Written by Sexual Wellness Institute Owner and Therapist, Amanda Holmberg, MS LMFT
So many of us are a little bit obsessed with this show. Have you wondered what a couples therapist might think of this season & these couples? There are many fun relational dynamics to dissect from season two - so let’s dive in!
It’s hard not to root for at least some of these couples to make it, right? Sadly, I don’t think any of them have a shot. Well, maybe Jarrette and Iyanna - let’s start with them.
Jarrette and Iyanna
Jarrette is probably going to face a harsh reality, transitioning from a single, free person to a husband. He seems to be used to doing what he wants, when he wants. This could be problematic for them.
I originally felt like Iyanna was settling a bit for something she maybe didn’t really think was right for her. But then I saw them dance at their wedding. They looked so damn natural and comfortable with each other. They even had similar dance moves! It was beautiful to watch. I’m rooting for them.
Shane & Natalie
They were a bad match for many reasons, but I’m going to focus on their love languages. Shane needs a cheerleader - someone who is going to root for him and shower him with compliments every day. His love language is definitely Words of Affirmation.
Natalie seems to have grown up in a family where words of affirmation weren’t used that much, and she seemed uncomfortable giving compliments and words of affection. Not having your partner speak your love language consistently often leads to resentment in the relationship. We saw that developing with Shane. He also seemed to struggle to see the other ways she was showing him love that were not through words of affirmation.
I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention that Shane seems to have some personality and possibly some substance issues that were contributing to their unhealthy dynamic as well.
Danielle & Nick
These two both seem to have a ton of unresolved trauma and issues from their pasts. That is going to make this relationship nearly impossible to thrive, unless they make an appointment with a couples’ therapist, stat. A couples therapist could help them identify what triggers they have in a relationship and how they may intermingle with their partners’ triggers, and the best way to handle it.
They also both seem to get very flooded very easily when in conflict and become unable to communicate rationally. They both seem to want a relationship but maybe haven’t thought through if they actually want the things that each other in particular would bring to the table.
Mallory & Salvador
Salvador saying “no” on the day of the wedding sort of shocked us all. After all, we saw him serenade her several times and it seemed super romantic, right?
To use a favorite reality show reference - I don’t think he was “here for the right reasons”. My gut tells me the serenades were about jump-starting his music career. Even if he wasn’t ready for marriage he also didn’t show interest in continuing to date Mallory which also makes me question his motivations for being on the show.
As a sex therapist, I also don’t think they had very much sexual chemistry. Honestly, Mallory seemed to have that sexual attraction and passion much more with Jarrette.
Mallory said early on that she was purposely choosing someone “different” than she normally chooses. I think she was indirectly saying she normally chooses someone who is less emotional and more traditionally masculine. Salvador seemed to be the opposite of that but still didn’t work out for her – but I still think her quest for someone with these qualities is an important one for her!
Deepti & Shake
Okay here’s where I have A LOT to say as a couples therapist. So much happening with this couple.
First - I will agree with pretty much the whole world and say Deepti is amazing and whomever she ends up with is going to feel very lucky to have her.
Shake: I see potential in him, I really do. But he has some work to do with gaining insight about what’s going on subconsciously for him.
Remember how he kept saying he wasn’t physically or sexually attracted to her? In my opinion, there is some deep internalized racism and sexism happening here.
Shake told us all he only dates “white girls”. Based on many of his comments, he seems to over sexualize and dehumanize the women he’s normally attracted to.
Because he didn’t see Deepti first, I think he really humanized her and looked at her differently than how he normally looks at women he dates. He saw her as a whole human and not just some hot girl to have on his arm. BUT because he humanized her, he found himself faced with a subconscious discrepancy. I think the only women he’s ever fully respected have been women in his family. And, of course, he doesn’t want to have sex with his mom, aunt, etc.
Remember when he said he felt like she was his aunt?!? He said that because he didn’t understand that the way he viewed her as a whole human was the same as how he viewed women in his family and NOT how he views the women he typically dates.
So, for Shake I’d love to help him figure out this inner conflict and how to be attracted to someone both physically AND emotionally. He also needs to learn how to lean into vulnerability and not into his shame, which ends up making him a bit narcissistic. But that’s a topic for another day!
Interested in Couples Therapy in Plymouth, MN?
All in all, it was a great season. The more I watch these reality shows for love/dating the more I’m convinced that they’d really benefit from having an on-site couples’ therapist to help them! (Netflix, reach out.) For everyone else, at least those of you in Minnesota, let's talk about how couples therapy can help your life. Our couples and marriage therapists want to help you with sex therapy or marriage counseling here in Plymouth, or anywhere in the state with online therapy in Minnesota. Get started by following these simple steps:
Other Mental Health Services in Minnesota
In addition to couples therapy & marriage counseling, our LGBT & polyamory friendly sex therapists provide a wide range of mental health services at our Plymouth, MN counseling office. Other services include sex therapy, EFT, evidence-based couples therapy, EMDR & sexual trauma therapy, as well as, teen therapy. In order to help serve the mental health needs of all those living in Minnesota, we also offer online counseling & sex therapy. We also provide a variety of helpful tips on our mental health blog. Please feel free to reach out with questions, or if you would like to schedule an appointment to begin working with a skilled therapist! Your love life can be amazing.
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