NEW ORLEANS – On June 30th, 2023, Married at First Sight’s Briana Myles and Netflix’s Love Is Blind’s Lauren Speed-Hamilton spoke on our Main Stage at the 2023 ESSENCE Festival Of Culture™ with our Entertainment Editor, Rivea Ruff, about their journeys to finding love on reality television and how they met their partners who are now their husbands. When Speed-Hamilton reflected on her decision to appear on the Netflix show, she noted how she felt like she had everything in her life but a partner to share her successes with. “My daily life was happening, and it caused me to hit a point of frustration; all my dates were empty and superficial. So, when the opportunity to go on Love Is Blind came to me, I never thought I would go along with it because it felt like a crazy concept at first. But then the more I prayed about it, I thought it would be a good way to connect with someone on an emotional, not just physical, level,” says Speed-Hamilton on the ESSENCE Main Stage.
Myles had a similar reason for joining a reality television show for love, “I had just moved to Atlanta in December 2019, and the world shut down because of COVID in March 2020. All the dates I’ve been on previously were surface level” she shares. Now Myles is married with a beautiful baby girl. When asked if she would go on reality television again to find love again, she didn’t hesitate to say yes, she would. “Would I do it all over again? If I have the same partner and the same outcome, yes. But of course, you don’t know that. You take a shot. So I think I would do it all over again, but I would just have to remain open and true to myself. That’s the key to Married at First Sight, have to go into it very openly,” she reveals.
It’s also important to be open to your future partner not being what you previously expected or had in mind. For example, at first, Speed-Hamilton grappled with her partner being white, but those concerns dissipated over time. “Before the show came out, Cameron and I were married for a year and a half. So nobody even knew who we were, but some people did stare at us. However, we’ve been showered with love, and every time we’re out on the street, they come up to us and say, “You inspire us; you give us hope,” and that’s what we focus on. We try not to focus on the naysayers and the haters because it’s about him and me and our happiness and spreading joy to other people,” she states.
Both Speed-Hamilton and Myers had several words of encouragement for audience members searching for their new love and open to it finding them. Their key pieces of advice? Always be yourself, be open-minded, and keep an open heart.