The first time I learned about Rose and Ed of the “90 Day Fiancé” spin-off show “90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days” was because of a clip: Ed telling Rose to shave her legs. After that, all I could think about was the audacity of this man telling a young beautiful girl that she looked unsightly because she had leg hair.
I thought I’d never hear about those two again. But with very little things to do during the quarantine, it was no surprise that their arc on the TV show became viral in the Philippines and the United States – for all the wrong reasons.
What is “90 Day Fiancé?”
For those of you who haven’t heard of it, “90 Day Fiancé” is a reality show in the United States. The show focuses on American citizens engaged to foreigners they’ve met online but never met in real life. Because of K-1 visa restrictions, when the foreign partner finally arrives in the US and they meet for the first time, they only have 90 days to get married.
I’m just going to put it out there right now and admit that TLC reality shows have been my guilty pleasure even before the quarantine began, and “90 Day Fiancé” is one of them. There are some couples that end up successful, but a lot of them are beyond problematic.
Foreigners are accused of being gold-diggers or marrying for green cards, and Americans are shown disrespecting their fiancé’s culture, marrying foreigners as young as their own children, and threatening to have them deported if they don’t give in to their demands.
“90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days” is a spin-off of the series. Before the American petitions for a K-1 visa, they travel to their partner’s country to visit them for the first time. There, they determine their compatibility and choose whether to proceed with the relationship or go home. We might have already forgotten it, but in 2017 we saw another Filipina in this show: Jenny, aka the “You’re road” girl.
Season 4: Rose and Ed
The latest season introduces another Filipina on the show: 23-year-old Rosemarie or Rose, who’s in an online relationship with 54-year old Ed from California. Ed travels to Manila to meet her, and, well . . . their relationship went viral for a reason.
I can recap every cringe-inducing moment in their story arc in the show, but it’s better you watch the show to see the slow burn happen yourself.
Instead, I’d like to take this time to list four relationship lessons you can learn from Ed and Rose’s relationship.
1. Don’t Lie About Yourself Online
Ed and Rose met online, and Rose was honest about her poor life and made it clear what she wanted: someone to help her raise her son and give him a good life and also grow a family with her. But when she met Ed for the first time, it was clear that he wasn’t as honest as she was.
Aside from lying about his height (he claimed to be 5’2” like Rose when he’s 4’11”), he made her believe that he also wanted more kids. But toward the end of his stay, he revealed he was planning on getting a vasectomy and didn’t want more children.
His excuse? He wanted to get to know Rose more and vice versa to see if they were compatible.
She wants kids, you don’t – that’s already a sign of incompatibility. Was Ed just expecting to marry her, drop the bomb that he was sterile, and let Rose accept the fact that she couldn’t have any more kids?
Dating apps and online dating websites make it easier for you to find a match. But it’s important to stand your ground and establish intention as a non-negotiable factor when finding online dates. If you’re looking for a committed relationship, find someone who claims to want one, too and see if you’re on the same page.
When you’re just looking for a fling and are attracted to someone looking for a long-term relationship, don’t lie just to get close to them. Message them and see if they’re willing to bend their preferences for you. But if one of you lies about what either of you want in this relationship, someone is bound to get hurt.
2. Never Let Someone Try to Change You
Throughout their arc, Rose never said anything negative to Ed about his appearance until he pushed her too far. Ed, on the other hand, felt entitled to comment how Rose’s unshaved legs made her less feminine. He also gave her mouthwash and a toothbrush as a “subtle” way of telling her she’s because got bad breath. (Rose explained she always brushes her teeth but that she has untreated ulcer.)
Although good hygiene is essential, other people (including those you’re romantically involved with) aren’t entitled to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do with your body to meet their preferences. The audacity of this man to tell a pretty girl like Rose she doesn’t measure up when he himself is no prize.
No woman has to change herself to deserve someone’s love. Before I met my current boyfriend, I went on a few dates with a guy who went as far as telling me to get liposuction and showed me the Instagram account of a curvy model he wanted me to look like. Today, my current boyfriend has never pressured me to lose weight and has seen me with hairy legs, no makeup, and morning breath. And he’s never once tried to make me feel less of a woman because of it.
3. Stand Your Ground and Know When to Walk Away
Ed and Rose’s relationship started to break down the moment he asked her to take an STD test because of her previous relationships. Ironic for someone who cheated on his first wife to have trust issues about women in his life being unfaithful. But I’ll let you be the judge of that in this very cringe-worthy scene.
It’s just heartbreaking watching Rose realize she’s being treated as a girl who sleeps around. If you come into a relationship honestly, it’ll hurt when you realize you’re being accused of infidelity or ulterior motives. Rose was hurt by Ed insinuating she had an STD. But when it was clear that Ed wasn’t willing to do the same test for her and constantly kept asking her about her past, she put her foot down and knew when to walk away from the situation.
4. Know Your Worth
I admire Rose so much because despite their different situations, she never sees herself as the smaller person in the relationship. She lives in a poor area in Caloocan and a young single mother, but she’s always happy and never sees herself as the smaller person in the relationship. To her, she and Ed are equals. So when she’s finally had enough of Ed’s rudeness, lies, and manipulation, she goes off on him.
“I know who you are. I think.” Rose finally points out everything he’s done to her to humiliate her. She points out that he makes her feel small and ends the relationship. After ending the relationship, Rose goes on to speak out about the show: how Ed only used her for fame, how she and her family were painted as gold diggers by him and his family, and how she was never given any money for appearing on the show – all of it went to Ed.
Despite all of it, though, she went on to start her own YouTube channel and share her side of the story.
Know your worth and don’t feel like you have to be the small and quiet one in the relationship. Never let any guy make you think less of yourself despite your circumstances. You don’t need that “neckativity” your life.
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Justine is a Slytherin who loves cosplay, horror fiction, and puns. She is the certified favorite human of her dog, Pud.