to know each other, the more we realised we are just the same.
Laura: I think when you meet some people in your life, some enflame the crazy in you and some just bring out the really good parts of you. I definitely feel, this sounds so cliché, but Matt makes me a better person. He’s very calm and very understanding, and he’s very, very patient. All those things are things I’ve not had in a relationship before and it’s just been so easy. This has been the easiest relationship I’ve ever experienced, so that’s been really wonderful.
Laura, do you think you first fell in love with Matty while on the Bachelor?
Laura: It was such a weird experience being on the show because I was constantly questioning whether it was him or the environment – I was a little bit sceptical of the whole thing during the show filming. But then as time progressed and the more we got to know each other, the more I thought: “This guy is a legend!”. I knew when I was doing the show that I was falling in love with him, but then after it finished, when we really got time to spend together, that was when I knew. After the show, I saw that all the things he’d said was actually how he was. It’s very easy to say one thing and behave differently – but they matched up and I felt like I won the lottery.
And lastly, what three words would you use to describe to each other?
Laura: Funny, sensitive and genuine.
Matty: Beautiful, intelligent and confident.