Dear Married at First Sight Fans,
Despite that beat down, I am still alive and felt like I needed to write an open letter to you, the fans.
In a previous blog post, I alluded to the fact that during this process you would see glimpses of my life and that this was not a documentary. I am not blaming the editing, it was pretty accurate- however, I will pay money if anyone can find a scene where you actually see (and not just hear) the words “I love you” come out of my mouth, when saying it to Tara.
Which… let’s address right now. I mentioned glimpses and included in this letter are pictures that were outside of that glimpse. Like this one with Tara and I with our friends:
We had a dinner party, we went out, had a lot to drink when we came home- in a very intoxicated state- I may have said it. She’s a friend; she’s done a lot for me in this process and before this process. I love her just like I love all of my friends. I still do. But it’s probably not the best thing to say in the middle of a dating process. I understood that, and that’s why I didn’t say it again. She didn’t deserve what happened to her and I sincerely apologize to her, her family and friends. Tara, I am sorry.
So let’s get back to glimpses outside of the show…I did message and see other women after the cameras left. At the time, I wasn’t told I wasn’t allowed and I didn’t see what was wrong with that. It’s impossible to make a decision on who I get to spend the rest of my life with when there are so many different women around and you get very limited alone time during the process. I couldn’t pick who I got to spend time with. For example, I went on a great date with Isabella at mini-golf. I wasn’t allowed to date her again until a certain period of time. That’s tough for a relationship! So did I message the women off camera? Yes. It’s dating, isn’t that what you do? However, it was selfish, the women didn’t know and that’s what made it wrong. I may not have seen it at the time, but I see it now. So this is my deepest apologies to them.
That’s not to say I manipulated Maya’s return- I cannot be more direct with you all… I did not. Here is a screenshot from November when it happened:
I don’t know who did it (yes, there is a thing called Facebook Secret messenger- look it up, someone could message from your account and you’d never know)…because here is the thing: during the process, I was getting a lot of anonymous messages, videos and other things. This just added to that.
These videos were of private conversations, a mock “bracket” of who would advance and private conversations between participants. There were also some incidents with some independent contractors who were on set. I won’t get into it. I don’t know why it was decided to show this and not that, but that’s not my call and above me pay grade. Regardless, I didn’t know about it and I hate that it happened. Honestly, looking back on it now, I probably should have brought her back though. In this process, she was the one. I always talk about that ex factor and the second she walked into that room at speed dating, I knew. I knew when I made the decision not to bring her back that it was the wrong one to make. I knew sitting on the couch at the reunion that she was the one that I was supposed to end up with. But I couldn’t have all the girls quit. It wasn’t fair to you, the fans. It wasn’t fair to the other women who have gone through so much, but it also wasn’t fair to Maya because those were not my words and what happened to her is so unfair. I hate that it happened and I am sorry.
I love the people at Kinetic, just like I love the people at Lifetime, FYI and A&E. I have met some great people that I call friends. That is why I felt (maybe unfairly) an insane amount of pressure to deliver for them. I wanted love, but I also wanted to give them- and you, the fans, a great new TV show. Not just for me, but for them. Because they have given me so much, I wanted to come through for them. Maybe that was a little misguided, but it’s where my head was at the time. I wanted to find love and come through for everyone. Looking back, that would have been impossible- but what can I say, I am a people pleaser.
I am sorry to the fans who feel betrayed. I am sorry to every woman who entered this process for the result that came of it. But did I “fake it” as I have been accused of? I did my best to be real and genuine, but I did reach a point where, I wouldn’t say I was faking it, but I was forcing it. I wanted it so bad, I wanted to love one of these women, I wanted to find a wife, I wanted that happy ending. So I forced it, I was forcing with all of them to see if something would click. Was I lying to them? I was lying to myself, thinking that this could still work. Especially after Melika left. That’s why at the end I made the decision I did, because I was tired of forcing it.
I know many are now asking why I didn’t just quit…especially once I found out about the messages and having to try and force myself to feel something genuine in this environment. Listen, I felt terribly for all those women, but I couldn’t just quit. One, I do have a contract. Two, I wanted it so bad and was so hoping that I would get to that point somewhere down the line. I just couldn’t. So when we reached the end, I couldn’t force it anymore. It was time to be honest with them and with myself. Three, had I been allowed to quit, you all would have hated me more than you do now for not at least trying. That’s the thing about dating shows, what if there isn’t “the one”? I wanted it, but I wasn’t in a position to where I could just walk away, nor am I one to quit on love. I did the best I could and it weighed on me heavily throughout the whole process. Not only was I trying to force it to find love but, to a fault, I am a people pleaser. I know what it feels likes to be rejected on TV and didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Obviously, I handled that wrong and that blew up in my face. So to all the women, I am sorry. Again.
Make no mistake about it, that reunion was a character assassination by a lot of people that I called friends (who like their exes, to be fair). Not all what you said during the “he-said, she-said” was true, just like not all was false. It’s pointless to list everything. One thing is for sure, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Times five.
Which brings me to my final thoughts and point to this letter. No matter what I have said to this point, it probably doesn’t make a difference. That’s the wonder of reality TV, it lets you play off your perception of people. I recently posted a picture on my Instagram account. Is the person in the post the person I referenced in my last blog? As I said before, that person knows who she is and knows she would be thee girl in another lifetime. Am I dating Kim? Maybe. Or is Kim just a friend I have had for years?
I'm so happy that I can FINALLY post this… I may not be a prince, but she knows that. Thank you @kimberly_birch for helping me ring in my birthday the best way possible and for all the love and support during this #mafssecondchances playback. Babe!! #marriedatfirstsight #mafs #mafs2c #iwannamarryharry #wellmaybenot #braves #suntrustpark #babe #blessedaf
Maybe it was nothing more than a kind shout out to a friend that I care deeply about (you can love friends) and has been there for me recently? Again, maybe. Either way, we enjoyed the spirited conversation. The point is, perception isn’t always reality. So many people jumped to conclusions after knowing nothing about us other than a silly caption and a photo. Y’all come up with your own conclusions no matter what I say in this letter and what you see on TV. You’ll tell the story of what you want to be reality. That’s the beauty of reality TV. That’s why people love reality TV, it’s not cut and dry and linear like a scripted TV show or movie… it’s up to your perception. Like I said before, there are two sides to every story, and then what really happened, which is somewhere in the middle.
Example: Lets say I said, “I love you” to Tara as you saw it. Why didn’t she say it back, or acknowledge it? If she didn’t say it back or acknowledge the fact that I said it, don’t you think that would have played a factor in my decision? You don’t think that it wouldn’t cross my mind that I waited 5 years to say this to this person and it took a TV show for her to date me? I am not accusing Tara of this AT ALL, I don’t think she did any of this; this is just an example to prove a point. However, if we are to take this at face value, wouldn’t it be safe to say that these thoughts would have crossed my mind and weighed heavily on me as I made my decision, or prevented me from getting to that point I was so desperately trying to find? You get mad at me because I said, “I love you” and then broke up with Tara, but it wasn’t said back. Why would I propose then? How can you villainize Melika when I say, “I love you” and she doesn’t say it back, but hail Tara as a hero when it’s the exact same thing? Why did you perceive it differently?
Why did you all love me during my original run during Married at First Sight? Because we all know what it’s like to chase something but fall short. Why did the majority of viewers hate me this time? Because we all know how it feels to be rejected, it’s not a good feeling. Has anyone noticed that all the Married at First Sight “villains” that a majority of people have disliked have been the ones who have been doing the rejecting? Why do we hate that so much? We all have been rejected and we all have rejected others. It’s okay; it’s dating. It happens. Why hate someone for wanting more for themselves? I don’t have an answer, but I hope that it’s something that some of you will take to heart.
I heard a rumor that I was dating Kim from the start of this process. It doesn’t matter- you’ll perceive it one way or another, no matter what I say. I will say that is false. Even if I am now, looking at the comments if you loved me, you say “congrats.” If you hated me, those comments were “I am friend-zoned” or we’d breakup in a year or I lied all year and have been dating her nonstop. Reality TV allows you to play off your own human nature of how you perceive people. That’s why reality TV is as popular as it is, that’s why it’s big business.
Do not mistake that for it being fake…it is not. It is 100% real and the people are authentic. I have said before editing is part of storytelling. I wanted to get married and this is my story. My challenge to you all is to look at everything when watching and judging someone else’s life. It takes such courage and guts to lay it all out there in the name of love and for your entertainment. Let’s try to give future participants some slack, alright?
Love me or hate me, I am glad that I have been able to share a part of my life with you all, and that you found it to be entertaining. If you didn’t watch or comment as much as you do, you wouldn’t be enjoying it. I’m a people pleaser, remember? So, good or bad, that level of engagement in my story made me happy. It’s why if someone sees me on the streets, they come up to me and say “I hate how you’re acting right now on the show, but I can’t stop watching! Can I take a picture with you…sorry about what I said about you on Twitter.” Happens all the time and it makes me smile. Since I couldn’t find love, to be able to know the show provided you with hours of entertainment, is a good consolation prize.
Before I wrap this up, I want to truly thank a few people, whom I wouldn’t have been able to do this without. Kinetic, Lifetime, A&E, FYI, again, thank you for these last two years and for the chance to find love. Jason, Cortney and Heather from the MAFS Universe- only you understand, thank you. Of course, to all my friends and family- especially my friends in Atlanta who have agreed to go on screen during this journey, catch watch parties with me and help me to always keep things in perspective- we aren’t friends, we are family and I love you all.
I always seem to learn lessons the hard way. Five years ago, I was in a totally different industry and I wasn’t really good at it. I hopped around, lost, wanting to figure out what I wanted out of my career. It took some tough lessons to learn and grow, but I did and I am in a great position in my career now and I know the same thing will happen in love.
So what’s next? As you read this, I am in glorious and beautiful Maui (far away from the Twitter and IG comments). Life is good, trust me. That’s not to say that I don’t need to work on some things, personally, and figure it out as I have before in other aspects of my life. I just need time to take a step back from everything.
To give you a timeline of my Married at First Sight story: it started in February of 2015 with the casting, I was married in June of 2015, had to wear a wedding ring all the way until the final episode, which was in March of 2016. May 2016 I find out about Second Chances and now in July 2017 it’s over- for now.
That’s a long time, for a normal guy like me, to be in the public eye with everything being scrutinized. I am not complaining, it’s been a helluva run, and I will forever be grateful and blessed because of that. But I need to work on myself and decompress for a little bit. Because that’s the thing about the past, there is no future in it. So don’t be mad that I go dark on Twitter and disable my IG comments. I just need a break. But I promise I’ll be back, you can count on it.
You know I always like to leave you with a quote. So, as Hall of Fame Buffalo Bills Head Coach, Marv Levy, once said to his Buffalo Bills teams after some tough Super Bowl losses:
“Fight on, my men,” says Sir Andrew,
“I am hurt, but I am not slain;
I’ll lay me down and bleed a while,
And then I’ll rise and fight again.”
See you soon.
For one final word from David on his experience on Married at First Sight: Second Chances, check out the video below:
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