Deonna McNeill Hasn’t Been In A Serious Relationship In More Than 10 Years. Now She’s Saying “I Do” On Married At First Sight
With more than 32 years under their belt, Deonna McNeill’s parents have always been her relationship goals. She’s wanted to find and fall in love with a man with whom she could share her life and make memories in the same way her folks have. She, like a lot of women, had grown up with an idea of the perfect age she believed she would be settled and starting her own family.
“When I was a teenager going into my 20s, I was like, I think that I’m going to be married at this time and have this many kids,” she said over the phone.
As the years passed in her 20s though, she changed her mind. She created a pretty good life for herself, by herself. She already owns a home, is established in her career and is well-traveled, all at the age of 30. Unfortunately, the dating scene in Charlotte hasn’t brought Deonna the Prince Charming she thought would be awaiting her. In fact, the guys she’s encountered are waiting on her to come sweep them off their feet.
“I was never one of those girls to roll up on a guy and be like, ‘Hey, what’s your name? What’s your number?'” she said. “That wasn’t me.”
She had such a hard time with the guys in her city, and balancing them with her responsibilities, that Deonna actually went 10 years without being in a serious relationship. For a time there, she thought it a possibility that it wasn’t in the cards for her to marry.
“I’ve dated here and there,” she said. “Going on like one or two dates here or there, but it wasn’t anything serious where, ‘We’re now in a relationship.’ It was, ‘I’ll try it because my girlfriend said she had a friend she wanted to hook me up with so I could go on a date.’ For me, dating in Charlotte hasn’t been the best.”
While she was firmly against being one of those girls to make the first move on a guy, after spending a lot of time solo, enjoying her own company, she wasn’t afraid to make a major life move, like signing up for Married at First Sight Season 9. She watched the show in the past and was a fan of how seriously the experts seemed to take the responsibility of matching participants and seeing them through the first (and or last) eight weeks of marriage.
“Watching the show, I really did enjoy how much time, effort and commitment the experts put into the matchmaking process,” she said. “So knowing that they were very deliberate and intentional around who they matched, the things that they were asking, that is what eased my mind into saying, I could try this.”
“I’m very adventurous, so I’m the type of person that will try anything at least once,” she added. “When I saw that they were coming to Charlotte I said, you know, this is something I just want to put my name in the hat for. If it works out it works out, if not, I can at least say I tried. But knowing that the experts were very dedicated to the matchmaking process, that’s what made me feel more comfortable going through with Married at First Sight.”
With the support of her family and the mindset that it’s worth the shot, Deonna’s journey, hopefully to happily ever after in love, will begin tonight when Season 9 premieres on Lifetime. She’s looking forward to sharing her story, but admits that she isn’t that interested in hearing what people have to say about it. She’s already well-aware that social media will be talking from day one, on to decision day.
“Luckily for me, I am not on social media,” she said. “I wanted to make sure I was not reading into comments but I felt like, looking at the pros and cons of going into Married at First Sight, the benefits and the pros far outweighed the what-ifs and the naysayers and the haters that are out there. I know that there will always be people out there who want to add in their two cents, but at the end of the day, I can choose not to listen to those people and not to read those things but still get this great experience. That’s why I still went with it.”
Deonna certainly has high hopes for her time on Married at First Sight, and so will many of the people who watch. Even if it doesn’t work out though, she says she’ll have been glad that she took such a significant leap for love.
“I know I can do all of this by myself, and if it turns out that I’m supposed to be by myself, that’s fine,” she said. “But I wanted to put myself out there to at least try it.”