Viewers watched in despair as Monet Bell and Vaughn Copeland struggled on season 1 of FYI's Married at First Sight, ultimately, deciding to divorce. Although a year has passed, the transition from married to single life has not been an easy one.
Tonight, Monet will appear again on our screens in the new FYI hit series, #BlackLove.
What has Monet's life been like and what can we expect from #BlackLove? I've got the scoop.
What was your life like after your split with Vaughn Copeland on Married at First Sight?
It was difficult from the standpoint of dealing with the TV exposure. I made the decision to share my romantic life with the world. It's not always easy to deal with public opinion.
Describe the transition from married to single life.
Although we were completely separated, as long as Vaughn and I were legally married, I always felt attached to him. I never felt completely comfortable dating because of that.
I hated telling a man, 'I'm separated', because I wouldn't want to be with someone that was separated. I would always feel that there was a chance that he might get back with his wife.
Although I knew there wasn't a chance in hell that Vaughn and I would get back together, I simply wanted the finalized paper that read "DIVORCED". When I finally received the paper, I felt free.
What was your biggest challenge during this transition?
Self-doubt, mixed in with some laziness. The self-doubt was because there was a time where I kept asking myself if I was the cause of all this. I felt like I failed in a major way. There were many moments of sternly looking at myself in the mirror, wondering if I could have been better in some way.
The laziness was because I didn't feel like starting all over again. Men would ask me out and I would decline, simply because I didn't feel like dating. It can become exhausting at times. I have become a professional dater. I could help numerous women date properly, however, I couldn't help myself.
How did you overcome those challenges?
Ultimately, who I am as a woman wouldn't allow me to sit in that space very long. I had to make a choice. I want to eventually get married and have kids. How do I get what I want, if I'm doubting myself and I'm not willing to do the work necessary to achieve this?
I made the decision that my top priority was going to be me. My goal would be to figure out how to get out of my own way.
Let's talk #BlackLove. How did you find out about the project?
I was approached with the project by Kinetic Content. After numerous conversations, I felt confident that this show would be more than a dating show. It's about self-discovery, self-improvement and building healthy relationships. #BlackLove is more complex than a dating show.
What made you decide to sign up for another reality TV show?
I'm seeking personal growth. I've come to realize that there are some things about myself that I need to work on before ever getting married again. I signed up for these workshops to work on me. While working on myself, if love happens to find me, that would be wonderful. I'm not blocking love, but I'm not chasing it either. I want it to happen organically, when it's my time.
What can viewers expect to learn from psychotherapist, Jack Daniels and certified dating coach, Damona Hoffman?
Jack will give you some tough love. He has a knack for pointing out things that should be obvious to a person, but are not.
Damona helps bring the fun and softness to the forefront, something that gets lost in this fast-paced lifestyle.
Ultimately, they are both there to bring out the best in a person. However, that person has to be willing to do the work.
We hear Jack say in the season sneak peek, "The only thing that separates someone from love, is opportunity". Share your lens on what that opportunity is like as a modern black woman in NYC.
I completely support both racial and inter-racial dating. In my opinion, if a woman of any ethnic group is letting the opportunity of love pass her by because it presents itself in a color that is not like her own, she could be doing herself a disservice.
If true happiness is the goal, then I don't care what color it comes in. I adore black men. If love comes to me in that package, it will be beautiful. However, I'm not waiting specifically on a black man. I'm waiting on love.
Are the lessons in #BlackLove applicable to people of all ethnic groups?
Yes, the lessons on this show are most certainly applicable to woman of all ethnic groups. I truly believe that love is universal. The highs and lows of being single in New York will be relatable to women of all backgrounds. Most importantly, #BlackLove will show the growth of women in therapy sessions. My hope is this project will highlight the benefits of therapy and friendship.