Keith, a 27-year-old high school basketball coach from Greensboro, NC, was matched with Iris, a 27-year-old who works for a nonprofit from Raleigh, NC, 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, Keith and Iris' 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, Keith shined some light on his expectations of marriage and how his approach to the marriage changed once he learned Iris was a virgin. Below is what he had to say.
Reality TV World: Lifetime said you want a family of your own and hoped to start trying for children immediately after getting married. Did you tell the experts you wanted a partner who felt the same way? What if your wife wanted to wait longer to welcome kids?
Keith Manley: I may have misspoke when I originally said I was looking to start my own family immediately. And it isn't something I remember telling the experts I was looking for in a woman.
Deciding to get married at first sight, my main concern was hopefully being matched with someone I could picture a future with. Someone who had similar values and shared the same type of moral code as me.
Those are some of the biggest things I feel are needed to have a successful marriage and eventually a successful family. So for me it wasn't about starting a family asap, more so finding the right person for the job.
Reality TV World: What was your view on consummating your marriage heading into the experiment, and how do you think that changed once you found out Iris was a virgin?
Keith Manley: To me, sex plays a major part in most intimate relationships, especially marriage. Consummating your marriage can be a way to lay a fresh foundation for your newly titled bond.
Being married to someone you know so little about, it can give you an opportunity to see another side of your new spouse. Finding out Iris was a virgin really challenged me to approach our relationship from another angle.
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I knew that I couldn't allow sex to be what helped determine if our relationship would last. There's a certain level of comfort it takes for a woman to decide to share her body with you.
Because Iris decided to save herself until marriage, I knew that level of comfort had to be high. So that's what I tried to focus on.
Reality TV World: Your parents and grandparents weren't thrilled about you getting married at first sight, but they ultimately chose to support you. Would you have turned down the opportunity if you didn't receive a blessing from one of your loved ones?
Keith Manley: My family means more than anything in the world to me. It would've hurt me to not receive their blessing. So when they chose to support me through what seems to be one of the craziest things I could ever do, I couldn't have been more appreciative.
I'm really not sure If I would've gone through with it had I not received their support. Fortunately, I've been blessed to have a family that respects my decisions whether they agree with them or not.
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!