By: Ashlee Wilson | Fri 19 Aug 2016, 12:00
Monet Bell tells us about #Blacklove on Lifetime.
Reality show #Blacklove is about to hit screens. Get snug while you embark on a journey with five dynamic African American women as they navigate through life and love in New York City.
Premiering on Friday 19 August at 20:00 on Lifetime® (131), #Blacklove highlights the struggles and triumphs in trying to find true love.
We chat to one of these incredible women, Monet Bell. After being on Married at First Sight, apparel product developer Monet is trying her luck in the dating pool again.
Read the interview below to see what Monet has to say about the new show and what we can expect:
Tell us a little bit more about you and what you’re looking for in term of love?
Well I think, you know, I was on Season 1 of Married at First Sight and it didn’t work out and now I am divorced. I think #Blacklove gave me an opportunity to allow myself to correct some of my bad habits while also highlighting my good qualities. Obviously I am looking for love as much as I want to work on self-love, self-esteem and uplifting myself. Then hopefully I’ll ‘bump into’ love. I’m not so much looking for it, I just want to bump into it and take it from there.
What can viewers expect from the show?
You get to see my divorce finalised. You get to see me being silly. You get to see the laughs. You get see a group of girlfriends and women who are in different stages in love trying to overcome hurdles that all women go through. You get to see a group of women of colour act like normal women of colour. You’ll find out that women the world over are actually very similar. They want love and they want to be happy.
You’re not going to get bottle throwing and fighting and tearing each other down. You get to see a group of women go through ups and downs in love and in relationships but then develop friendship and love. You get to see women act like grown mature fun loving women on TV.
Do you think online dating platforms have helped or do you think they add more deceptions? Do you think they’re good or bad?
I actually love online dating. I think online dating is great. I’ve actually had a very good relationship with a man that I met on Match.com, but we ended up breaking up but he’s still a really great guy.
I do think that online dating gives you an opportunity to date out of your pool. It puts you in a space where you will meet men that you probably wouldn’t come across in your day-to-day life. I think you’re definitely going to go through the trolls that other people reject and try to chat with you online but you have to deal with it. I have some rules that I follow when I’m on an online date to try to avoid nasty situations.
I mean the reality is that we live in a digital age and you have to put yourself out there. I’m 35, I’m not in the clubs the way I used to be when I was 25, and the type of man that I want probably isn’t there either. Then you have to ask yourself where are you hanging out at? What’s your social circle like? Where are you going to meet him? I think online dating increases your numbers. I think you need as many potential partners as possible to choose from.
How much did the experts on the show really help you ladies?
I think all the women on the show connected differently with the experts. I think for me, Jack and I connected. He’s a psychotherapist on the show. He’s married and he’s been in an amazingly beautiful relationship with his wife. I think he was able to show me a healthy honest relationship, but also from a man’s perspective be able to call out the things that maybe others weren’t able to see. I think because I connected with him I was able to be vulnerable in the therapy sessions and kind of really dive into the things that were holding me back or getting in my way.
More and more nowadays we hear about strong roles and successful women struggling to find partners. What do you think it is about those types of women that intimidate potential partners?
You know what, if I had to bite my tongue from speaking my mind at the time, I would often retract it afterwards. You know what it is, and you’ll see me go through this on the show, because I think it is one of the most dehumanising things that you can do. Women should not have to be afraid of being powerful or successful and men should embrace this and not hold it against their partners. These are all the things that women worked hard for because we’re being raised and we’ve been raised to be independent and to be self-sufficient and to be strong.
So having a man say, “Oh you’re too independent, or you’re too strong,” or you’re too any of these things, I find it offensive because no, I’m not. You too should be just as strong and you should appreciate that the woman that you’re with that has these attributes she’s going to make a remarkable partner for you. So man up and love it and embrace it. So those men who are intimidated by those type of women, those are weak men, we don’t want them. There will be another woman out there that will take it but you don’t want that guy.
What I really learnt on #Blacklove is to celebrate the woman that I am and love the power she has. There is somebody out there for me and I don’t have to change my core values in order to find a partner.
In South Africa we’re currently looking forward to the launch of Married at First Sight SA and since you were on the show I wanted to know what advice you would give to the woman about to marry a stranger?
Yes, I loved Married at First Sight, my first reality show, and I say this all the time, be friends, please be friends first, learn about the friendship. It will save you and those times when you learn something new about your spouse that you didn’t really think you signed up for, if you were building a friendship you’ll be able to move passed that. That was one of the biggest mistakes I made on Married at First Sight - not building a friendship with my ex-husband. I encourage people to get to know each other and understand that building love is going to be one of the most pivotal points on the show if that’s even possible.
What advice or things do you tell yourself when you’re feeling down and out about love?
What do I tell myself when I’m feeling down? I try to avoid feeling down.
I would say, well I think for women I think it is really healthy to have good relationships with other women. I think particularly you’ll notice on #Blacklove we started to support each other. For me if things aren’t going well, I’ll call some of my best girlfriends and I’m a pretty direct person. I’ll tell them, “Listen I’m in a bad place right now and I need to vent, give me some time to do this and then I’ll be okay.” My girlfriends normally say, “I’ll be over with some champagne, we’re going to drink. We’re going to watch TV.” If I want to cry, I’m going to cry, if I want to yell I’m going to yell. The reality is that I think everybody should embrace their emotions. If I’m feeling bad then I need to figure out why I’m feeling bad and address that with some wine or some champagne because it makes it easier.
Follow Monet on social: Twitter: monet_iam and Instagram: monetbell and catch her in #Blacklove on Friday 19 August at 20:00 on Lifetime® (131).