You can’t hold back Diamond Jack. The beauty, whom a horde of quarantining Netflix viewers were introduced to from the hit series Love Is Blind last February, made that clear when asked how she deals with the disappointments she’s faced while looking for love. There was the very unfortunate confrontation with her short-lived fiancé Carlton Morton, which ended in him calling her out her name and her throwing her engagement ring in a pool. (He would return it to her at the reunion. She’s since flushed it.) And upon her return for the short follow-up series, After the Altar, a seemingly promising connection with a guy named Rumeal ended with him leaving in frustration because he couldn’t have 100 percent of her attention at the anniversary party that reunited cast. It wasn’t easy, but don’t let the tears fool you. She’s doing just fine.
“It was a little embarrassing to see that, but how I cope with it is that…I was built from a strong cloth,” she tells ESSENCE. “So I’ve been through a lot more than people would probably know. My mom was a single mom, so she raised me to be a very strong individual and don’t allow certain things to, one, stop me from getting to my goals. Two, if something’s not for me, then it’s not for me. Don’t force it. I’m not going to force it. If he wants to leave, let him go.”
We caught up with the Chicago native to chat about this empowering way of looking at things, why she chose to return for After the Altar, and what’s next for her when it comes to matters of the heart.
ESSENCE: What made you want to return for After the Altar? Obviously, what you went through in the original season of Love is Blind was quite the doozy. Some people would be like, “I’m not touching any of that again.” What made it comfortable for you?
Diamond Jack: I think the real reason that made it comfortable for me was the fact that I was there to support my girls. It was for Lauren and Cameron, and I love their love, and I support their love. My biggest thing was like, you know what? This is for Lauren. This is for Amber, and let me go support. I did have my doubts because I was nervous about how this was going to play out. Once the producers explained it a little bit more and a little bit better for me, I was like, okay. It kind of won me over to the fact that this sounds like something different.
Once they thoroughly explained it to me, I was like, okay. I’ll be a part of it, especially since my time on the first season was cut short.
A lot of people did not get a chance to see me, and that was one of their things that they said, too. They was like, ‘We really didn’t see you.’ I left on such a bad note, and I didn’t want to have that over my head for the rest of my life because I know I’m not that argumentative type person. Don’t get me wrong, now. Cross me, I have to stand up for myself, but I don’t want people to see me in that negative light every time they think of Diamond Jack, and I was just like, you know what? Let me come back.
You didn’t have to come face to face with Carlton. He spoke with Lauren, and that didn’t go anywhere. And so I was wondering, how did that work for you? Was there a clause put in place where it’s like, “I’ll do this, but I don’t want to deal with him”?
Producers did ask me if I’m willing to have a sit-down conversation with Carlton, and at the time I said let me think about it. That’s exactly what I said. And then once that scene happened with Lauren, Lauren was the first person to call me.
So that happened before our scene would have been scheduled. I told them I will only meet up with him if I know he has been healed, that he’s in a better space and a better place, because my thing is I’m not trying to come back and redo that all over again. I’m not trying to have that pool scene times three, because it might’ve been even worse than the original one. When Lauren called me and told me, “Girl, let me tell you what just happened,” I said, oh no. He’s not ready. We’re not ready to have that meetup. And so I told them no thank you.
You say he’s not ready, but do you feel like one day there could be an opportunity for you, if he gets himself together, for you guys to have a conversation, or do you feel like everything really has kind of been said?
I want to be hopeful to say that, but knowing the person, how he is, I don’t think we would ever have that meetup only because… It’s sad to say, but I don’t think he’s ready for that, and I don’t know if he ever will be. Because seeing that scene with him and Lauren, it’s almost still going in circles.
We’re still having that same circle conversation when we did the reunion. It’s just very confusing for me, and I don’t like to be put in situations that I be like, what’s going on? You say one thing, and then you say something else. And then I notice things, like on Love is Blind’s Instagram. I have him blocked, but I see through other friends with people messaging me and sending me some of the things he said. Screenshot and send it to me. And he’s still saying real bad things. And I’m just like, okay, see…And it’s been over two years. I don’t think we can ever have that sit-down conversation until he changes his attitude, and that’s just him…[he has] to do it with himself. Recently I got a text from him that’s still saying bad things. So I’m just like, I can’t. And I had to block him from my phone because I can’t do this no more. That’s not what I’m here for. I’m not here to argue with you and go back and forth. I’m here to be supportive for everyone, honestly.
So Rumeal. Watching, I got the impression that you guys hit it off pretty well. But then after everything happened with the party and he left, it came out then that he was not really following up with you. What went wrong with that?
I think what went left is the environment. It was a lot going on, and he’s never been on TV. He’s never had that situation that cameras are in your face and just so much going on. I feel like that situation wasn’t the best date, per se.
Because that was the first date, kind of?
That was our first date.
First date, our first hanging out, besides meeting that first time at the carwash. But besides that, we didn’t have no interaction. He had my number, too. That’s what really threw me off because I’m like, you can text me. You could hit me up. But I think he did not know if he could or could not, so he just played it safe and just did not message or text me. That’s what he told me. But I think the whole setting just wasn’t the best for him. It’s all new people. There’s a lot going on.
But I think our problem would have been, we just didn’t know each other. I think that might have been the biggest thing is that this was our first date ever, and everybody else knew each other, knew their date and had been dating them for a while. I think that that was the biggest problem with Rumeal. I wish it ended differently, but we did meet up after and had a different first date, and it was definitely a lot different and better without the camera, without everybody in our face and stuff.
He apologized, and I apologized, and we just tried it again. But after that date, it was not really…We felt it was best to be just associates. It’s cool.
How do you cope with having to deal with that kind of disappointment, per se, in front of cameras? The situation with Carlton was huge. But with Rumeal, that kind of situation happens a lot to women.
It is embarrassing. Because now people [are] like, “Okay. What’s wrong with Diamond?” That’s how I took it. I’m not saying that people are saying that, but that’s the first thing I’m thinking. They’re probably like, “Ok, something really wrong with her.”
It was embarrassing, but like you said, it happens to everybody, and I think people can relate. I feel like I’m a little bit more relatable in this whole show now that people are like, “Oh wow, Diamond actually is who she is.” I’m really who I am. I stand up for what I believe in.
It was a little embarrassing to see that, but how I cope with it is that… I think I said it in the first episode or the first season. I was built from a strong cloth. So I’ve been through a lot more than people would probably know. My mom was a single mom, so she raised me to be a very strong individual and don’t allow certain things to, one, stop me from getting to my goals. Two, if something’s not for me, then it’s not for me. Don’t force it. I’m not going to force it. If he wants to leave, let him go.
How are you going about finding love now, and why is it important to not give up on that?
The first season came out when COVID just started, so it’s not like I can go on dates because I want to be safe. It’s so hard to date right now during COVID. Some of my line sisters are telling me to try these dating apps. I guess Facebook got a new one. So one of my line sisters was showing me, and there’s some cute potential guys. And then of course I got the DMs. I thought about it. I was like, okay. I’m going to start shooting my shot on guys that I think are cute.
Okay, come on! It’s been working for some people, girl. People done got married based off of it.
I know. I’m like, you know what? Let me just try it. What’s the worst that can happen? Other than he doesn’t respond back, and then he’s not for me. I’ve been doing that, but I haven’t been going on dates because of the whole situation. But hopefully everything bypass with COVID, and we can go back to normal life, and then I could go on dates, and I could find a man. Until then, I’m just going to just rely on DMs and maybe a dating app.
But you’re still very optimistic that you’ll marry one day?
Oh yeah! Of course. I think think I hold the full potential to be someone’s wife. But honestly, it’s God’s world, so if God doesn’t want me with someone, and he wants me to be, I don’t know, like a new Oprah, I can do that [laughs]. I’ll be Oprah and take her checks!