Rolling Out

Clay Gravesande from ‘Love is Blind’ has new appreciation for romance

Reality star received a lot of backlash for his decision, but he’s taking it on the chin

Clay Gravesande, a season six cast member of  “Love is Blind,” has garnered a lot of attention — not because he found love — but because of how and why he ended things with his fiancée, AD, at the altar. People have pointed to many reasons for Gravesande’s decision, whether it be he wasn’t ready, he came on the show for the wrong reasons or trauma from his childhood.

Gravesande recently sat down with rolling out to tell his side of the story, and talk about other things such as mental health and his entrepreneurial journey.

Do you feel as though you were painted as a villain?

At the end of the day, me and AD were cool throughout this whole process. I said no at the altar; I made a decision. I did not feel like both of us were ready for marriage at that time. In terms of the Black community, I’m very understanding of the fact that we as Black people haven’t had the best representation when it comes to love. So, for a lot of those women [viewers] — because I haven’t had too many men give me hate — in that situation, I feel as though I understand their disapproval of me, but it’s not really about me.

I felt like me and AD’s situation showed a little bit of Black relationships. I just want to tell people that it was six weeks, so for me, I felt when I got to the altar — and people asked the question, “Well, why’d you make that decision at the altar?” — it was like, it’s six weeks. Every day is a different thing; you got other things that you’re working on, and me and AD actually loved each other. We had a good relationship. For me going to the altar, it was just me saying, “No, I don’t think we’re ready.” Do I think I’m a villain? No. I think I saved me and AD because if I were to say yes, and have the same mindset that I had when I was filming, who knows what [would have] happen[ed].

What did you learn about love through your experience on the show?

What I learned is that I was going about it the wrong way. I was going about it from like a very pleasurable state of mind. I’m a very physical guy, so the first thing I look at when I want a woman is I want to know what she looks like and how the sex is gonna be, and I’ll figure out everything else after that, which could lead to toxicity. AD showed me a way of building a connection, not only from the physical, because I fell in love with her in the pods, and it was all through conversation and personality. I was able to be purposeful. Also, I realized, when I watched the show back, there were things I could do differently in terms of being a better partner.

I wasn’t showing up every single day; I was showing up partially. In relationships, especially as a man, we have to be leaders in our relationships, because the woman is not looking for validation, but she does need that validation that you’re gonna be there for her every day; she needs to have that reassurance. In my dating past, I always felt essentially, I was the prize a little bit, so I never really reassured my partner. With this show, and me seeing it, that reassurance is very important. My partner needs to know exactly where I’m at. What I’m good at is communication, but I need to do better at showing support and showing up every day, and I think the show definitely gave me that scope.

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