Many of you have reached out recently expressing quarantine fatigue which is compounded by being single. You have a deep desire for someone to navigate this period of fear and frustration. You can only do so many zoom calls with friends to make up for the fact that you’re solo all day every day. And dating apps have lost their allure with the possibility that you may not be able to meet in person for weeks or even months.
So this month, we are going to have a completely different format from the usual Dates & Mates. This series is designed to take you deeper on a mental, spiritual, and even physical level to design the love life you want. This unexpected break from the rat race of love and life we had been caught in is giving us an opportunity to get clarity and explore parts of ourselves that had been buried away.
Today Damona invites you to begin a four-part journey called Love Lessons.
We will launch the series today with an interview that will make you feel all the feels. The other 3 episodes will be full of visualization, meditation, and self-inquiry.
Today, you will learn along with Carlton from Love is Blind as he reflects upon what he learned from the groundbreaking social experiment and TV series that he participated in.
Do you remember Love is Blind? For those who haven’t seen it – you might want to binge-watch the entire Netflix series and then come back and relisten to this podcast once you’re in the know because Carlton is going to spill all the tea and give all the spoilers and even reveal something he has NEVER said in an interview before.
But above all, this is a love lesson.
It’s a lesson in self-awareness, bravery and forgiveness:
LOVE IS BLIND (3:00)
Carlton teaches us:
- The power of vulnerability
- To move into your dream relationship you need to be willing to forgive the past.
- Why you should face your fear.
- We are constantly growing and evolving and that means you don’t need to wait for healing to occur or enlightenment to strike to be ready to date again.
- How to keep faith.
Find more from Carlton on Instagram @CarltonMorton or donate to Camp Carlton – his charity for the children of his hometown – if you feel called!
WANT TO GO EVEN DEEPER? HERE IS A TRANSCRIPT OF THE SHOW IF YOU WANT TO FOLLOW ALONG!
Modern love Made Simple. This is dates and mates with damona Hoffman. Hello lovers, so many of you have reached out to me recently expressing quarantine fatigue, which is compounded by being single, you have a deep desire for someone to navigate this period of fear and frustration. You can only do so many zoom calls with friends to make up for the fact that your solo all day every day. And dating apps have lost their allure with the possibility that you may not be able to meet in person for weeks or even months. So this month, we are going to have a completely different format from the usual dates and mates. This series of four episodes is designed to take you deeper on them mental, spiritual and even physical level to design the love life you want. This unexpected break from the rat race of love and life that we’ve been caught in is giving us an opportunity to get clarity and explore parts of ourselves which have been buried away. Today, I invite you to begin a four part journey with me called love lessons. We will launch the series today with an interview that will make you feel all the fields. The other three episodes will be full of visualization, meditation, and self inquiry. Today you will learn along with Carlton from love is blind as he reflects upon what he learned from the groundbreaking social experiment and TV series that he participated in. You remember Love is blind. For those who have not seen it. You might want to go back and binge watch the entire Netflix series and then come back and re listen to this podcast. Once you’re in the know Because Carlton is going to spill all the tea y’all, and he’s going to give you all the spoilers and even reveal something that he has never said in an interview before. But above all, this is a love lesson. It’s a lesson in self awareness, and bravery, and forgiveness. The TLDR version of His love story is that he was one of the seven guys on the show who proposed to someone sight unseen. But when he revealed to his fiance diamond that he was bisexual, the relationship fell apart in a spectacular reality TV blow up. Then in the reunion, he got down on one knee and asked her if they could be friends again, but today, they are both single. All right, let’s get big smooches to Carlton from love is blind. Oh man, we gotta talk. Thank you for being here.
Carlton Morton 3:02
Thanks for having me. How are you?
I am so great and I am such a fan of love as blind as a dating coach. I think it was an awesome experiment and experience for people to go to but I, I have questions and a lot of my listeners have questions because especially like going through Coronavirus, and then watching Love is blind at the same time. There are a lot of parallels coming up. So let’s just initially start with the experience of Wait, wait, wait, I gotta back it up to what the heck would make you want to even do the show in the first place?
Carlton Morton 3:39
Well, I was looking for love, like I’m still in love, but that’s a whole nother story. I was looking for love and I’m wanting to be married and I thought that it would be an amazing experiment to be a part of.
So you knew going into it that if you wanted to meet your person you would have to propose and that was the deal. From from the beginning.
Carlton Morton 4:01
Yeah, I knew that if I felt that, you know that that was one of the options, but I also knew that there was a possibility that I may not match with anyone. They kept saying, you know, it’s just a social experiment. There’s like no strings attached. You don’t have to do this. And it was just real connections formed every single time. Okay, so everyone’s asking what was it like in the pods? The pods like I could still smell the pods. I remember what they smell like they smell like so fresh. It’s smells like a bath and beyond and like, you know, walking past like the oils and the Roma oils, like the pods were so posh and comfortable and cozy like sometimes we even fall asleep in the pods like sometimes we had long dates, like late night dates that we’d be sitting down, you know, just chillin just kicking back and just falling Blake you fall asleep on Sunday. Dates because it’s like it’s not that a person is necessarily boring. It’s just It’s been a long day of dates. And you just kind of want to kick back and you’re having a relaxing conversation. It’s like falling asleep on the phone.
Like all times. Could you choose who you went into the pod with? Or was it sort of like Chatroulette?
Carlton Morton 5:19
Knowing we couldn’t choose there was a formula to it. So it kind of went off of who ranked to the highest. And that’s basically who you match with. There was like a algorithm I wish we could have. Because I tried to like on numerous occasions, I tried to sacrifice like or, or donate my time to someone else to go on a date with someone that maybe I knew I wouldn’t have a connection with, to get more time with my ex.
Okay, so spoiler alert. For those that haven’t watched the show. Pause the podcast right now. Come back, go. Go watch. It’s like what like 11 episodes, something like that with the reunion 1112 episode. So go watch it, then come back and do hit play again. Spoiler alert, so Carlton is one of the participants who decided to propose. But he didn’t quite get to the the happy ending. You did hear that he said he was single right now. Take me through the next phase of the pod. How did you know? You and diamond got engaged? And that’s a big deal. You had never met this woman and you got down on one knee and proposed, what was it about diamond? Or was it something that she said How did you know what was that moment when when you decided to like take the plunge and and propose?
Carlton Morton 6:37
Um, I just knew like, the moment that we really opened up was when I thought when we talked about our father’s book, our dad’s passed away. So we really connected on that, even to the point where we both had stories like with our dad’s past, where she would collect ladybugs or her dad and I would collect fireflies, my dad It was just kind of like little moments like that. And then even when it came time to see her for the first time, I was in my dressing room, five minutes before I was thinking in my head, wow, it would be so great if you call her dad and a traditional type setting and you know, get his permission, but even if that was granted by producers who is not here anymore, so do you know right before I went to meet her, I look at my dressing room mirror and a lady is calling.
You know, I believe in all of that I will cosign
Carlton Morton 7:36
Okay, you know, so it was just little moments like that along the process just reassured me that she was the one for me like the connection was there she like sometimes she had like a little attitude, like, Oh, you don’t know my voice by now. And like that kind of got my attention. It was just little stuff like that.
It was beautiful to watch all of that unfold. I Do want to ask as a person of color? And as I mean it didn’t look like there were that many people of color in the mix. Was that something that you had ever thought about finding something like were you intentionally looking for a black woman or was it just it was or similarity of familiarity or was it just chance that she happened to be black you think?
Carlton Morton 8:25
Well, from me I’ve always dated like different races so it didn’t matter to me going into the process. Why I ended up with I like literally went into it thinking Love is blind and I still believe love true love is blind. Um, but I just thought like, if I end up with someone else would that be an issue like all those thoughts do go through my head. I hope I answered your question, but it didn’t matter to me if it would have been someone that was no.
Yeah, I do feel like sometimes you have that additional pressure though to when you’re The only black couple I mean, obviously Lauren, Lauren’s black but when you’re the only black couple to you know every there’s a lot of pressure like I I hosted this show that was by the same production company called hashtag black love that was sort of born out of married at first sight and Monet. It was inspired by Monet’s story and she and her husband on married at first sight when they were the only black couple. And so everybody was like, please make it please make it please make it and then when they didn’t, it’s like, I’m carrying the whole weight of every you know, everyone who’s black on my shoulders in this one relationship? Yeah,
Carlton Morton 9:36
I definitely feel felt that after, like, after the show came out, and still to this day, I feel like a certain way even when it came to speaking up about racial injustice and police brutality. I felt like the moment that I speak up, someone is going to say hi, we just witness you are With a black woman, and degrade a black woman in an argument on national TV, that’s what they would have said. So like, it took some like prayer and some soul searching to really just navigate, especially this time, and then the whole like social thing is just like it’s crazy. You know? So there is a lot of pressure.
Yeah, it’s complicated right now.
Carlton Morton 10:22
Yeah. And there were a lot of amazing black women on the show that you didn’t necessarily get to see because they didn’t necessarily find matches. But there were some some amazing black woman on it.
Would you do it again?
Carlton Morton 10:35
Oh, absolutely. Do it again, because I’m still looking for love. And I feel like love is blind get better matching me and I’ve ever met myself.
Alright, so let’s talk about can we go a little bit and do your dating history? I mean, to to even go through the experience of proposing to someone you have to feel like that person is different. But I know you revealed on the show, Carlton, that you had dated men. In the past as well, and that was not always something that that women you dated, were open to talk to me about that and and even just the decision because you knew if you were going on love is blind, you knew that they were matching it with a woman. Yes,
Carlton Morton 11:16
So tell me about that process of understanding your own identity and sexual orientation. And then also in doing that on national television, that’s very brave.
Carlton Morton 11:32
Thank you. Um, it took a while. It’s obviously been a long journey. Initially, I actually told someone in casting that when they reached out I was like, I don’t think this shows for me
that just makes them want you more.
Carlton Morton 11:46
I still, isn’t it like confident and like really just talking to strangers about sexuality at that point, and I don’t want to get on the show. And then it’s like, I’m some liar or I’m pretending to be a heterosexual male. I have to Be able to tell my truth to who to the person that I fall in love with. That was my thing. I wanted to make sure that if I went on the show, that was given a fair chance, there’s so many men who are bisexual or fluid and they can’t live their truth or whatever reason. So I wanted to show people that process and show people that bisexual people do have our minds when we love you, we love you, we’re with you. That was like major to me.
But that that is a lot of responsibility as well to to kind of represent for the bisexual community because we haven’t seen a lot of that on TV you know, maybe like two or whatever. But we haven’t seen we haven’t seen that many people saying just what what you’re saying that like, and I’ve I’ve dealt with this with bisexual clients in the past with their their partner not feeling like they can be fully committed because by saying yes to you, I’m saying no to an entire gender of people but at the same time, that’s What it is even in, in a hetero relationship, if you say yes to a person and you want to be in a monogamous relationship, you’re saying no to everyone else. Yeah. Okay, but then I have to ask you Carlton, it took you a minute to express that to diamond What? What prevented you from telling her about your sexuality from the beginning?
Carlton Morton 13:25
Well for one it was it like nine day process before I actually got to like see her in person. So it was actually very quickly. For me it was in this quick process. Why would I be so foolish as to just share that side not knowing for sure that this is the person that I’m gonna pose to because had I told any of the girls, all the girls on day one, it would have gone back to that side we would sharing notes like guys, we would say things like, Oh, you had a date with so and so. Oh, what does she say? Oh, for me, it was all about this moment. scary for me, it was about like opening up to the right person, instead of me telling them right now I’m going to get to know the person, make sure that this is someone that actually can love for the rest of my life. And then I’m going to share that information because otherwise they’ll go and tell my story for me. And what’s gonna happen, everybody’s gonna rank Crocs, and at the bottom of experiment.
I hadn’t thought of it that way. And it’s interesting, the way that you talk about needing to tell your own story and you know, kind of control the narrative there. Do you feel like since all of the pod experience you’re not seeing the other person, you’re you’re just speaking to them behind the wall and that you have to propose if you want to actually see them in person. Do you feel like there was an element of you that thought if you and diamond could just be together face to face and you told her that she would have reacted in a more favorable way
Carlton Morton 15:00
Absolutely Well, the thing is, I knew that it was inappropriate to like, tell her the first moment we seen each other when the doors slide open, and then it’s like awkward. So like, of course, that was in the back of my mind. After seeing her for the first time, I’m thinking, oh my god. So now we have to have this zation. And I hope that she’s still my fiance. After this conversation, we had the conversation. And again, that’s the face to face conversation, even if we were in the pods. And it was like there was a rule, you can’t go back and say what somebody told you or anything she did, she deserved at least a face to face conversation. And you know, it could have been done the day of the wedding. It could have been done the night of the bachelor party, but I was like, No, I do. It’s important to me, that we have that conversation before we spend our first night.
Yeah, and I think I think we’re looking at the timeline. As you know, we spent all that time in the pods and then like, why did he wait until they’re on this trip together? But From your perspective, there was only nine days in the pods. That was pretty early. And you’re really you’re not just
Carlton Morton 16:05
dating that person and there’s like time restraints. So there’s a lot of factors that went into when’s the right time? If you have 15 minutes for a date today, why would I start that conversation? And then like she’s stressing about it until we date against tomorrow, if we even have it at
sea. You weren’t trying to just get a trip to my No,
Carlton Morton 16:24
I wasn’t. I’m been around the world like, I look. I haven’t been around the world. Like I’ve been very blessed. I have amazing parents amazing exes, sometimes, and I’ve been around the world so it wasn’t about that. Or TBS people claim to see I’ve been on to number one shows prior to being blind. We’re Housewives of Atlanta and Basketball Wives.
I would have taken that trip, but that’s just me.
Carlton Morton 16:49
No, it’s amazing. It’s an amazing resort. Like you totally should look into it. It’s like the most peaceful place ever. That’s why I’m like, Oh my God, we couldn’t even stay And try to work it out.
I know. So, talk to me about that moment when you finally got the courage to tell her. She didn’t quite react the way you were expecting, did she?
Carlton Morton 17:12
He didn’t. Well, here’s the thing. I feel like she reacted the best. She knew how. And the way that she felt it was something that caught her off guard. Um, so I can’t like, you know, be mad at her for the way that she was fighting.
But you did get kind of mad at her, though you did in that moment. And I know you’ve said you said in the reunion at and since then, that that wasn’t your proudest moment of how you reacted?
Carlton Morton 17:45
No, it was it was very defensive and it was scary. That’s like the biggest thing it was a lot of fear in those scenes and just like no experience like you know, I’ve been on other shows, but I wasn’t on most shows today. My true to someone that I was about to walk down the aisle. So you know is it was one of those moments that I’m like, still cringe
if you could rewrite it, Carlton, what would you have said and what would she have said how would it have gone differently?
Carlton Morton 18:16
I would have told her that though it may be something that who, for please don’t count me out. It’s already happening, you know, and it’s like one of those things that I still I’m still like dealing with it. Like, I’m kind of over the whole like point that this show has happened and then whatever, but as far as like losing my
I’m sorry, I
Carlton Morton 18:41
know, I know. I’m sorry. Cuz like, and like,
Carlton Morton 18:44
I will be like, Oh, you know, cooler like, everything’s all good and someone will be like, will talk to me about her. And then like, I’ll start talking about her. All right.
Take your time. Take your time, brother.
Carlton Morton 19:04
I gotta like miss my friend. You know what I’m saying? It’s like, we’re so much alike.
Carlton Morton 19:12
Well, I know you said you’re still looking for love. You’re still single.
Carlton Morton 19:19
Maybe I shouldn’t be though, right? Not just yet.
Well, you ask him my opinion. Yeah. I think a lot of times we wait to be ready. But this is this is the moment like you are. You are, you’re in your life. And I think we learn most when we are in motion and an action. So my feeling is that you don’t wait to find love, but you should always be processing and that this, this is the process of uncovering who you are and what you really want. So what I was going to ask you is with the knowledge that you have the experience that you went through, and what You’re going through right now? What would you do differently? Like if you could do the show again or even just in in life and looking for love again? How? How would you come into it differently? How would you present Carlton in a new way or think differently of your partner?
Carlton Morton 20:19
only show who Carlton truly is. And that’s not like a defensive person. I think part of not fully feeling like I was able to live my truth made me I will always have like a gate up or some type of like, defense mechanism that would be like on guard. But since coming out as fluid, things like I feel so free, so I feel like now I wouldn’t be so scared in the pods. I would have the conversation probably the moment that I feel like I have a connection with someone. Even if it was more than one person. I would still have like a compensation but it would have to be some blue. I have to get trust conversation that came with that. And hey, this is something I’m about to share with you and I don’t want for you to share it with anyone else here, that type of thing because that was like my main thing like, Oh my god, what if she goes to her, and she’s gonna tell her and like, it was a lot going on,
even though you’re not in the pod, so I feel like this is still a conversation that you’re going to need to have right? You’re still absolutely going to need to figure out that point of when to really fully bring yourself to the relationship and I know a lot of our listeners are are grappling with that too, especially during Coronavirus time where like we’re we’re talking like in like you were in the pods only it’s through your phone and they don’t really know people but you almost develop this false sense of intimacy this feeling that you you think you know the person but you don’t really know the person. I mean, did you feel about Once you revealed your fluidity to diamond that like she was a different person than you thought she was, or do you think it was something else that that caused the rift
Carlton Morton 22:14
to a certain extent, I felt that maybe she was a little different at swag kept saying, Please don’t be stereotypical right now because there were a few things that she was saying in that moment, that I was like, whoa, wait, like, so it made me like it turned to the fire just kept getting hotter and I was like, just loading, loading, loading, and then it just exploded. You know, there was like, a lot of back and forth that I was like, wait, that’s how you feel. That’s how you really feel like you know, but then looking back, I can’t like even fault her for those things. Because again, I said ain’t said I didn’t really know. Um, I don’t
It’s so it’s so big of you to acknowledge that and even you know, I watched the reunion too, and how you really, really try to make amends with her. And that’s something that I think a lot of people aren’t able or willing to do.
Carlton Morton 23:16
I tell you in an exclusive like, that I haven’t really told us that was such an impromptu, like, big sub speech, because my initial plan was that I was going to get my fiance back. Okay, I was gonna say, listen, we don’t have to start planning a wedding right now. But like, I want my fiance back and I want to save this, what can we do? But when I stood up, everybody kind of gas. And she kind of looked at me like, I know he is not about to propose. And so I was like, do you like go back to being publicly humiliated in front of millions of people? Or do you just like say face right now? So it’s like me See?
Carlton Morton 24:02
I had it on my mind to get mushy. Yes.
Wow. Thank you for sharing that with me.
Carlton Morton 24:09
I’m like holding that in. And when you said it, I’m like, Oh, I haven’t lived that out.
Yeah, I’m glad that you did. And I and you know them. We just live in so many boxes, Carlton. And it’s like there’s the box of being black. There’s a box of being bisexual. There’s a box of just being
Carlton Morton 24:27
in a box. Yeah. And
it’s hard to navigate that, and I think a lot of people watch the show. You know, we’re eating our popcorn. Like, he shouldn’t have said that. I can’t believe he did that. Oh, girl. Did you see that?
Carlton Morton 24:37
But like, it’s so nice to be able to really talk to you as you’re processing. And you’re still processing it. And we’d like to think that if we were in the same situation, oh, we wouldn’t have done that. Right. You don’t know. You don’t know if those cameras aren’t in your face. And you don’t have the pressure of that moment. Like anything could happen.
Carlton Morton 24:59
And I think it’s more Importantly about we have to start thinking as humans, where do we put the most emphasis on? As it relates to what matters? I don’t get why there is a constant attack on the LGBT II when it comes time for us to live in our truth. Because there are a lot of factors that we could hold against other people. Hey, what’s your political party? Hey, I was definitely asking people’s political.
Well, that’s become one of the biggest filters on dating apps and in dating today that that is now it went from being, you know, number five or six on the list to now number one or two for most people. But you’re right, you’re right. You know what it is Carlton, it’s fear. It’s that it’s fear of the unknown. And I mean, even I’m feeling right now. I wrote this Washington Post piece about racial bias in dating, and people are not handling it. Well. I have to just say, people are not handling my my suggestion that we question Our own beliefs and we ask, Well, why? Why am I so afraid of that? Or why have I drawn that line in the sand? And I’m somebody also, like, one of my boyfriend’s was bisexual, openly, like, I knew that he was bisexual. He’s now gay. But you know, it’s a it’s a spectrum, right? Yeah. So so I can absolutely relate to everything that you’re saying. But something about the way I was raised I was conditioned to question and to be open and to not draw some of those lines in the sand that a lot of other people just haven’t had the opportunity yet yet. Growth Mindset to explore. And that’s what you’re up against. It’s it’s like that the box like I was saying,
Carlton Morton 26:46
No, and I think representation matters. Like there needs to be like people need to continue seeing people like myself on TV who are bisexual black men, you know, because otherwise, like, what do we have to look up to them? No, there was no one on TV. Like me before me. Like I looked everywhere reality TV kind of sir. Like, there was no one like me on TV before me. So I’m very proud that I could like at least start the conversation.
Yeah. Thank you for blazing that trail.
Carlton Morton 27:19
Yeah, you honor. honor that I chose me. I think it’s time that people see like, you know, more bisexual people in on dating show, period. I’d love to be the first. The first bisexual back there. Hi.
All right, you said it here first.
Carlton Morton 27:37
All right, just to wrap up for a lot of our listeners who are single and ready to mingle. What did you learn about dating in the pods that you think can be relevant in dating today if you were to give them one or two pieces of advice for how they should move forward?
Carlton Morton 27:51
Um, I would say honesty will take you everywhere and trust just make sure it’s someone that you can trust. Be honest vulnerable sometimes we shut down because of our experiences in the past and that keeps us away from getting to the future. Oh, trust your heart, your heart all lie to you. And you’re gonna know when it’s the right time to have certain discussions and never be too hard on yourself. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t work out sometimes it’s just timing. So don’t give up.
Well, Carlton, I hope timing lines up for you again because you are a gym and I’ve really enjoyed this conversation with you.
Carlton Morton 28:30
Thank you Sorry I put on the waterworks. I didn’t realize that it would come out today.
When you’re being real and authentic. You’re
Carlton Morton 28:37
such an emotional person. Like I’m so sensitive. I’m so like, and people don’t always get to see this. I
thank you so much for your honesty. Thank you for being here. There’s so much to learn from what Carlton said. First, remember the power of vulnerability. Men are told to stay strong not cry not show weakness. Do you see what just happened? When Carlton showed his true self and his true feelings, he drew us in. He wishes he could have done that in his relationship with diamond. But he’s learning to do it now. Which brings me to my second point, forgiveness. To move into your dream relationship. You need to be willing to forgive the past. Even if diamond is still processing what happened. And believe me, a lot happened which might take a long time for her to process. But Carlton has forgiven himself for hurting someone he loved. None of us are perfect. Many of us say hurtful things that come from our own place of pain. forgiving yourself for your past mistakes is the first step to moving forward. My third takeaway is to face your fear. Your Carlton say that if he could do it again, he would not have been so afraid of what people would say in the pods and he would have left more have his true self shine through. as scary as it is to acknowledge something so personal about yourself as a sexual orientation that has often caused you to be excluded in the past. If you are going to bond your life with another person, you have to be willing to face your past fear and be brave enough to open up to that person fully. Fourth, we are constantly growing and evolving. And that means you don’t need to wait for healing to occur or enlightenment to strike to be ready to date again. We learn in motion, so you don’t need to wait to find love. If you are committed to the process of understanding yourself and growing as a human, you can love in your imperfect form and find someone willing to learn and grow with you. Finally, keep the faith in spite of all that Carlton went through he said he would do an experience like love is blind again. And he’s still looking for true love. No matter what you’ve been through before, I hope that Carlton has inspired you to keep the faith the true love is out there for you too. This has been Episode 317 of dates and mates and the first of four dates and mates love lessons. For more of Carlton’s journey. You can follow him on Instagram at Carleton Morton and you can also check out his charity for kids called Camp Carlton and support if you feel called