“Depression is not a red flag. Mental health issues are not related to masculinity/femininity…”
A #MAFS participant is offering some clarity to the comments she made on last week’s episode. As previously reported consultant Karen, 30, is matched with Miles, a 26-year-old education worker, and so far things have been going semi-well, not Amani and Woody well, but OK.
Doing the couple’s honeymoon Karen upgraded Miles from just a “stranger” to “MY stranger”, the two bonded over their love of food and despite Miles’ “cougar” jokes, they got along fairly well. Near the end of the vacation, however, Karen expressed concern over two things; the fact that Miles said he’s been in TEN monogamous relationships and the fact that Miles told her he was diagnosed with clinical depression. Let’s break down the latter specifically.
During a sitdown, Miles bravely told Karen that he at times has depressive episodes and takes medicine. Karen seemed fine with Miles’ confession and even asked how she could be supportive during those moments when he’s feeling especially down. But in conversations with producers, she flat out said that “Miles’ depression was a red flag for her” and said she told the experts that she wanted a “masculine male.”
“This is not something I expected to hear on my honeymoon,” said Karen. “It does trigger a red flag for me, like, I wanted a really masculine male, and I do wonder about how strong our marriage will be able to be — and if I will be able to support him.”
As you can imagine, the Internet obliterated Karen for her comments and called her “dismissive”, “insensitive” and a myriad of other things, while noting that she’s falling into the unfortunate pitfalls of toxic masculinity in the Black community.
It’s no secret that black men are not given the same grace as their counterparts when it comes to mental health, so it was definitely disappointing to hear those words come out of Karen’s mouth.
Luckily, Karen knows y’all gave her the side-eye and she sent over a statement to our sister site MadameNoire to clarify. According to Karen, depression is NOT a red flag and while Miles’ confession caught her off guard, she’s glad that he’s “emotionally mature”, an attribute she’s attracted to.
“Honestly, after last week’s episode I would be giving myself the side eye too. I realize how that moment looked, but let me dive a little deeper into how I felt because I’m exhausted from being identified as someone who seeks toxic masculinity in relationships; it’s quite the opposite.
When Miles told me about his depression, I immediately began to envision how that may affect our relationship, what he needed from me and how we would communicate in those moments. I thought it was really amazing that Miles’ felt comfortable enough with me to share something so personal after only a few days of marriage. I was proud of him in that moment and met him with a ton of support. Therapy is not something that is normalized in the African American community, but it should be.
It takes strength and emotional intelligence to realize when therapy is needed. truthfully, I feel like we should all go to therapy. I do. Members of my family go. My friends and my coworkers as well. And it’s a GOOD thing. I support all people (men and women) being open and honest about their mental health. It did catch me off guard, but it wasn’t a red flag. I was impressed that Miles had and was continuing to openly work on himself. It showed me that he is emotionally mature, which is a trait that I find very attractive. When I was asked about my ideal partner, I spoke about a masculine man not in relation to mental health. Miles and I still have things to figure out surrounding how to identify what we both are attracted to in a partner but I look forward to that.
I’d like to close by saying, depression is not a red flag. Mental health issues are not related to masculinity / femininity. Let me say that again. Depression is NOT a red flag and mental health issues are NOT related to masculinity and femininity. The two should never be linked because in my everyday life they’re so far from being correlated.”
Hmmm, what are YOUR thoughts on her clarification?
The next episode of “Married At First Sight” will show Miles and Karen moving in together, a change that will surely test their bond.
Tune in tonight at 8/7c on Lifetime.