So I’ve recently stumbled onto a new television series on TLC. It’s called “90 Day Fiancé” and it’s a show that is supposed to portray International Long Distance relationships from an inside perspective.
I had honestly never heard of this show before recently. Apparently it premiered January 12th of this year so I’m a little late on the bandwagon, but it sounded so interesting that I had to check it out!
As I sit here, only having gotten through the first half of the episode, I have to say that as a whole I’m not very impressed with the direction 90 Day Fiancé seems to be heading. I’m crossing my fingers in hopes that the next half of this episode and the rest of the series will get better.
This is just my opinion but here are some problems I’m having with the show as of now:
- The couples are portrayed as though they have first met or barely know one another.
The premise of the series is that four engaged women enter the United States on a K-1 visa (also known as the “fiancée visa”) and they must marry their American fiancés within 90 days of entering the country. If they don’t marry within that 90 days they’re sent back home.While all of that information is true, the k-1 Visa is NOT designed for the purpose of having “only 90 days” to get to know someone and to decide if you’re going to marry them.
On top of that most real International Long Distance Couples get to know one another pretty darn well before they ever get to the point of filing for a K-1.Like most LDRs, they Skype and communicate in as many ways as they can so that by the time they’re ready to go this route they already know and have decided that marriage is the way to go for them.
The worst part is, 90 Day Fiancé actually touches (barely) on and at brief points showed how they have Skyped and actually visited and spent considerable time with their S/Os beforehand. So why do I have this feeling they’re portraying International LDRs as something akin to mail order brides?
- It doesn’t portray the plight of real International LDR Couples.
I will admit it’s nice that long distance relationships are getting so much publicity lately. But this is the kind of publicity I dread. The kind that really molds the public perception of LDRs in the most unsuspectingly negative way.
Instead of portraying what a real LDR is like, this program feels very inaccurate and highly scripted.Instead of highlighting the careful planning and dedication that goes into an LDR, it’s being portrayed as something very strange, outlandish and taboo.
Instead of portraying the relationships as loving commitments, the couples seem at lot less genuine than most of the LDR couples I know and have met. I guess you can put an uncomfortable spin on anything if you portray it in the right (or wrong) way.
As someone in a long distance relationship, I wouldn’t recommend 90 Day Fiancé to anyone who wants to actually learn about the dynamics of a long distance relationship. Basing your opinions about international LDRs (or any LDRS really) based on this show will leave you a little misinformed and with a nasty bias against what is being portrayed as really strange taboo.
However it’s not all bad! I will say that 90 day Fiancé does have its bright side as well. It’s entertaining for starters, full of all the fun drama that reality TV brings. That’s always fun.
If you’re already in a long distance relationship it can become pretty relatable to things you’ve already experienced. The first episode alone touched on the following things:
- That first walk through the airport into your boyfriend or girlfriend’s arms
- The first ‘real’ lengthy span of time that you were able to spend together
- The challenge of leaving your family and friends & culture shock
- The first night together
- Meeting your S/O’s parents
- Jealousy issues that my previously not have existed within the scope of your LDR
- Un-supportive friends or family & negative comments
It can also give you a better look into some of the challenges you may actually face once you begin the process of closing the distance. This show actually does give you a pretty hard hitting look at what could happen once the rose colored shades fall off. Pretty handy info, if you ask me.
Watching this with my boyfriend, one of the things I really liked was the fact that a lot of the things brought up in the show actually sparked some pretty deep conversation about our own LDR. -Things that made us angry, things that we loved and our own plans to eventually close the distance for good. I’d definitely recommend that other LDR couples try and watch this together, it’ll definitely spark some interesting discussion between you.
As I said before, I’m glad that long distance relationships are finally coming to light in the eyes of the general public. It finally gives us something to relate to and identify with –something that we didn’t really have before now without a lot of searching. Maybe it’s a little wonky as far as the details go, but even I have to admit that it’s pretty cool to have an entire TV show about LDRS. Who’d have thought THAT would happen?
What do you think about 90 Day Fiancé? Are you views as mixed as mine? Do you think it accurately portrays international LDRs? I’d love to hear your take on the show!
Images via: The Learning Channel