Temptation Island turned out to be a lot more of a challenge than Nicole Tutewohl expected when she and boyfriend Karl Collins signed up.
Tutewohl tested her relationship of nearly three years in the ongoing season of the USA Network reality show, being separated from her significant other and placed in a household full of singles in order to help the two determine if their love could stand even the greatest temptation.
Prior to Tuesday's all-new episode, Nicole opened up to PopCulture.com about her journey apart from Karl on the island full of singles, explaining it quickly became evident this would be more than a televised vacation for the duo.
After Karl received an offer to do the show through Instagram, Nicole admitted she didn't want to do it first, saying, "I think at first, my head automatically went to the cons about entering the experience of Temptation Island. I felt we were stable enough in our relationship ... but after we talked about it a few times, I tried to look at the pros of it. I feel like both of us are usually up for an adventure and taking a leap of faith.
With Nicole, 25, regarding Collins, 31, as her first "mature love," she realized that by going on the island, she could determine if he really was "the one" for her before they took a larger step together in life. It all sounded like good fun, she added, until the first real day on the land.
"I was like, 'F—, why did we come here?'" Nicole said of her reaction to being confronted by the all the singles who would be courting both her and her boyfriend. "I didn't realize how real it was. I thought it was going to be easy; I thought it was fun and games ... then these singles show up and we're forced to live with them."
Since they were separated, both Karl and Nicole have made connections with the singles, with Nicole bonding especially with Tyler and Jack, who made her cry with a poem he wrote at the impromptu talent show during last week's episode.
"For me, I just really wanted to get true perspective of relationships," Nicole said of her willingness to open up about her relationship status to the singles. And while she claims to be more reserved than her significant other, she attributes Karl's "awkward" first date with Sheldyn to getting stuck in an uncomfortable conversation from the start.
"I don't blame him," she explained to PopCulture. "It's hard to be dating."
And while it was "hard" to watch her boyfriend respond so enthusiastically to the single women, Nicole explained it's not just Temptation Island that's filled with "aggressive" singles.
"This kind of stuff can happen I real life too," she noted. "I left it up to it's Karl's choice how he responds to this behavior."
And while Nicole can't spoil how she and Karl emerge on the other side of this social experiment, when asked if she would recommend the process for another couple, she candidly replied, "Honestly, probably not."
"I think it was a good experience," she continued, "but there are other ways to learn these things about your partner. ...I would hope that maybe people can go to therapy or talk to their friends and not be afraid to be vulnerable."
Temptation Island airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on USA Network.
Photo credit: USA