The women have all the power on MTV’s The Love Experiment. This new series brings dating apps to life and sees three best friends Marz, Paige, and Tamara walk “The Hall” of eligible bachelors looking for their forever connection. Just like online dating, they are attracted by looks and dating profiles.
Then the experiment challenges the women, made up of flight attendants and entrepreneurs, to explore their respective relationship prospects through conversations, outings, and later on, hearing from family members. Helping guide them along the way is Spicy Mari, Mari Waugh. The relationship expert is no stranger to TV with appearances on OWN’s Don’t Tell the Bride and VH1’s Basketball Wives.
We chatted with Mari about this unique approach to finding love and the advice she gives the ladies through their journey.
What was your first reaction when you heard about the concept of this show?
Spicy Mari: The concept I thought was phenomenal. My first reaction was yay. This show is extremely unique, so I found it a privilege to even be considered. The fact I would have an opportunity to work with three incredibly beautiful women internally and externally and help them through relationships and dating and navigating true intimacy, spotting the red flags and green flags. When the concept was first presented, I was flabbergasted. I was like let’s do it.
It’s the ultimate be careful what you wish for as they are walking this hall with all these men and get to pick who they want. Feelings and connections build, which makes for some difficult decisions. How is it seeing them go through this process?
Be careful what you wish for is a great summary and assessment because we all want the opportunity to be in front of high-value men. But as they are navigating and seeing what options are, it really does mirror modern dating, especially with apps and what I like to call Baskin Robbins 31 flavors. At the end of the day, you’ll always want to stick to your favorite flavor. However, as they were experiencing the different flavors of men, it became harder and harder to release the men because the grass wasn’t always greener on the other side. Nobody wants to have any regrets. At the end of the day, I would circle the girls back to their feminine intuition. It’s there for a reason.
You help the three women see dating through a new lens. You get them to dig deeper into the questions they ask and venture outside their comfort zones.
There was a moment of pride for me every time I saw the ladies make a different decision than they would usually make. We are usually a creature of habit, so getting them out of the pattern of their usual type that didn’t serve them in the past…It’s really getting them in the headspace of what would their healthy self choose. Allow yourself to be attracted to different things, healthier things. You see that through the course of the show awakened more and more for these women.
Has there been anything that has surprised you watching them go through the experiment?
I didn’t expect the first couple of episodes for Tam to have such a big heart when it came to having to release people. She comes off very strong and confident, so I was actually shocked when I saw moments of softness and fear in releasing and hurting people. I got to see those tender moments when she was nervous about sending them back to the hall and having to start over. I was surprised Paige found intimacy with certain people. I thought she did a phenomenal job of being open and truly emotionally available to the men. Her decision was based on the quality of candidates she was going to choose and how she was going to spend those most affectionate moments. It was clear there were sparks there, and she recognized that. Marz is extremely honest about things she is sexually attracted to, emotionally attracted to, recreationally attracted to, and honest about the fact there are the values and standards she wants. A lot of people will negotiate those when presented with things that would potentially work. I think she did a great job seeing flags and taking healthy steps in the right direction for herself.
You figure in this setting maybe the women would fight over at least one of the men. Not at all in this case.
I’m not surprised because I think the girls had good communication with one another. Luckily these girls had different types. There would be cases in many situations where they did really well cheering each other on when someone liked someone. It was a communication tool right there where it was like, “This guy is fine. Therefore don’t come for him boo.”I’m also a firm believer that if someone is not for you, they are for someone else. So you should release them and let someone get them. But they didn’t have that problem in this situation. There was nobody they were fighting over. They just had really good communication.
I think it also exemplifies their bond as friends. If their friendship wasn’t strong enough, maybe we would have seen those issues.
The friendship was strong, and they didn’t see each other as competition. You can have these silent instances with friends where you’re not disclosing to your friends that there are certain things you are jealous of or what or who you want. They didn’t have this level of jealousy amongst one another. And because of that, they were able to handle this experiment exceptionally well.
What can you say is to come with the ladies as they inch closer to making a final decision?
You’ll see some revelations. I think the audience will be surprised to see the evolution of the ladies but what they do in nurturing relationships. We see not only ourselves in them but also in our dating experiences with guys. We’re going to have an opportunity to step outside ourselves. That is going to be a fun journey to see what happens. You’re placing your bets on who they actually end up choosing. I can’t say who they are choosing, but that will be the biggest shocker with everything. In addition to seeing them evolve, you see the girls are phenomenal. There are so much more facets to the women and layers that we haven’t even begun to explore yet.
The Love Experiment, Tuesdays, 9/8c, MTV