Debuting in 2014, TLC’s 90 Day Fiance seemed to me to be one of the more ludicrous attempts by the network to cash in on the strenuous relationships of others. As you could probably glean from the title, the program involves an estranged couple meeting (often for the first time) and seeing if they can decide if they want to spend the rest of their lives with each other in just a three-month time period. A commitment of that import shouldn’t be and often isn’t confined to such a short time frame, the limit comes from the sanctions imposed by those issued a K-1 visa when visiting the U.S. which only allows for a 90 day visit. It’s the kind of stress that would probably ruin any relationship, so naturally TLC has seen fit to make an entire show about it.
TLC has an unusual affinity for all that is weird and abnormal in human nature: if you’re an obese dwarf, part of a religiously devout Arkansas family of 19, or a man posing as a Serbian prince to enter the U.S. through the marriage loophole, the network will probably want to make a show about you. I don’t mean to insinuate that they are a bit exploitative, but, for a television institution claiming to be all about tender, loving care, well, they honestly seem to in short supply of stuff like that. As you might imagine, while some couples are stronger as a result, some totally fold.
19 Together: Mark and Nikki
The relationship between Mark and Nikki on 90 Day Fiance was one of the most controversial stories ever featured and eventually landed TLC in some hot water. Mark was a 58-year-old father of four, and Nikki was a 19-year-old girl from the Philippines. With 39 years separating the two, just about anyone would raise an eyebrow and question the motives of both parties, but they pursued each other regardless.
As you might imagine, TLC was subjected to a good amount of backlash from their fan base, and the episode focusing on this couple is still contentious.
If you were wondering, yes, Mark’s kids were actually older than Nikki, which is so far beyond gross that I can hardly even comprehend that something like this would happen. They met on an online dating service, and it just seemed so overwhelmingly likely that Nikki was either using Mark for his money (though he was a Baltimore piano teacher) or to gain access to the United States (though she was already technically a citizen, I guess).
The relationship is somehow still going on, and it seems that literally everyone was wrong in assuming that they were up to something, as they actually sued TLC for their allegedly slanderous portrayal of the couple. The suit was thrown out of court, and, much to the chagrin of literally everyone on planet Earth, Mark and Nikki are still together.
18 Split: Mohammed and Danielle
Couples hardly come as mismatched as this: Mohammed is a 26-year-old Tunisian in the prime of his life, Danielle is a 41-year-old pasty from Sandusky. I don’t like to put restrictions on love, but even the most kind hearted would half to agree that this doesn’t seem like the kind of relationship which might work out. That shaky foundation began to crumble further when it was discovered that Mohammed had lied about his employment history, and Danielle had lied about her criminal background. Shortly after that, the couple broke it off, and Mohammed actually left Danielle to travel down to Florida with another woman with whom he was intimately connected to. Though they were still married at the time, Danielle tried to have their marriage annulled, which would have resulted in the deportation of her soon-to-be ex-husband.
Mohammed fought it in court, and, when Danielle was told that she most probably wouldn’t be able to effectively plead her case in court, she changed tactics and opted to simply divorce him.
After that, Mohammed moved to Texas and Danielle is allegedly still making attempts to get him deported. Gosh, what a fiery relationship that turned out to be!
17 Together: Evelyn and David
While some 90 Day Fiance relationships completely crash and burn, it’s important to note that that’s not always the case. In fact, I was honestly surprised to discover just how many relationships actually work out in the end. Perhaps I don’t give TLC enough credit. Could they actually be in it to foster kindred international relationships? No, there must be some catch.
Evelyn and David are definitely a shining example of the good that can come of shows like this. Granted, the couple is a bit quirky, but they seemed to love each other during their time on the show, and that still seems to be the case.
They both did seem a bit lost, and David seemed to deal with intimacy the way a sixth grader might, but that doesn’t mean that their relationship couldn’t flourish. With a foundation rooted in the couple’s strong religious affirmations, they really do seem like they could be a match made in heaven. When last we heard of these lovebirds, they had gotten married in Evelyn’s native New Hampshire. David, a 27-year-old man from Granada, Spain, initially objected to the setting, but, as far as anyone knows, he has adapted to the semi-rural New England lifestyle.
16 Together: Noon and Kyle
If you’re looking for some juicy 90 Day Fiance drama, then you had better look elsewhere as this couple may go down as the most drama-free pairing in the show’s history. It’s nice to see that, while most couples featured on TLC’s hit show go through some definite rough patches (and that’s putting it lightly), some actually come out on top.
The two actually met in Thailand, Noon’s native territory, and their acquaintanceship eventually blossomed into a full on relationship.
Did it have a few quirks here and there? Sure, as you may have guessed, her name isn’t actually Noon, it’s Bajaree Boonma, though she goes by her nickname because she decided that her real name is a bit too complicated for most Westerners. Probably not necessary, but, if that’s the weirdest thing to come out of your reality-show relationship, I would say that you’re pretty lucky. These guys are, in all honesty, pretty unremarkable, and it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that they are still married. Again, while perhaps not all that interesting to those watching the program in the hopes of seeing some horrible people do horrible things to each other, it’s good to see that TLC is actually decent enough to include some real love with its tender care.
15 Split: Darcey and Jesse
What do you get when you combine a 43 year old instagram-famous narcissist with a 25 year old Dutch bodybuilder? Well, you may not get the most stable relationship, but you may certainly get the workings for some decent reality TV. Of course, just about any of these super long distance relationships are ripe for television coverage according to TLC, but the fiery, ridiculous pairing of Darcey and Jesse really did have some of us scratching our heads and reaching for the remote. We all have friends who spend just a little too much time on Twitter and Instagram posting self-righteous statuses and obnoxious selfies. Darcey really seems to have been the epitome of that, and Jesse sort of comes off as a boy toy: someone to look pretty in the background of her many photos.
When hubris plays that much of a role in your relationship, it’s probably a sign that things aren’t headed in a great direction.
And, with that in mind, the couple seems to have split up following a total purge of Jesse from Darcy's social media presence. She’s also made ambiguous mention of “new beginnings” on Twitter, which always seems to be code for “breakup.” We don’t really know how authentic their relationship was to begin with, so hearing that it may be over for the two doesn’t quite seem that surprising.
14 Together: Narkyia and Ululowo
I would just like to clear the air and make sure that everyone knows that this man has “OwO” in his name. Were I in his shoes, I would get my name changed as soon as possible. Hey, I’m just saying. Regardless, things with this couple have gotten pretty weird, as most fans of the show will know. Things got weird pretty much from the get go when the Nigerian born Ululowo, who was living in Vietnam at the time, met Narkyia online and lied about where he was living.
He also claimed to be a Nigerian prince, which is about the largest red flag one could possibly raise.
Despite all of that, they actually met up in the States, though their relationship would not initially last very long. Ululowo had recently been involved with another woman, and she actually gave birth to his child in the early stages of his relationship with Narkyia. That’s not a great thing to have happen early on in a new relationship, and the couple actually broke it off for a time when Narkyia discovered that Ululowo was actually still romantically linked to his former girlfriend. They got back together, astoundingly, and are still living in the United States. Many of Narkyia’s friends and family have argued that Ululowo is only in it for nefarious purposes, but, the longer that relationship goes on, the less likely that seems.
13 Together: Melanie and Devar
I think one of the greatest concerns faced by the friends and family of anyone sojourning on a tropical island is that they may come back engaged to some foreign islander, and I am only partially kidding here. Sure, it doesn’t usually happen a whole lot in the real world, but it feels like it’s the kind of thing that occurs all the time in cheesy mid-day soaps and money-wire requests from previously unknown nieces or cousins.
Such is actually the case for Melanie and Devar: the couple met when Melanie was vacationing in Jamaica and Devar just so happened to be a lifeguard at one of the resorts in which she was staying. That seems slightly preposterous, but what’s even crazier is that Devar actually proposed to her while she was still on vacation, and she accepted. Talk about jumping the gun. Vegas may be famous for quick weddings, but we might be hearing about more Jamaican-style ceremonies in the coming years if this trend really catches on.
Of course, lots of Melanie’s friends and family back in her native Pennsylvania weren’t too happy about the decision and weren’t too quick to warm up to Devar. Things got even worse when he said that he wanted to send a majority of what he earned to his apparently impoverished family back in Jamaica. The couple is actually still together today and recently welcomed their first child into the world.
12 Split: Chelsea and Yamir
Though the couple has parted ways since their experience on TLC, they remain one of the somewhat less drama-centric pairings to ever be featured on the show. Sure, they were a bit strange at times, and the circumstances surrounding Yamir’s reasoning for coming to the U.S. was sort of suspect, but they seemed, for a time, to be a very happy couple.
Yamir was actually in a boy band in his native Nicaragua, and he agreed to accompany Chelsea to the U.S. because he thought it would be a great place to jump start his music career. Ideally, you would want your fiancé to be moving to your home country for you, and not for the career opportunities, but to each their own, I suppose.
Yamir actually got a call from a record producer in Chicago, and it kickstarted a bit of a trend that may have ultimately led to the couple’s separation. Yamir was told to move to the city in order to get his career as a musician going, but Chelsea was resistant to her idea, though her parents surprisingly supported Yamir and the continuation of their relationship. In the end, Yamir stayed in Chicago, though Chelsea would eventually leave and break away from him. He’s recently posted something on social media stating that, though they are no longer romantically linked, the pair remain friends to this day.
11 Together: Anfisa and Jorge
This couple seemed set to fail from the jump: Anfisa was a Russian amateur adult-film star, and Jorge an international trafficker (seriously). The whole thing started when Jorge saw some of Anfisa’s pictures online and decided to contact her. Though she initially wasn’t interested, she later claimed that she would be accepting of Jorge if he agreed to take her on an expensive European vacation.
He agreed, though, when she pushed the envelope even further by asking for a $10,000 handbag, things went south. Jorge declined to pay, and she cancelled her flight and travel plans.
After a time, the couple eventually reconciled and met in the United States, though Anfisa was at first really disappointed in the fact that Jorge was literally living out of a hotel room. A split seemed imminent when it came to light that Anfisa was pretty much just using Jorge for his money, and Jorge in turn insinuated that he only really liked Anfisa for her looks. A great basis for a relationship if there ever was one, by my approximation. Shockingly, the couple actually went on to tie the knot, and, despite another recent arrest on Jorge’s record, the couple are still supposedly together today.
10 Together: Nicole and Azan
The relationship between the United States born Nicole and Moroccan born Azan was about as unlikely as it gets. They met through an online mobile dating app despite being pretty much worlds apart, and Nicole actually agreed to fly out and meet Azan in his native country. Doing this was sort of a burden, however, on Nicole’s sister, who had to assume temporary custody of her toddler for the duration of her five week visit.
Things were a little rocky from the get go as Azan apparently felt that Nicole was a bit heavier than she let on online. Furthermore, while Nicole was privy to public displays of affection, Azan insisted that such things were considered inappropriate in his culture. This created a bit of a rift which only widened when Nicole actually admitted that she had betrayed Azan.
Nevertheless, the two got engaged during her trip, though they would soon encounter trouble when Nicole found out that she couldn’t afford to get Azan into the United States. While the couple remained together but separated in their own respective countries, Azan betrayed her, which really should have brought the relationship to a screeching halt. It didn’t though, and, though their future together seems uncertain, the couple are still allegedly exclusive to this day.
9 Together: Russ and Paola
Vanity seems to be the achilles heel for most of these televised relationships, and it doesn’t help when wanna-be models from foreign countries agree to join their fiancé in the United States because they are looking for a way to boost their career profiles. Such is the case with Paola, a Columbian native who traveled to the United States to be with her Oklahoman fiancé Russ for a time. The couple married, though Russ lost his job soon after, and they later moved to Miami because Paola was attracted to the large South American population of the city.
She continued to pursue her career as a model and fitness trainer, though it has caused a rift in their relationship because Russ declared himself to be upset by the skimpy outfits his wife often wore in photoshoots.
Her hard work must have paid off, however, because she made it to the second round of the 2017 Maxim’s finest competition, though she was eliminated soon after. All in all, the couple is still together, though they are certainly experiencing a bit of hardship. I wouldn’t say that they are the perfect match, but they’ve managed to keep it together up until now, which is more than some 90 Day couples can say.
8 Split: Paul and Katrine
Paul and Katrine are one of the most infamous couples to ever come out of TLC’s umbrella of 90 Day Fiancé shows. Featured on a spinoff series titled Before the 90 Days, Paul and Katrine were a dubious, odd couple. Paul had moved down to Katrine’s native Brazil for a time, but the waters were quickly muddied. Friends and family of the couple, as well as the entirety of the TLC viewer base, had assumed that the two had tied the knot based on the fact that Katrine adopted her partner’s surname on her social media profiles. Paul denied it, though, which raised more than a few eyebrows.
Eventually a photo emerged of the couple attending what looked to be a wedding service. Katrine was seen in a bride’s gown kissing a similarly gussied-up Paul on the cheek. This seemed to be a piece of concrete evidence suggesting that the two had said “I do,” but Paul maintained that the wedding had not taken places and that the photo was actually a photoshop job.
After that, allegations of extramarital relationships among the two began to drift around the internet, and it seemed very likely that the couple was, in fact, not even together anymore. Paul later posted a status on Facebook which read “I guess it’s a good thing I never got married…” which seems to be a relatively certain example of the couple’s separation.
7 Together: Loren and Alexei
Loren and Alexei share one of the more complicated tales to take place on TLC’s whirlwind marital show, though they seem to have managed to work everything out in the end. Loren met Alexei when she traveled to Israel on a birthright trip on which he served as a medic. They were quickly engaged, and they actually got married twice. Once in Loren’s native Florida, and again in Israel for the groom’s friends and family. Unfortunately, during that time period, a small hiccup occurred in which it was revealed that Loren suffered from Tourette’s Syndrome, and that it was a disease which could be passed genetically to their children.
Alexei was initially upset about this, but the whole thing kind of blew over and appeared to have been somewhat manufactured for dramatic effect by the show’s producers.
Today, Alexei and Loren are living in Fort Lauderdale, and the Israeli expatriate is making efforts to bring the rest of his family over to the United States. There’s still a bit of drama between the two: for whatever reason, Loren really wants Alexei to pursue a career in modelling, while he wants to focus on careers involving community service. All in all, it could have gone much worse for these two.
6 Together: Alan and Kirlyam
The 29-year-old Alan met his future wife, the 21-year-old Kirlyam, during a missions trip to Brazil. While that isn’t the strangest circumstance in which to meet your future spouse, the age gap between them feels a bit weird. Sure, it’s only eight years, but the difference between someone just heading into their 20”s and someone at the tail end of their 20s can be pretty noticeable. The couple wed in a Mormon temple with the bride’s family viewing via a livestream. They later went to Hawaii on their honeymoon, and things seemed to be off to a terrific start for the sort of mundane couple.
Nevertheless, things got a little weird when, after their wedding, Alan became extremely jealous of his wife when she attempted to pursue a career in modelling.
Perhaps a holdover from his conservative Mormon values, Alan absolutely did not take kindly to Kirlyam’s efforts to make a name for herself in such an allegedly scandalous industry. I’m sure the revealing outfits models often wear were a source of contention, as well. They are still together, though, and Kirlyam is actually still waiting on her green card despite having been married to her husband for a good amount of time.
5 Split: Molly and Luis
This is a messy one: as we’ve seen, while a more than a few of these 90 Day romances have worked out in the past, that’s not always that case. Unfortunately for Molly and Luis, a couple who first met in the Dominican Republic, their relationship ended up being one of the most tragic failures of the fifth season of the show. The couple married in July of 2017, but things between the couple took a turn for the worse, and Molly ended up serving her ex-husband divorce papers five days after the 2018 new year.
A rough way to start the year, for sure, but it doesn’t seem to be all bad for Luis, who has apparently been contacted by so many interested parties that he had to publicly state that he wouldn’t give out his Snapchat name until he was officially divorced. And they say chivalry is dead.
Luis ultimately never seemed all that interested in the relationship. He found Molly’s two kids to be annoying, and he really didn’t seem like he was capable of nor interested in being a father figure. That ended up being a pretty major flaw in their relationship, and it obviously grew to a point of extreme aggravation in a short six-month period.
4 Together: Josh and Aleksandra
Religion can often act as a pretty significant barrier between people. While it brings many together, it’s no secret that parties bearing differing ideological values are apt to disagree, and an intertheological marriage is often a pretty rare thing. Josh and Aleksandra, however, are the exception to that rule. They met in Prague, Czech Republic when he was 22 and she a year younger. He was there on a Mormon missions trip, and, despite Aleksandra’s atheist beliefs, she eventually converted to Mormonism and adopted many of the culture’s values. That seems like a mark of true commitment and companionship.
Aleksandra was a pretty big partier before meeting Josh, and, surprisingly, she was committed to him enough to sacrifice that lifestyle entirely, as it clashed pretty drastically with Josh’s background.
The couple married in 2015 and already have a child. Unfortunately, a skin tone a few shades darker than Josh’s indicated to some internet trolls that Aleksandra may have been unfaithful. This upset her so much that she completely removed herself from social media, which has sort of made catching up with the ex-90 Day Fiancé star difficult. Time will only tell if we will ever end up seeing this lovely duo on the show in the future.
3 Split: Jason and Cassia
Another creepy relationship with an uncomfortably large age gap, Jason, a 38-year-old Florida native, began dating Cassia, a 23-year-old Brazilian girl after he met her on Facebook. She was actually in a relationship with one of his friends at the time, but, when that fizzled out, she began dating Jason. It’s important to note that there’s a full 15-year difference between these two, which is not quite as large some others who have been featured on the show, but it’s still long enough to make me want to gag a little bit.
Jason lived an awkward, frugal life. He was a frequent garage sale visitor, and he made a living by scrounging for miscellaneous stuff and selling it online.
Though the two claimed to have made efforts to keep their marriage intact, they officially split up at the end of February 2018. When asked what the impetus was to finally separate, Cassia revealed that she may have been the victim of assault, for which he was later arrested. She said that he was a good man, but he had a shrewd temper and a short fuse. This is obviously not something TLC would want to cover in their show, but it is the reality of some of these pairings.
2 Together: Alla and Matt
Alla and Matt share an interesting story. The couple had actually met via an online dating site before, but they broke off once Matt married his third wife. Years later, Matt was once again divorced, and he reconnected with Alla, who had actually also become a divorce at that point. It’s interesting to see that these two actually bonded over their divorce experiences, but I suppose that it can be a great thing to talk about with someone else who has an intimate experience with the subject matter. Alla, a Ukrainian, eventually traveled to the United States to be with Matt. Now, I don’t mean to disappoint anyone, but, though Matt’s last name is Ryan, I don’t believe him to be the famous Atlanta Falcons quarterback. I’m not totally sure, though. He could be leading a very complex double life.
The couple hit a rough patch when, during their engagement, Matt’s family insisted that she scale back her lavish expectations for their wedding. In turn, Alla said that she wasn’t quite in love with Matt yet, and the engagement seemed to be in turmoil.
However, the couple persisted, and they did eventually marry. Later on in the series, the newlyweds are shown hunting for a house together, and it seems like they are still happily married today.
1 Split: Abby and Sean
One of the most disastrous couples of TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé spin off Before the 90 Days, I doubt anyone really had any objections to the separation of these two. Things were rough from the word “go” as Sean was initially made to compete with another love interest for the affections of the Haitian Abby in what ended up seemingly akin to the worst episode of The Bachelor.
He won the competition, obviously, but the couple’s romance and marriage would be short-lived. When it was all said and done, Sean took to Instagram to let TLC’s audience know what had actually happened behind the scenes. It turns out that, during a return trip to Haiti, Abby had been recognized by more than a few women and very negatively received. She was considered to have married Sean for money, which made for something of an ugly stain on her reputation in her native land.
Her status as a pseudo-celebrity quickly grew old as she was also constantly harassed on social media, and the whole thing led to her asking for a divorce from Sean. Since then, Abby has been able to maintain a bit of a lower profile, though it seems that she wishes that she could have reconsidered her marriage before she ever went through with it in the first place.
References: people.com, tmz.com, intouchweekly.com, usweekly.com, inquisitr.com,