Deonna, a 30-year-old operations manager currently living in the Charlotte area, was matched with Greg, a 32-year-old math learning center owner from Fort Washington, MD, by Married at First Sight experts Dr. Pepper Schwartz, Pastor Calvin Roberson, and newcomer Dr. Viviana Coles based on compatibility, goals, hobbies, religious views and more.
After meeting for the first time at their wedding ceremony, Greg and Deonna's life together was documented over the course of eight weeks -- including their honeymoon and moving in together.
During an exclusive interview with Reality TV World, Deonna shined some light on her expectations going into the experiment and why she felt ready to marry about 10 years of being single. Below is what she had to say.
Reality TV World: Since you didn't date for 10 years, how did you know you were ready to not only date, but to get married? And how did you know what you wanted from a husband and whom you'd be compatible with if you didn't date guys first that didn't work out?
Deonna McNeill: Even though I haven't been in a relationship in the last 10 years, I've talked to guys here and there. I spent most of my time focusing on me and my relationship with God. I prayed for what I wanted in my future spouse.
I prayed that he was a God fearing man, had a good sense of humor, was kind and had ambition. I didn't want to be super picky in what I asked for because I wanted to be open and not box myself into a corner imagining my husband.
Reality TV World: Did you have any dealbreakers when discussing whom your perfect match for the future might be? For example, we saw you have a dog. Must he love dogs?! What qualities or characteristics would turn you off?
Deonna McNeill: My dealbreakers were: I couldn't be with anyone that didn't believe in God, that smokes, or didn't have ambition. All too often people will describe others as being picky for having an extensive list of dealbreakers, so I wanted to be sure I was only thinking of true dealbreakers and not just my preferences.
I didn't specifically say that he had to love dogs but I made it very clear that Sandy is a huge part of my life and that one of my biggest fears was that whoever I was matched with wouldn't get along with her. Some of the characteristics that would turn me off: arrogance, disrespect, and someone that's condescending.
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Reality TV World: Going into the experiment, what did you believe was going to be the hardest part for you -- moving in together, intimacy after knowing each other such a short time, etc? And what part were you looking forward to the most?
Deonna McNeill: Going into the experiment, I thought the hardest part for me was going to be letting someone in after being single for so long. I knew that the emotional intimacy was going to be something that I was going to have to work on but it was something that I wanted.
I put in the time, effort and energy to ensure that I was intentional and thoughtful in opening up. The part that I was looking forward to the most was finally getting to meet my husband and getting to know him, to learn why we were matched.
Be sure to check back with Reality TV World soon for more exclusive interviews with Married at First Sight Season 9 cast members, and CHECK HERE to read our other already published interviews!