Going from a decade of being single to getting Married at First Sight wasn't the easiest transition, Deonna McNeill admits of her unconventional wedding to husband Greg Okotie. Ahead of Wednesday's all-new episode of the Lifetime reality show (produced by Kinetic Content), McNeill opened up to PopCulture.com about her unconventional journey to the altar and the "hard work" that came afterwards.
Having spent the last 10 years working on herself while staying out of relationships, McNeill decided to sign up for Married at First Sight to find her "forever partner."
"I wanted to be clear in what I wanted in a man but not so specific that I wasn't opened minded to the process," she said of her parameters she gave the experts. "I made sure to be thoughtful and intentional in what I wanted in my future husband in order to give the experts the best possible chance to succeed with their match."
Luckily for both halves of the couple, the matchmakers appeared to nail it.
"My first thought when I saw Greg as I was walking down the aisle was, 'He's tall, dark and handsome -- just my type,'" she recalled. "His eyes were kind and he had a nice smile. All I could do was smile and take a sigh of relief."
Revealing her decade without dating to Okotie was a little "nerve racking," she admits, but ended up turning out fine with some quick explanations from her.
"I just knew that he was going to think I was crazy," McNeill added. "He was shocked of course, which is understandable, but I wanted to be sure that I wasn't being judged for it. I was quick to stop him from creating assumptions by explaining what I was doing all that time. ...[learning] to trust God and understand that everything happens for a reason, live life to the fullest, and learn to forgive."
With that hurdle aside, it was still no easy task going from strangers to man and wife.
"I think that our biggest issue for is going through the experiment was learning about one another in such an accelerated process," she told PopCulture.com. "We just met, we're dealing with stressors of life and being documented at the same time. It was all new so we had to be sure that we communicated clearly as to what we were feeling. There were times that we didn't always do the best job but no matter what, we would talk it out and address the issue head on."
McNeill can't spoil the decision the two made on Decision Day, but revealed that the biggest takeaway from her marriage experiment was "that relationships are hard work."
"You can have all of the best intentions but if you don't communicate you won't get very far," she continued. "Open, honest communication is key, even when you don't feel like talking."0comments
Married at First Sight (produced by Kinetic Content) airs Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on Lifetime.
Photo credit: Kinetic Content/JCM Photography- Asheville, NC