Brett And Tiffany Talk Dating, Black Love And Marriage After ‘Love Is Blind’

The couple opens up about what it was like to find love on the Netflix show — and the surprising expectations that came with it.

On the morning of Brett Brown and Tiffany Pennywell-Brown’s wedding day, a train that runs from Portland, Oregon, to Seattle passed by Tiffany’s window just as she was about to start getting ready.

Tiffany, 37, calls out the significance of that moment on “Love Is Blind,” the Netflix reality series that brought her and Brett, 38, together. She lived in Seattle, where the fourth season was set, and he lived in Portland. That day, they would begin merging their lives and start their forever together.

“Today is magical,” she says in the episode. “My head is in the clouds.”

It’s wild to realize that this couple will celebrate their two-year anniversary in May. Since their engagement in the pods, Tiffany and Brett have traveled a lot. (They have an upcoming trip to Japan, which has been on Brett’s bucket list.) They’ve spent a lot of date nights at their favorite restaurants around Portland. And they’ve continued to learn more about each other. (Brett’s a huge movie buff, and Tiffany loves soca music and singing along with Beyoncé.)

Fans have lauded their marriage as an example of true Black love, and still cheer for the couple and their beautiful relationship on social media. On reality dating shows, viewers often miss out on seeing authentic connections between Black partners, and Tiffany and Brett helped fill that void.

The Browns didn’t set out to be this picture-perfect couple, but people “appreciate what we represent more than I think I ever could have imagined,” Brett told HuffPost.

“I credit Brett to just reminding me, like: ‘Tiffany, just be who you are. We’re good people. We truly love each other and we just need to put that out into the world,’” Tiffany said. “So what you’re seeing is us, and what you’re gonna continue to see is us, and I’m glad that we hold each other accountable.”

HuffPost talked to the Browns about their first two years of marriage, the surprising things they’ve learned about each other since the pods and how their parents showed them examples of forever love.

Tell me a little bit about how your marriage has been since we last saw you on the “Love Is Blind: After the Altar” special.

Brett Brown: We’ve been good. We’ve just been living a very normal life, planning some trips here in the very near future. Hopefully looking to buy a home pretty soon, so we’ve been kind of starting that process. The holidays were great with family and friends. We’ve been good.

Tiffany Pennywell-Brown: For me, I remember during “After the Altar,” I was still getting settled into the Portland area, and now I feel like I’ve laid down roots here. I’ve met a good community of people, they’ve started to feel like home, and it’s been great ’cause I just think that Brett and I have definitely gotten closer since filming the show.

What would you say are the best parts of being married to each other?

TPB: It’s just having somebody that I feel like I can trust completely and can completely rely on. I love how we think and talk through things. I think we’re a little different in some ways, but I just feel like Brett just kind of balances me out. So that’s what I would say has been great about our marriage, especially ’cause of how we got married, like so quickly. Things can go either way, and I’m glad to say that it’s just gotten better and better the longer that we’ve been married.

BB: Yeah, I agree with everything Tiffany just said. Having a partner through everything has been big for me. I was single for a long time before going on “Love Is Blind” and meeting Tiffany, and thinking back, there were a lot of things that I did as an individual and experiences like traveling that I did as an individual, and it’s so much better to experience things with your person. So like me and Tiffany, thankfully we travel so well together. And like she was saying, she balances me out as well. I mean, I’m probably a little more buttoned up and not as loose as Tiffany is in some things. I’m really kind of focused, like, “Hey babe, you gotta do this, you gotta do that, and this, and...” [Laughs]

TPB: He’s a very responsible individual, but that’s what I love about him too. [Laughs]

BB: Yeah, I’m like responsible to a fault, so Tiffany kind of balances me to be like, “Brett, chill.” Like, “Hey, it ain’t that serious, babe.” And I’m like, “OK, you’re right.”

It’s funny you mention that, because that’s one of the things I think about when rethinking about the show ― and obviously, on your wedding day, Brett had a huge tailoring emergency and I was like, OK, this gives us a really good window into his personality. So it’s good to know that you can balance that out with each other.

TPB: Yeah, absolutely.

BB: Yeah, I mean, that situation, in so many ways, it was very unfortunate, but it did highlight a lot of things. Like, I care about things. I care about things my names are attached to. I care about how I look. I care about how I show up for other people. And like, yeah, that moment, as unexpected as it was, really showed that I care, just in general.

Dustin Tolman for HuffPost
Dustin Tolman for HuffPost

What have you learned about each other that maybe audiences haven’t seen since the cameras went away?

TPB: I know Brett is very much career-driven. He cares a lot about things, but just seeing the really funny side of Brett kind of shocked me a little bit, because I was like, wait, where was this Brett when we were on camera? He’s very big into film and acting, and seeing him do different impressions and it comes out of nowhere. That part had me like, “Babe, you kind of funny.” [Laughs]

BB: I’m very funny.

TPB: You are. I think just seeing that side of him has been great, because I think whenever we are not working and we’re just chilling at the house, we can have conversations about anything and everything, and it’ll turn into Brett diving into cinematography or Brett acting out some person’s line in a movie. That’s been cool to see.

BB: During filming and everything, I think it kind of showed that Tiffany had kind of a bubbly personality. But I think seeing more of that has been great. Like, she loves music, she loves to dance, and I don’t think anybody knows this, but she loves to sing.

TPB: Oh God.

BB: And I know she’s probably like, “Babe, stop.” But seeing her just in her element, there are times where I come home from work. She has her soca music on. She may have her headphones on and she doesn’t even know that I’ve walked in the door. There have been times where I just sit back and watch her. She’s up here doing a whole dance routine and singing and stuff, and I’m like, I can never do that. I don’t care if anybody wasn’t watching. I just don’t have that energy.

So just seeing her fun side just at home. And she sings a lot, and she has a great voice. I’m not gonna put her on the spot. But there have been some times where we’ve been talking about music and stuff and she’ll be like, “Oh, like this?” And she’ll hit the notes, and I’m like, “Oh, hey, you did that too good.” [Laughs]

I need to know, Brett, who are your favorite people to impersonate, or films that you love to watch that you know all the words to?

BB: We have this stupid thing. It’s not even a real person. It’s Bane from “The Dark Knight Rises.”

TPB: Oh, my God.

BB: We have like the dumbest thing where I’ll say the normal thing that I would say that I would just turn on like this Bane voice, almost like a Darth Vader, like putting my hand over my [mouth] so it’s muffled and whatnot. So I always do that. It’s dumb, but we always have a lot of fun with that.

I’m someone who’s really, really watched a lot of movies. So I love all of Spike Lee’s work, huge David Fincher fan. “The Killer” on Netflix just came out a little while ago — love that film and everything that he does. Same with Steven Soderbergh and Martin Scorsese. We just watched “Killers of [the] Flower Moon” and I’m looking forward to “Dune” with Denis Villeneuve. I could go on and on and on about movies and stuff like that.

And then, Tiffany, who are some of your favorite artists? Who do you like to sing?

TPB: It’s probably Beyoncé. More than likely. I grew up on her, and we’re both from Houston. I’ve been listening to her since I was like 10 years old. So I’m always singing Beyoncé. But then I love listening to all kinds of music too. So Brett said, like, soca, and with soca music, it’s like Machel Montano or it’s Kes, and then I also like more independent artists like Majid Jordan.

Dustin Tolman for HuffPost
Dustin Tolman for HuffPost

So many fans of the show, like myself, were so happy to see you guys say “I do,” and especially to just see a Black love story on a reality dating show. Have either of you felt any pressure to kind of live up to the audience’s expectations of your relationship?

TPB: At first, I did feel a little bit of pressure because I felt so normal. I just am who I am and I just happened to fall in love with a man that just happened to be Black. But I will say that I knew that we shared a lot of the same experiences, and so I’m glad that people were able to just see a good love story. But I think I credit Brett to just reminding me like, “Tiffany, just be who you are. We’re good people. We truly love each other and we just need to put that out into the world.” So what you’re seeing is us, and what you’re gonna continue to see is us, and I’m glad that we hold each other accountable.

BB: Yeah, we’ve talked about this just between us more than a couple of times. And I wouldn’t say that I personally feel a lot of pressure. It’s more just awareness of how people view us or Black love specifically. We were in Toronto early in the year and we were running into people, and they’re like, “Hey, like, thank you for representing us and Black love.” And I’m like, wow, people pay attention and appreciate what we represent more than I think I ever could have imagined.

TPB: Yeah, and I would say I just want there to be more positive Black influences in media too, and I’m glad that we are a part of that. Brett and I both had our parents to look up to for Black love and relationships. And so for the people that are looking for that, I’m glad that they can look at our story and see good examples of a positive relationship.

Absolutely. For each of you, what are some of the lessons you learned from your parents’ marriages?

TPB: For me, knowing that everything is not going to be roses, but what is beautiful after many years of marriage is seeing how you’ve worked through things together. I remember my father specifically saying something when I was younger ― “I will never do anything to break up this family.” So I was really looking for that loyalty and trust in my partner. I know that everything isn’t going to be perfect, but someone that sticks by you through all your ups and downs is beautiful. And being able to look back on that decades down the line, that’s something I want for myself.

BB: I’d say the biggest thing is just understanding the level of commitment that marriage is, and definitely my parents have definitely been through some things over their ― what, 40 some years of being married ― which is wild. Doubling down on communicating and understanding that there are gonna be things that pop up, and that’s kind of the beauty of the struggle.

One of the challenges about marriage is making it work in spite of whatever else is going on. So, I have a lot of admiration for my parents for thinking through everything that they’ve been through for 40-plus years, and I’m glad they’re here to see their youngest son get married. I’m sure they were like, “Yo, what’s happening with Brett? He like 35. He ain’t married yet.” So I’m happy they’re able to now see me with a wife and build that relationship.

What, if any, challenges have you had in your ― what, almost two years of marriage? And how did you help each other overcome them?

BB: Really understanding that we’re a team has been the biggest adjustment. We’ve lived our lives as an individual for so long that you are used to making decisions by yourself, or making calls on things, and you don’t really have to kind of check with somebody else. And being married and being in a relationship, anything that I do affects Tiffany. Any decisions that I make affect Tiffany. So I think it’s been an adjustment of checking myself.

TPB: Yeah, and we were both just independent individuals. So just moving into a relationship where you are having to make decisions as a team, that’s definitely been the hardest part. But I am glad to see how we’ve worked together through this.

Obviously you guys didn’t meet in a traditional way, but were there ways that you approach your post-marriage life differently than someone who met on an app or met in real life and got married over time?

BB: The only difference that I feel is actually being aware of how long we’ve actually known each other. So there have been times where like, if me and Tiff are talking about something or there’s a misunderstanding, and I’m like, “Babe, we gotta give each other some grace here, because we’ve known each other for under two years.” And most people would probably date for two years before they even get engaged, and they could be engaged for however long before they get married, so by the time they get married, they got years and years in the game. So giving each other grace when there’s something that is misunderstood, because we’re still very young in our relationship at the end of the day.

TPB: Yeah. It’s almost like we’re just doing everything in reverse. That stage before we have each other’s phone number. [Laughs]

BB: Or even saw our Instagram.

Absolutely. All right, I just have two final quick questions for you both, and then we’ll hop off. If you were asked to star in your own reality show, what would you want that to look like?

TPB: We don’t watch a lot of reality TV. I only like one series and that’s “Real Housewives of Potomac.” I don’t know if I would wanna be on something like that because usually those women end up with issues... [Laughs] What about like a competition show, where it’s just more focused on us working as a team?

BB: Yeah, I wouldn’t wanna do anything that’s like, “Hey, watch our relationship in a reality TV format.” I feel like that’s just inviting negativity and problems and opinions in your marriage. So I think if it was something like a competition show, or something that’s really not about our relationship, but we’re there as a couple. If I think of a singing competition, you’ve got the judges that are judging whoever is up on the stage. That kind of role, I think, would be kind of fun to see what other people are doing and just kind of providing commentary.

I mean, I saw you all in the “Squid Game” uniforms on your Instagram pages.

BB: I had a lot of people hit me up about that, and were like, “Brett, where were you on the show? I didn’t see you on the show?” And I was like, “Oh no. We were just promoting.” And they’re like, “Oh man. I was hoping y’all would be on it.”

What would be your advice for other Black singles who are thinking about going on a reality dating show, whether “Love Is Blind” or any other series?

TPB: I would say, make sure you do the work on yourself. Make sure that you are happy and content with who you are as an individual. And if it’s a dating show or just anything related to dating, don’t change who you are to fit someone else’s standards. Be confident in the person that you are, and look for somebody that just truly loves that person.