Katie, a 25-year-old mental health professional from Woodbridge, VA, was matched to marry Derek, a 26-year-old cyber security engineer from Maryland, for Married at First Sight's tenth season by show experts Pastor Calvin Roberson, Dr. Pepper Schwartz and Dr. Viviana Coles.
But in the days leading up to their wedding, Katie's casual ex-boyfriend of a few months -- who had previously made it clear he wasn't ready for commitment -- came back into her life and expressed his supposed love for her.
Katie was therefore left with mixed emotions and a confused heart when she was supposed to be focused on and excited about tying the knot with a stranger, who turned out to be Derek.
When asked how she handled her ex's profession of love and whether she even believed him, Katie explained during a Wednesday appearance on Married at First Sight: Unfiltered, "I had trouble believing him."
"He basically said something along the lines of, 'I should have told you I love you sooner. I wish someone had talked to me and told me not to be an idiot,'" Katie recalled.
"And I'm like, 'I've been telling you! I've been telling you, dude!'"
"But yeah, it was just hard," Katie added. "It was hard to hear."
Since Katie was so torn between her ex and her mystery groom, Unfiltered host Jamie Otis asked Katie if she might have loved her ex back.
"I definitely felt like I loved him," Katie confessed.
"But it was, like, I know my heart feels this way, but my head is telling me that he is not really giving me what I deserve, and he hasn't been."
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Katie's Married at First Sight co-star Mindy Shiben offered her take on the situation considering she looked totally shocked when Katie had opened up about her romantic dilemma during their joint bachelorette party that aired on Season 10's debut episode.
"I do not envy Katie's situation. That must just be so tough," shared Mindy, who was matched to wed Zach Justice on the show.
"Already, this is a very emotional situation and to have that on top of what we're already going through..."
"It's like he was dangling everything I had ever wanted from him right in front of my face," Katie interjected, "and I wasn't sure if I could even grab it or not."
Mindy then asked Katie if her ex dropping "the 'L' bomb" was just a "Hail Mary" attempt to try to save their relationship.
"Probably," Katie noted.
"No," disagreed Married at First Sight expert Pastor Cal, who also joined the ladies on Unfiltered. "He wasn't trying to save your relationship."
Jamie chimed in suggesting Katie's ex was trying to "control" her, and Pastor Cal seemed to agree.
"Yeah, he wasn't trying to save your relationship. I think he felt like he was losing something that he had control over and he just wanted to exercise control," Pastor Cal explained.
"You can't love somebody without there being an expression of that love," Pastor Cal continued.
"And the expression of that love should have happened long before. I have no confidence in that whatsoever -- no offense."
Katie noted in that moment Pastor Cal was right.
Jamie then asked Katie to share the pros and cons that were running through her mind going into her wedding day when trying to determine whether to marry at first sight or return to her ex and what felt comfortable at that time.
"I'm considering, 'Is it fair for me to go into this with my soon-to-be husband and know that I'm still struggling with these feelings for this other person?'" Katie admitted.
While her ex had "messed with [her] head" and failed to commit when they first got together, Katie also had no idea whether she'd feel a connection or attraction to her groom.